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History of video games/Platforms/N-Gage

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History[edit | edit source]

Development[edit | edit source]

The old Nokia Headquarters in Espoo, Finland.

Prototype N-Gage units were styled differently from production models.[1] Prior to launch there was a degree of skepticism about the N-Gage.[2]

Launch[edit | edit source]

The N-Gage launched on October 7th, 2003 as a game console and mobile phone combination.[3][4] The N-Gage cost $400 USD.[5]

Reception to the N-Gage was lukewarm. At launch it was panned by the press.[6] The form factor of the N-Gage lead it to being nicknamed the "Taco Phone" by the public.[7][8]

The improved N-Gage QD was launched in 2004.[9]

Legacy[edit | edit source]

Nokia N-Gage at E3 2005.
Nokia N-Gage at E3 2006.

Unable to find success as either a phone or console, the N-Gage was discontinued in 2005.[4]The N-Gage was fully discontinued in 2009.[9]

The N-Gage ultimately sold 3 million units and 3 million games.[5]

Later on, the N-Gage would become a symbol of an unusual era in mobile gaming. In contemporary media, the N-Gage is typically referenced either wistfully,[10] or satirically,[11] depending on the tone of the work.

Technology[edit | edit source]

Compute[edit | edit source]

The N-Gage and the N-Gage QD used an ARM architecture 920T processor clocked at 104 megahertz.[12][13]

The N-Gage and N-Gage QD both ran Symbian 6.1 as their operating system.[12][13]

The N-Gage and N-Gage QD both supported Bluetooth 1.1.[12][13]

Technical Flaws[edit | edit source]

Like other Symbian devices, the N-Gage would become unbootable when the user partition was filled, resulting in the White Screen of Death.[14]

Notable games[edit | edit source]

Gallery[edit | edit source]

N-Gage[edit | edit source]

N-Gage QD[edit | edit source]

N-Gage Internals[edit | edit source]

N-Gage QD Internals[edit | edit source]

Power Supply[edit | edit source]

Nokia N-Gage Power Supply

Marketing[edit | edit source]

Notes[edit | edit source]

  • N-Gage is noted to sound like "Engage".[15]

External Resources[edit | edit source]

References[edit | edit source]

  1. "I Got a Prototype Nokia N-Gage | Rare Retro Handheld Game System History" (in en). https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=B7ai51gMeL4. 
  2. "Will Nokia's N-Gage engage the competition?" (in en). ZDNet. February 6, 2003. https://www.zdnet.com/article/will-nokias-n-gage-engage-the-competition/. 
  3. "N-Gage Launch - IGN" (in en). https://www.ign.com/articles/2003/10/08/n-gage-launch. Retrieved 4 November 2020. 
  4. a b "10.2 The Evolution of Electronic Games" (in en). Understanding Media and Culture. University of Minnesota Libraries Publishing edition, 2016. This edition adapted from a work originally produced in 2010 by a publisher who has requested that it not receive attribution.. https://open.lib.umn.edu/mediaandculture/chapter/10-2-the-evolution-of-electronic-games/. Retrieved 25 October 2020. 
  5. a b "Flashback: Nokia N-Gage - the gaming phone ahead of its time". GSMArena.com. https://www.gsmarena.com/flashback_nokia_ngage-news-38735.php. Retrieved 26 October 2020. 
  6. Kent, Steven (30 October 2003). "N-Gage fails to engage". The Japan Times. https://www.japantimes.co.jp/life/2003/10/30/digital/n-gage-fails-to-engage/. 
  7. Lewis, Peter (8 December 2003). "Hold On, My Taco is Ringing Nokia says it has the phone for Gen Y: N-Gage offers voice, gaming, and music, all for $300 and in a taco shape. Question: Has Nokia gone insane? - December 8, 2003". money.cnn.com. https://money.cnn.com/magazines/fortune/fortune_archive/2003/12/08/355130/. 
  8. "Failed_Product_Nokia". Museum of Failure. 12 April 2019. https://museumoffailure.com/nokia/. 
  9. a b McCaskill, Steve (22 September 2017). "Tales In Tech History: Nokia N-Gage". https://www.silicon.co.uk/mobility/smartphones/nokia-n-gage-222131. Retrieved 13 November 2020. 
  10. Minkov, Rado. "How engaging was the Nokia N-Gage? – Odd Phone Mondays". Phone Arena. https://www.phonearena.com/news/how-engaging-was-nokia-n-gage-odd-phone-mondays_id134032. 
  11. Overell, Clancy (10 December 2017). "Nokia Still Not Sure Why The N-Gage Didn't Take Off" (in en-AU). The Betoota Advocate. https://www.betootaadvocate.com/uncategorized/nokia-still-not-sure-n-gage-didnt-take-off/. 
  12. a b c "Nokia N-Gage - Full phone specifications". https://www.gsmarena.com/nokia_n_gage-390.php. Retrieved 13 November 2020. 
  13. a b c "Nokia N-Gage QD - Full phone specifications". https://www.gsmarena.com/nokia_n_gage_qd-748.php. Retrieved 13 November 2020. 
  14. "Fix Your Nokia’s White Screen Of Death". Hackaday. 9 May 2021. https://hackaday.com/2021/05/09/fix-your-nokias-white-screen-of-death/. 
  15. "The Failure Awards for defunct branding | #3 Nokia N-Gage". The Drum. https://www.thedrum.com/news/2017/08/29/the-failure-awards-defunct-branding-3-nokia-n-gage.