Nokia is going to be one of the main sponsors of GDC Mobile, the phone game part of the Game Developers Conference. GDC and GDC Mobile take place in San Francisco from the 5th to the 7th of March 2007. Nokia's Next Generation gaming platform is due to launch across a range of S60 3rd Edition smartphones some time in the first half of 2007, so a March sponsorship of a major gaming event would seem to be well-timed.
According to a report on Gamesindustry.biz, Nokia is to be joint sponsor along with PC World of the 2006 BAFTA Games Awards. Nokia will sponsor the Gameplay award which is voted for by members of the public, and is apparently carrying the N-Gage brand. This continued support for the name implies that they're going to continue using it with their Next Gen games service due to launch in the first half of 2007 on new Nokia S60 smartphones.
Nokia is talking to developers about its next generation of mobile gaming at GDC in San Diego. The new platform, evolving out of the N-Gage, will be based on S60 and we can expect to see the first devices supporting it in the first half of 2007. Nokia is also showcasing its SNAP Mobile solution which enables online and community-based Java gaming.