All About Symbian - Nokia (S60) and Sony Ericsson (UIQ) smartphones unwrapped

Old 12-11-2008, 08:29 AM
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Latest AAS Podcast - Doom and Gloom - a rant!


Just a quick note to say great podcast, full of facts, figures and ... shock horror... disagreement. A namecheck in the previous AAS podcast too, you're flattering me!

I'd like to think that I generally shout my mouth off about it offering an opinion about something and going with gut feel rather than hard, solid cold facts. So the news about the NGage take up came as a bit of a shock in that it kind of echo'd an earlier post of mine about NGage being on death row (

I've been invited to a Research Panel this Friday to discuss Nokia's online service but I suspect the main topic will be NGage. I may not be able to attend which would be a shame.

I'd just like to echo Ewan's take that to me, Nokia are in real crisis management with NGage. 400k take-up, no matter how you interpret it, is an appalling bad figure. Rafe - sure, another year to let the platform to mature - maybe, but a year is a lifetime in this market and simply, there is no time for NGage to mature. It needs a radical re-invention, especially in lightof the comments from the head of EA regarding the revenues from iPhone (see, that's the Insight we pay... ahem, appreciate you guys for!)

The Research Panel was a result of an online survey I took regarding NGage and so many questions revolved around the UI, how easy it was to do this, how difficult it was to do that with the NGage client... (I won't reiterate - all in my original post). Sure, it asked questions about installing the NGage client, but I think too much attention is paid to that aspect to attribute to the lack of take up. Fundamentally:

1. The UI is awful. Hard to Navigate, find what you want, see what's new.

2. When you do find the 'marketplace' the lack of titles is limited. OK I freely admit I'm not a big games player but I do like a good strategy game. Oh and anything to do with Star Wars.

3. The preview of a game is dreadful. How long did I wait for The Force Unleashed to come out and think 'okay, this may be the first game I actually pay and download from Ngage'? But after playing the preview level, learning a shameful control system and then to find out that the real game only consisted of 5 or 6 more levels like it - nah, not for me!

Steve hit it on the head with Java games, partially for the same reasons I have, partially not. Sure they don't utilise the full power of the S60 platform, but hell they are simple to install and just work! To me, they are the Wiii of the mobile gaming world - generally simple and playable. I want to download a game, have it placed in the 'Games' folder on my phone and be up and running inside a minute when I want a quck play. The Ngage client just adds complexity, delay and very little in the way of functionality that anyone seems to be using and therefore value.

I think Nokia have set themselves a pointless task with Ovi. Do people really want one all-encompassing portfolio of integrated online services via one portal, or do they simply want the best of everything that is available? I'd KILL to be able to play Mob Wars on Facebook via a nice, S60 client.

Boy, have I gone on in this post... I'll end it hear by saying that NGage should be and will be put out of its misery and we'll see a Nokia Gamestore in its place.


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