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

18 August 2019
This phone was ahead of its time, offering MMORPGs during the height of the genre's fame, but it failed to vanquish Nintendo's GBA.

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zillion, 19 Aug 2019You mean nokia ngage qd?No they are right. Yes there was the Nokia QD a revamped N Gauge and also the Sony Xperia play, because I have one and I also have bothe the N Gauge and the QD.

Great phone but too complex for the year of releasement.

  • Jim

SunnyB, 20 Aug 2019Although the N-Gage was marketed as a gaming phone, it was the N... more- Not advertised as a gaming phone.
- Resistive touch screen still wasn't great for games.
- It runs Symbian series 90 instead of series 60. Not many games support it.

It's really wasn't build for gaming. But I get your point. I can see a lot of design queue comes form n-gage series.

My first true smartphone
- Multitasking
- Messenger
- Music player
- Video player
- lots of other third party apps
- Games
That included Worms world party online (YES ONLINE, with 1G/GSM wtv)

This was 2003. They made fun of me because of the funny phoning position, i made fun of them cause i was living the future :)

  • Carol

stobs, 20 Aug 2019i liked symbian but it was too slow. probably due to using low e... moreMaybe you need to research how was the other devices in those times...

Although the N-Gage was marketed as a gaming phone, it was the Nokia 7710 that was the precursor hardware design to the modern gaming phone. It had touch screen, landscape display with large aspect ratio, no 1-9 keys, bumper buttons, and top-end (for the time) video and audio.

  • TuPapi

Miguelos2, 19 Aug 2019No, you shouldn't. With the speed of the processors of these yea... moreI'm using the note 8 and the sd 835 can't emulate PS2 games properly. 3ds and ps Vita emulators is what I want to test in the future since I already finished my pirate library of psx, psp and ds games xd

  • Aps25

I still have this phone. Unfortunately it doesn't work. I wish it can be made to work somehow.
Also this article does not do justice to the phone. This.phone was ultimate in gaming. FIFA, ghost recon, tom Clancy splinter cell, Rayman, wow so many awesome games.

  • pajson89

Nokia was years ahead of all icrap ,zam zung and wauwei

  • stobs

Carol, 20 Aug 2019I give you right in many of what you say, but Symbian was too ad... morei liked symbian but it was too slow. probably due to using low end hardware only but its nokia's fault again for not pairing it with high-end hardware. as i recall, the first nokia symbian phone with a 1ghz processor was the nokia 808. imagine how much time it took nokia to get to that point!

  • Carol

Kangal, 19 Aug 2019Nokia was killed twice. First, when they signed on with those g... moreI give you right in many of what you say, but Symbian was too advanced for the mass, too conplicated and the "dungs" were kind of affraid of it. Henche MeeGo, with a very intuitive UI and still very feature rich. Well, that was, i wait to see whats next

  • Anonymous

I was too busy playing my GBA to care about this gaming smartphone. I don't think I would've had as much fun playing games on the N-Gage as I did playing GBA games like Super Mario Advance, Mario Kart: Super Circuit, Metroid Fusion, Castlevania: Circle of the Moon, Golden Sun, etc. A lot of classic games from my childhood were ported to Nintendo's handheld video game console too. The latest so-called gaming smartphones will fail like the N-Gage did because of a very poor and/or limited selection of fun, original, high quality games.

  • SailfishOS

Kangal, 19 Aug 2019Nokia was killed twice. First, when they signed on with those g... moreAfter they abandoned the Meego OS, the developer continued the project and made the Sailfish OS but nobody seems to care about the Sailfish OS.

