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+ Nokia Is Working On Touch Screen Support For N-Gage!

01 Nowember 2008

Touchscreen Optimized N-Gage
Application To Be Rolled Out Next Year!?!

Nokia 5800 gaming

The touchscreen phone can be a really fun gaming device, it is great for a lot of games but unfortunately when you touch it doesn’t touch you back and therefore it is generally not well-suited to serious game play, nothing can fully replicate the feel and feedback of the hardware keys in terms of productivity and the gameplay!

Touchscreen is great for various board, card, chess and similar slow motion games, it’ even OK for point and click adventure and RPG games, for motion based labyrinths but hardcore gamers and fans of fighting, shooting, racing and other key smashing genres will be disappointed!

The lack of any other hardware buttons is a big barricade to gaming and I am pretty sure that serious gamers will not be happy with on screen and motion based controls.

OK, maybe I’m wrong, maybe I'm just old-school and lack of dedicated hardware buttons maybe even isn’t a fatal issue, but it certainly creates a challenge for both developers and gamers because both are forced to use the accelerometer and touchscreen rather than a traditional hardware controls. Some kind of external Bluetooth controller like Zeemote can be pretty handy solution but it is totally different story!

Another problem with games on the Nokia 5800 is the lack of the 3D hardware acceleration and dedicated GPU. Such huge high-definition screen requires powerful hardware to process and run high quality action games without negative effect on the gameplay. Actually I juts hope that upcoming high-end touch device will be equipped with better and faster hardware, better screen and bunch of the hardware keys!

Anyway, good or not, Nokia is apparently working on touch screen support for N-Gage, and plans to roll out optimized version of the N-Gage client application earlier next year!

Kaidesoja said there would be close to 30 N-gage titles on offer by the end of the year, almost half of the amount planned when the service was launched six months ago. Jaakko Kaidesoja, head of Nokia's gaming operations told Reuters in an interview.

Kaidesoja said the firm will decide within a month whether to expand N-Gage support to a relatively old model, the Nokia N73. The phone has limited computing power, but Nokia has sold 20 million of them, making it the world's most sold smartphone.

We expect challenging times to continue. The overall gaming market is likely not growing," he said, but he said some parts of the market -- like pre-loaded games, emerging markets, N-Gage and iPhone -- would grow.

After its first, much-maligned foray into mobile gaming in 2003 Nokia, the world's top cellphone maker, relaunched N-Gage as a gaming service six months ago. So far it has grown slowly as users themselves have to install the service on their phones.

Kaidesoja said pre-installing the software in phones before they are sold and having a local billing system in place, beyond credit card payments, were the keys to reach wider takeup of the service.
The service has been so far the most popular in Britain, Italy, Germany, Australia and Spain, as local billing systems through operators have been available in those countries.

"We expect Asia to pick up next year," Kaidesoja said. In China, Nokia expects to sign a local billing deal by the end of this year, while in India it has decided to build up a retail presence to reach customers -- it aims for N-Gage games to reach 15,000-20,000 retail stores in the first quarter.

Nokia said players have created 400,000 personal profiles on the N-Gage Arena since the relaunch, and said there were more than 20 million N-Gage capable phones in use, but did not say how many people have bought N-Gage games.

The ONE - Digital Legends

Source: Reuters

Author: Teo


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