View Full Version : N-Gage talks tactics


krisse
09-02-2005, 09:33 PM
New N-Gage boss Gerard Weiner has said Nokia will make "a couple of significant strategic announcements" at E3 in May, in response to a question about how N-Gage would be promoted in 2005. He also said (in a Business 2.0 interview (http://www.business2.com/b2/web/articles/0,17863,1026052,00.html)) that Nokia was still mulling over whether to release another N-Gage model this year, saying "the question is one of timing". He also revealed we can expect some new colours of QD this year (a common marketing tactic in the games and indeed phone industry), and confirmed Nokia would support the current generation of N-Gage to the end of 2005 at least.

krisse
10-02-2005, 01:10 PM
I think these two "strategic announcements" will be the following, although this is purely 100% guesswork:

1) As Ewan suggested earlier, the N-Gage ought to completely sidestep the retail network and sell games straight onto the game deck.

I've seen several articles on mobile websites saying the N-Gage is extremely popular with people who download Java and Symbian games, so it's an obvious move to give people what they want: the best mobile games, available instantly worldwide the moment they're released. They could even issue patches if any issues come up (for example many people had problems with N-Gage Tomb Raider's autorun control system).

It would make the games cheaper too because they wouldn't have to pay any manufacturing or retail costs. Even with the same profit margins for Nokia we could see prices fall to about $20 or 15 for a new game and even less for older ones if they adopt a download system. There's also the instant gratification of being able to buy a new game straight away wherever you are., you don't even have to go to the shops.

2) Allow at least some standard Nokia Symbian smartphones to use N-gage games.

People are buying these in large quantities anyway and it would give the N-gage a huge userbase. It would also take some pressure off Nokia as these standard models are sold for a large profit, so they wouldn't have to subsidise the hardware.

Controls would be a problem as far as current Symbians go because their direction pads can physically only be moved in four directions, so many games couldn't be controlled properly as they require the eight directions possible on the N-Gage (for example Tiger Woods requires diagonal movement to curl the ball). There would also be memory problems for many current Symbians running larger 32 megabyte games.

However, there's no commercial or practical reason why Nokia couldn't make all or some of their future Symbian models compatible with N-gage games. All it would require is adding 8-way d-pads, an MMC card slot and assorted N-gage software such as the Launcher, Game Manager etc.

If Nokia announced at E3 that all its future Symbians would be able to run N-gage games, this would completely change the potential market for N-gage games, and make it much easier to attract developers.

webman2k
10-02-2005, 02:15 PM
"and confirmed Nokia would support the current generation of N-Gage to the end of 2005 at least."

That's a pretty scary statement. This better not mean that the next version of N-Gage will NOT be backwards compatible. I sincerely hope they don't shoot themselves in the foot. Many people have spent ons of money on games, and if they introduce a new model at the end of 2005, and cease support of the current model at that time - that's quite a short lifespan. There's no way I'm going to upgrade to a new model if none of my games work. Ideally, I'd like all of my s60 sis games to work also, as I've spent some money on those as well.

krisse
10-02-2005, 09:26 PM
"and confirmed Nokia would support the current generation of N-Gage to the end of 2005 at least."

That's a pretty scary statement. This better not mean that the next version of N-Gage will NOT be backwards compatible. There's no way I'm going to upgrade to a new model if none of my games work. Ideally, I'd like all of my s60 sis games to work also, as I've spent some money on those as well.

It's not scary at all!

When he said that statement in the original interview, he was talking about how many games they were releasing for the current generation of N-gage. "Stopping support" just means no longer publishing games for that generation, but it doesn't mean dropping backwards compatibility. Also note he said it was at least... he didn't say they WOULD be stopping in 2006.

Seeing as Nokia own 40% of Symbian and ALL of their smartphones (including the probable N-gage 2, the 7710 (http://www.nokia.com/phones/7710/)) run on Symbian, I'd bet all the money I have that the N-gage 2 will be backwards compatible with N-gage 1 games and will run sis games too. ;)

The N-gage 2 will just be the next version of Symbian with some faster hardware, so it should be able to run all the old symbian stuff but better. You might even see some increased frame rates on the old games!

The N-gage is a symbian device and symbian devices evolve like PCs rather than come in specific generations. N-gage 2 would be like a Pentium 4 with Windows XP compared to a first generation N-gage as a Pentium 2 with Windows 98. They're the same OS, and the older games will run on the newer system.

Your PC can run old PC games because the system itself didn't change completely, it just got better. Symbian is the same.

rootytooty
22-02-2005, 06:44 AM
Speaking of new machines and upgrades---does anyone know there have been any firmware upgrades to the QD please????? It works great as is, but I have seen words on it in various places.
I wonder what the new N-gage would have that we don't have now.
Thanks,
Bobby

kikik
27-02-2005, 04:31 PM
"and confirmed Nokia would support the current generation of N-Gage to the end of 2005 at least."

That's a pretty scary statement. This better not mean that the next version of N-Gage will NOT be backwards compatible. I sincerely hope they don't shoot themselves in the foot. Many people have spent ons of money on <B style="color:black;background-color:#A0FFFF">games</B>, and if they introduce a new model at the end of 2005, and cease support of the current model at that time - that's quite a short lifespan. There's no way I'm going to upgrade to a new model if none of my <B style="color:black;background-color:#A0FFFF">games</B> work. Ideally, I'd like all of my s60 <B style="color:black;background-color:#ffff66">sis </B><B style="color:black;background-color:#A0FFFF">games</B> to work also, as I've spent some money on those as well.