A big Pocket Gamer happy birthday to the original Nokia N-Gage, which was first released five years ago this week.

It saw some rough times in 2005 when N-Gage game sales were dropped from the ELSPA charts, but many gamers were encouraged by Nokia's determination not to let the brand fail. The concept of combining a handheld gaming platform and a mobile phone was a powerful one, and since it migrated to smartphone integration, the N-Gage platform has managed to corner a dedicated demographic of pocket gamers.

The original 'taco' handset wasn't massively functional, though in five short years it's become something of an iconic gaming symbol. Looking back at it now, it's hard not to pine for one out of kitsch collectability. Despite its tough times and changes N-Gage is still a serious contender for many pocket gamers, and Nokia and its third-party buddies promise big things for the platform in 2009.

Here at Pocket Gamer we'd really like to see the system become available to other brands and handsets, but Nokia still turns out some damn fine tech, and we'll not be turning our attention from it any time soon.

Happy birthday, N-Gage! And many more.