N-Gage Handset Bows Out

Nokia shelves future plans for its gaming phone but vows to keep the N-Gage alive in its smartphones

N-Gage Handset Bows Out

According to news reports by the PC and technology site, Nokia has pulled the plug on any plans for a third-generation N-gage handset. In a frank interview, Antti Vasara, Nokia's vice president for corporate strategy, stated that the "N-Gage is still being sold but it was not a success in the sense of developing a new category”.

The N-Gage was launched in 2003 and, whilst it showed promise, suffered from underwhelming sales. A revised handset, the N-Gage QD, followed a year later, fixing many of the original’s faults, but it, too, failed to sell as many as Nokia had hoped.

The N-Gage brand will, for the moment, live on, though. Nokia will continue to support existing N-Gage owners with new games and the technology to play them will be incorporated into its new high-end smartphones. "We learnt that people want to play games on all devices. As such we are integrating the gaming software into Series 60 phones”, added Vasara. This should ensure, for the time being, the continued support of the innovative N-Gage Arena and future game releases. In a related story, Nokia has been reported as saying it will continue manufacture the current N-Gage handset for the Indian and Chinese markets.