  • JvGamer

Anonymous, 19 Aug 2019Competitors always had more powerful/ahead of time features vs. ... morePeople will always comeback to the Heroes of the Gaming world. The (FAST) Obese Italian Plumber & his Underweight Brother, a Reckless, Mute Elf with a green hat (TALKS TO A VERY SUSPISIOUS OLD MAN IN A DARK CAVE). The FIRST HOTTEST sprite-based main character in the history of Gaming(BTW this chick is a Psychopath). The obviously not King Kong, And Many others. You can't replace history especially if they value their fans at heart. (Good thing people forgot the other Mario minigames, He's a monster)

  • WieX

Kangal, 19 Aug 2019Nokia was killed twice. First, when they signed on with those g... moreWhat NOKIA should have done back then is to adopt Android, that's it. Sony Ericsson had a good start with Android, Samsung and HTC were booming with Android. NOKIA still had a good brand name back then and everyone was waiting NOKIA to release Android devices, but they never did. So, people was looking at Sony Ericsson devices, but SE was also too cocky of their success and never included IPS display on their devices.

It was fun watching all these company journey from a successful brand to a shameful one.

Carol, 19 Aug 2019Yeah, Nokias plans were great, to use Meego for flagships that w... moreNokia was killed twice.
First, when they signed on with those greedy guys from Intel. Intel promised to partner and make MeeGo properly so that it becomes an ecosystem that will run on both ARM and x86 platforms. Unbeknownst to Nokia was that Intel was running into troubles with their Fabs and Atom processors, and there was very little aid from Intel for the MeeGo Project.... in fact, they were a hindrance.

Secondly, Nokia was killed when they decided to internally treat their Symbian and OVI ecosystems are garbage, complained MeeGo wasn't progressing fast enough, and that they had to sign Microsoft since Android would've meant brand dissolve/suicide. The board members bought this lie, and the MeeGo Project was cancelled, and the company was prepared for acquisition by Microsoft.

Since hindsight is 20/20, how should have Nokia acted during early 2009 ??
- Firstly, they should have partnered with Nvidia. These guys are competent with software, and they could've focused on the Graphics portion. They're also experienced in making their own ARM chipsets and also developing x86 systems. Worse comes to worse, they could have partnered with AMD instead.

- Secondly, they needed to double-down on the development of the new ecosystem (let's call this alternate version NUX) and held-up the Nokia brand. Imagine a 2010 phone with the hardware of the HTC EVO, but running an Operating System far more efficient than Android and more like iOS. And with a User Interface more advanced. It would've been a hit. On top of that, most Android titles could be ported over using an Automatic-Converting Tool. And Nokia could've enticed App Developers by stating that Nokia will instead only ask for 20% commission, but the first three years will be free. Boom, instant AppStore.

- Thirdly, Nokia would simply need to keep up. That means using the largest batteries, the latest chipsets, the latest screens, the latest cameras, the latest build materials. And keeping the NUX ecosystem between the feature-set of iOS and Android, and the "Software Efficiency" also between iOS and Android. And before you know it, there are variants running NUX based on the likes of: Sony-Ericsson Xperia Arc, Samsung Galaxy S2, LG Optimus 2X, Motorola Milestone 2, HTC Sensation, ZTE Skate, Alcatel OT980, Dell Venue, Lenovo A60, Acer Liquid-E, Sharp Aquos SH80, Philips W920, Panasonic Eluga... maybe even a RIM Torch.

  • nok

Anonymous, 19 Aug 2019Nokia will never comeback! RIPnokia will be in your phone even that you cannot see nokia brand unto it

Al-Aqsa Lover, 19 Aug 2019I summarized my feelings in a single phrase. I hate Android gam... moreAndroid phone has Moded game and app apk features use it and enjoy. This is the beauty of Android unlike 🍎.

  • Anonymous

Competitors always had more powerful/ahead of time features vs. Gameboys. Think of Sega Game Gear, Atari Lynx, Neo Geo Pocket etc. And yet it was always Gameboy that won people's hearts. Even the powerful PSP was outsold by DS.

  • Miguelos2

TuPapi, 19 Aug 2019Still waiting for a Xperia Play 2 since 2012 :/. I'm thinking of... moreNo, you shouldn't. With the speed of the processors of these years, even a Samsung S8 is much better in value than an Asus if you want to use emulators, for example PSP. Tip free.