Report: Next-Gen N-Gage Imminent
If at first you don't succeed, try, try again...
Nokia first announced its plans to resurrect the N-Gage initiative nearly two years ago at E3 2005, but it appears the Finnish company's ambitious plans are finally coming to fruition, according to a report from Pocketgamer.co.uk
The revamped N-Gage initiative is less about pushing one "gaming phone," and instead about implementing universal gamer-centric community elements and software across Nokia's entire line of smartphones. The shift in strategy seems to place N-Gage titles in direct competition with other mobile phone offerings, instead of dedicated handheld gaming devices like Nintendo's GBA or DS, or Sony's PSP.
"We are planning to support something like 5-7 devices when we launch," Nokia's Jaakko Kaidesoja told PocketGamer late last year. "Some of them are already being sold today, in fact. So if you have one of those devices, you'll just have to go to our website, download the application to your phone. It's like any Series 60 application, and it works."
According to today's most recent reports, Nokia recently held a two-day N-Gage developer workshop in Santa Monica. The event was reportedly attended by not only heavyweights in the mobile gaming space (Glu, EA Mobile, and Digital Chocolate were all specifically named), but also console and handheld developers, including Foundation 9, Square Enix, and Sony Online Entertainment.
Third Party developers were reportedly given their first detailed look at the new N-Gage SDK, as well as new information on Nokia's plans for digital distribution, as well as game tracking/management. With the new N-Gage's specific emphasis on community, it seems likely that game sharing and/or trading will be an option, making such tracking tools extremely important.
PocketGamer noted that another similar developer event is scheduled to take place in Madrid next week, to fill in European developers. Nokia hasn't commented publically on these developer events, and no date for a official next-gen N-Gage launch announcement has been given.