Nokia vice president for corporate strategy Antti Vasara has admitted that the N-Gage hybrid mobile phone/console has not been the success that the company hoped, and that no new versions of the handheld are currently being planned.
Speaking to technology website VNUNet, Vasara admitted that, "N-Gage is still being sold, but it was not a success in the sense of developing a new category. We learnt that people want to play games on all devices. As such we are integrating the gaming software into Series 60 phones."
The two iterations of the format, the original N-Gage and newer N-Gage QD were projected to sell more than six million units in the three years since its launch, but have only managed around two million, according to the company. Hardware will continue to be produced, though, primarily for the Chinese and Indian markets. New software titles will also continue to be released for the format, too, continuing recent announcements
of exclusive Nokia-commissioned games.
Although it is unclear what will happen to the N-Gage brand in the long term, Nokia has not given up on the games industry entirely. According to Vasara, the company will concentrate on music and video content for the next few years, returning to mobile gaming as a focus in 2007. With Vasara citing improvements in screen technology as a reason to wait, the implication is that the company will again produce a primarily games focused handset at that time.