Flashback: Nokia N-Gage – the gaming telephone ahead of its time

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Occasionally a enterprise launches the ideal solution at the incorrect time. The Nokia N-Gage is remembered just as a failure currently, but seeing how in 2019 firms are tripping more than themselves to launch gaming phones, it’s tough not to wonder if perhaps Nokia was on to one thing.

The N-Gage was released in 2003 as a competitor to Nintendo’s Game Boy Advance (2001). In quite a few techniques it was a superior solution, but in other techniques it was deeply flawed. Amongst these flaws was the price tag – $300 was a substantial premium more than the $100 Game Boy.

Flashback: Nokia N-Gage

Nokia wasn’t promoting just a transportable console, although, it was a completely-featured Symbian smartphone that had comparable hardware to the Nokia 3650, which was pushing $400. It had a camera and the N-Gage didn’t, but nonetheless, the $200 premium more than the Nintendo purchased you a device with telephony, messaging and apps. Nonetheless to make a contact, you had to hold the N-Gage in such an awkward way that it undoubtedly wasn’t the ideal telephone.

As a console, the N-Gage had a more rapidly processor than the GBA, but the screen was smaller sized and decrease resolution – two.1” 176 x 208px vs. Game Boy’s two.9” 240 x 160px screen. Crucially, the Nintendo console had much more comfy controls.

But in terms of guarantee, the Nokia N-Gage was far ahead. It supplied nearby multiplayer more than Bluetooth with no added hardware. Two Game Boy Advance consoles could be connected more than a GameLink cable or a wireless adapter, but that was much less easy.

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Nokia N-Gage&#13
Nintendo Game Boy Advance&#13

Nokia N-Gage vs. Nintendo Game Boy Advance

The N-Gage also had multiplayer more than the World wide web. In reality, one particular of the ideal-promoting games for the platform, Pocket Kingdom: Personal the Globe was an a massively multiplayer on the net game released in 2004. The identical year that Globe of Warcraft came out and shattered sales records with 240,000 through the very first 24 hours in the US alone.

Flashback: Nokia N-Gage

Battle Royale games weren’t a issue back then, WoW was the Fortnite of its day. Pocket Kingdom wasn’t the hot house that WoW was, on the other hand, and couldn’t be utilized to push sales of the Nokia console. Nonetheless, millions played WoW back then and millions much more are playing Fortnite on their phones currently – if history had taken a distinctive turn, the N-Gage could have been the leading smartphone in all the planet.

The reality was really the opposite, Nokia struggled to sell games. The Finns anticipated to sell six million games in 3 years, they only managed three million. Which sounds even worse thinking about that’s how quite a few N-Gage phones Nokia sold – three million. Fundamentally, the typical owner purchased 1 game (and possibly got a couple of freebies).

In the finish, the Game Boy Advance outsold the Nokia N-Gage 100:1 in the weeks just after the phone’s release. Lifetime sales are a modest 27:1 in favor of the Nintendo. In hindsight, the notion of the N-Gage was brilliant. The execution was a failure for the history books.

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