Nokia may have finished making N-Gage hardware, but apparently it hasn't given up on making mobile devices more attractive to gamers.
A column on the games industry development site Gamasutra quotes Gregg Sauter, director of games publishing in Nokia's Multimedia Division, as saying Nokia will release 'game-optimised devices' featuring landscape-oriented play (presumably like that enabled by the Sony Ericsson W550i), as well as dedicated game controls and other gamer-friendly design tweaks.
Sauter doesn't elaborate on form factor beyond that, but he did add that some future high-end devices from Nokia will feature advanced graphics technology from specialised chipmaker ATI. That would help the devices run high-end 3D games, for instance.
It's an interesting development: we've hitherto assumed Nokia was moving away from specifically game-enabling its hardware, ever since it announced its next generation N-Gage software platform, which Sauter refers to as 'Play' in the interview. (For more on that, see the Pocket Gamer blog).
It's all shaping up into an interesting 'round two' for this mobile megacorp, so watch this space if you're excited about N-Gage gaming. And do also check out our dedicated N-Gage section by clicking the tab above, where you'll find, for instance, hands on impressions of the next gen N-Gage games from this year's E3.