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Nokia Re-Iterates Support For N-Gage

Speaking at the Reuters Technology Summit, Nokia CFO Rick Simonson has re-iterated that the company has no intentions on giving up on the N-Gage handheld gaming brand, de...
Speaking at the Reuters Technology Summit, Nokia CFO Rick Simonson has re-iterated that the company has no intentions on giving up on the N-Gage handheld gaming brand, despite the company’s widening range of game content in its other mobile phone products. According to the Reuters news agency, Simonson once again moved to deny rumors that the company was winding down support for the N-Gage, saying that it made sense for Nokia to have both a dedicated gaming phone, as well as gaming features in its broader line-up. He refused to comment, however, on recent management changes in the N-Gage division, other than to mention that division head Gerard Weiner would be speaking at the Game Developers Conference next week. "We are a product company. That's a virtue, not an evil," said Simonson. "How we're going to play the gaming business across the whole portfolio is what you need to keep an eye on, and part of that is including with the N-Gage game decks, obviously." The N-Gage has so far been critically and commercially somewhat troubled, with the original model featuring several prominent design flaws, including the necessity to use the device as a phone by holding it on its side, and the need to remove the console’s battery in order to change games. A newer version of the hardware, called the N-Gage QD, was launched last year, fixing many of the problems, but it's unclear whether sales have been encouraging, even with more positively received games such as Pathway to Glory. Only 1.5 million N-Gage consoles have so far been sold, since 2003 – a figure which Simonson describes as "somewhat disappointing". "Our approach to this is, let's continue to take what we've learned, what we've done right, and where we need to make corrections, and that's in retail, in games development and in the deck itself," Simonson said. "Mobile gaming is here to stay, the question is how the value chain is created and who can take advantage of it," he said.

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