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Nokia finally sets N-Gage free

Nokia has officially unwrapped N-Gage, the games platform that’s come from the ashes of the now very much defunct gaming handset of the same name. The N-Gage games service has gone live with just a few titles, including FIFA 08, Asphalt 3: Street Rules, World Series of Poker Pro Challenge with a handful of N series devices – N81, N82, N95 – able to use the service at launch.

Nokia has also unveiled an N-Gage community area for the service, for gamers to find friends, arrange some multiplayer gaming or participate in tournaments and chat with other N-Gage users.

Nokia will need to spread this to more devices if it wants to get some serious take-up, but I’d be surprised if it wasn’t planning to add to its roster in the near future. Cleverly, it’s also made sure there’s an N-Gage web portal so gamers can get their fix on the internet as well as mobiles – so that’s expanded the potential user base to just about everyone, then. It’s also promising 30 gaming titles in the near future – including old favourites like Tetris – but I can’t help but think that having them available at launch would have been a better bet.

3 replies on “Nokia finally sets N-Gage free”

It’s such a pity that the service is an absolute arse to install – see my walkthrough at
http://shkspr.mobi/blog/2008/04/n-gage-user-experience-100-failure.html

Then you have the problem that some of the games weigh in at over 20MB! Not fun to download – even on HSDPA – and you’d better hope you’ve got a good data plan or remember to switch to wifi.

The lack of games reminds me of Nokia’s “Download!” store on the N95.

Overall, a real wasted oppurtunity.

I agree with Terence. Given all the time, testing and anticipation you would think a behemoth like Nokia would get it right. Wrong. The installation is clunky (and failed the first few times). When I finally got it running I tried to download the first game. Eventually it agreed to do it. But after about 8MB of download (phew, HSDPA) the damn thing throws an unhelpful error every time I try to run it. I’ve given up. I’m not that fussed about gaming on my phone anyway. I might have got into it if it worked. It doesn’t. Nice one Nokia!

Correct me if I’m wrong, but isn’t N-Gage’s target market youngsters like myself. If so, it is a little worrying that 90% of the teens I’ve speak to still reckon it’s the rubbish handset it once was.

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