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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  • 20 Aug 2019

Kangal, 19 Aug 2019Nokia was killed twice. First, when they signed on with th... 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 t... 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.

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      • Trj
      • 19 Aug 2019

      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 Androi... moreAndroid phone has Moded game and app apk features use it and enjoy. This is the beauty of Android unlike 🍎.

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          • Anonymous
          • nx1
          • 19 Aug 2019

          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.

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            • Miguelos2
            • L57
            • 19 Aug 2019

            TuPapi, 19 Aug 2019Still waiting for a Xperia Play 2 since 2012 :/. I'm thinki... 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.

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              • Anonymous
              • Q5i
              • 19 Aug 2019

              Nokia will never comeback! RIP

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                • Carol
                • mVu
                • 19 Aug 2019

                luvdebyn, 18 Aug 2019Yesss agree on it. .. . . Meego /maemo was something Nokia ... moreYeah, Nokias plans were great, to use Meego for flagships that will have cross-platform apps with symbian and they could also open a door for apk's if necessery...MeeGo was an linux based system' They had it all figured out till Eflop the Mole came in and dismembered the whole company while luring it's greedy shareholders towards a "great" future: Called, sell all, and take the money.

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                  • TuPapi
                  • Mh%
                  • 19 Aug 2019

                  imparanoic, 19 Aug 2019nokia didn't understand what gamers wanted on their Nokia N... moreStill waiting for a Xperia Play 2 since 2012 :/. I'm thinking of buying the Asus Rog 2, it has everything I want but the physical game keyboard, great for playing emulators on the go.

                    nokia didn't understand what gamers wanted on their Nokia N-Gage, apple learnt the same thing with their failed apple pippin a few years before, it's only when sony ericsson released that xperia play that the design for gaming was sufficiently decent for gamers, shame, very little support, but it was a decent phone for gaming for emulation.

                      wasox, 19 Aug 2019Besides this model, there was another nokia device for gami... moreYou mean nokia ngage qd?

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                        • wasox
                        • 8V{
                        • 19 Aug 2019

                        Besides this model, there was another nokia device for gaming, its name was a numeric one, I dont remember it, but I was able to handle it in a sam's club store, but it was expensive for me in those days...

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                          • Anonymous
                          • YR9
                          • 19 Aug 2019

                          Piracy. Piracy killed it.

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                            • Fayth
                            • dMT
                            • 19 Aug 2019

                            and it doesn't heat up when playing games

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                              • Anonymous
                              • KSu
                              • 19 Aug 2019

                              Claudesp33d, 18 Aug 2019What's funny, is that most of games available for ngage are... moreJust install an emulator.
                              PS3, Xbox, Nintendo. Stop whining.

                                Franceso , 18 Aug 2019"Sometimes a company launches the right product at the wron... moreI summarized my feelings in a single phrase.
                                I hate Android games with its stupid ads and in-app purchases.

                                  Nokia N-Gage: The perfect phone to have for Taco Tuesdays.

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                                    • Amr
                                    • Nrk
                                    • 18 Aug 2019

                                    Nokia was so inovative remember n8 e7 all shaoes of sliding parts a 41m camera offline maps was no 1 for a long time until Android arrive a bit slow to move to Android made everything go bad

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                                      • luvdebyn
                                      • YMs
                                      • 18 Aug 2019

                                      Hemedans, 18 Aug 2019Elop pushed Symbian to death, it was neither Android nor io... moreYesss agree on it. .. . . Meego /maemo was something Nokia was developing. And if u look closely few of the hints in android were taken from Maemo/Meego. .I still remember using a Nokia N9 courtesy my friend and it was super smooth and fast with so low hardware. .
                                      Ngage was one beast at that time . Badluck no proper gaming stuff at that time . .

                                        What's funny, is that most of games available for ngage are much better than the whole playstore games library ....
                                        Ashen, glimmerati, pathway to glory, virtua cop... crash bandicoot, high seize... one.. and several other games