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N-Gage  header logo


GDC 2007: Nokia opens up to Pocket Gamer in N-Gage podcast

Some more interesting snippets about the company's next gen plans

Product: N-Gage (next gen platform) | Manufacturer: Nokia
N-Gage (next gen platform) N-Gage, thumbnail 1
This week's GDC show in California is effectively the big coming out party for Nokia's new N-Gage platform, with announcements about new games, publisher partners, and how developers can get involved with the platform.

Naturally, we're covering the news here on Pocket Gamer, but if you want to dig a bit deeper, Nokia has just taken part in a podcast compered by our very own Jon Jordan, in which Nokia's Jaako Kaidesoja, Gregg Sauter and Mark Ollila discuss N-Gage.

The podcast clears up some basic questions, such as the fact that N-Gage games will work on Nokia phones running the third edition of the Series 60 operating system, but that the platform won't be on ALL these handsets – where it isn't it will be for ergonomic reasons, or because the phone is targeted at a non-gaming audience.

What if you've got a phone from a rival manufacturer that runs Series 60? Don't hold your breath for N-Gage to leap over.

"Technically, it's complex enough to create this platform for Nokia devices," Kaidesoja tells Jon Jordan. "It's running on the third edition of Series 60, and technically there are possibilities to expand that platform, but first and foremost we want to focus on our Nokia consumers on the Nokia platform. We'll work on that and see where it goes from there."

Meanwhile, Nokia is busy encouraging developers and publishers to make use of N-Gage's connected features. Sauter hints that Gameloft, for one, may be including online play in the N-Gage version of Midnight Pool.

"Because we're reaching so many people, it enables publishers to bring a big variety of content," he says. "Look at Gameloft's titles that they're bringing to the platform: everything from Brothers in Arms and Asphalt, which are real gamers' games, to some real casual stuff like taking a pool game and driving community there, and doing tournaments."

Also, we can stop pussyfooting around the name of the all-new N-Gage platform. It's going to be called... N-Gage. However, Nokia did consider changing it.

 "The brand was a big discussion internally, about whether we go with N-Gage or invent something new," says Kaidesoja. "The bottom line is we have a fanbase, a userbase who like the brand, we've interviewed them, and they say go with the brand, we like it."

Finally, Nokia is keen to ensure N-Gage games make use of other features within the phones, such as cameras and music.

"90 per cent of the people who own these devices will have music on them too, so why not be able to access that music within your game, or outside the game?" says Sauter. Sounds interesting.

The podcast was held in conjunction with Nokia's Futurewatch blog. To download the full podcast, click here.

Reviewer photo
Stuart Dredge 7 March 2007
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