Nokia N-Gage closes in 2010
Nokia today closed a chapter in its online history today with news that it would close its N-Gage gaming service. The company plans to shutter the game download and community in September 2010 and is moving all its users over to the Ovi Store. Games on devices and in the store will remain, but Nokia warns that community features like high scores will come to an end as part of the switchover.
Nokia Ovi Store to get 20K
Nokia's Ovi Store will open with a much larger catalog than its immediate rivals did when they were new, the company said late Thursday. Executive VP of services Niklas Savander estimates to Forbes that the portal will launch with about 20,000 "items" when it launches in late spring, just ahead of the N97 touchscreen smartphone's July release. While a significant number of these will include short-form videos, most will be apps and should include games from N-Gage as well as general apps.
Nokia N-Gage Teaser
Nokia is potentially gearing up to launch another device at the start of next week, a new teaser shows. The page shows an image of what appears to be a 7610 Supernova but says the device will "unlock" by about 8PM on the 13th, suggesting an evening phone launch. Some members of the online media have also received an invite for a similar timeframe and have been told the event relates to N-Gage, though a series of promo videos connected to the event (shown below) don't mention the Nokia gaming service.
Nokia Brings N96 to US
Nokia today tried its hand again at competing in the US smartphone market with the announcement of a North American edition of the N96. The black slider phone carries the same 16GB of built-in storage, five-megapixel camera, true GPS and Wi-Fi as the version just reaching Europe but makes a few key changes to adapt to the Western market. The update brings full 850MHz band HSDPA to support 3G on AT&T and Rogers but in return loses the ability to tune mobile digital TV, with no DVB-H broadcasts available on the continent.
Nokia N79 and N85
(Update: official release due tomorrow) Nokia today fulfilled a promise from earlier this month with two new Nseries devices both aimed at driving down the cost of getting into full smartphones. The N85 as flagship appears set to replace the N81 and upgrades the camera from two to five megapixels, also adding GPS both for mapping and for geotagging shots. It also switches to a 2.6-inch AMOLED screen that should supply richer color and as much as 28 hours of music playback on a single charge.
Nokia to Allow N-Gage Move
Nokia will allow users to transfer their N-Gage games from phone to phone after all, the company confirmed on Friday. The company has caused controversy by tying each game purchase to a specific phone, forcing customers to repurchase each game if they upgrade, but now says it has a means for users to port their game libraries without raising piracy concerns. The solution will at first involve contacting Nokia's support service but will ultimately include an unspecified "long-term" solution that allows users to make the switch much more easily.
Nokia N-Gage goes public
After having done a limited soft launch in February, Nokia has officially thrown open the doors to N-Gage, its online gaming service. Users can download demos of games that use both 2D and 3D technology, and then buy full titles through the same means. In some cases, users can play the games against other opponents online, via the N-Gage Arena.
Nokia Yamake for N-Gage
Nokia today said it had developed a new game for its N-Gage game platform that will let users create their own titles. Yamake is a game of its own but centers around creating mini-games using the player's own content: audio, photos, and videos captured or stored on the phone can be used to build puzzles. The resulting creations can be shared through the N-Gage Arena and are linked to a comment system that lets fellow Yamake players review the games as well as offer suggestions to creators.
Nokia launches N-Gage, Ovi
After considerable delay, Nokia has finally begun an initial rollout of its N-Gage gaming service. The online network allows people to download and play a variety of high-end cellphone games, rendered with both 2D and 3D graphics. The client software is now available through the company's First Access program; although it is only officially said to work with the N81, third-party sources have already managed to remove the software's protective "wrapper," and run N-Gage on phones like the N95. The service was initially slated to launch in November, but the date was then moved to late December, and finally to sometime after the holidays.
New Nokia N-Gage delay
Nokia has announced yet another delay for its N-Gage online service. N-Gage was originally slated to launch in November, in part to support its N81 gaming phone; the date was then moved to this week, but the company now says that N-Gage is still in no shape for a debut. The network's 1,000 testers are said to have encountered "unexpected difficulties," meaning that the early-adopter First Access program will not begin until after the holidays.
Nokia N-Gage Next Week
Nokia will launch its N-Gage gaming service for its newer phones in an early form next week, according to an update from the Finnish company's team. Originally announced with the N81 phone, the service lets users download and play games directly from supporting handhelds with the 3D graphics and content often found impossible through ordinary phone games. The debut is a pre-release version that will include both a test version of the store and will include at least one full N-Gage game, Nokia says.