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November 29, 2007

Nokia in November - Bill Plummer on the Future of N-Gage

by Darla Mack

My apologies for these segments not being on time.  My initial idea was to get a series of segments out for this month, but of course you can't change things from happening.

Plummer My first topic in this segment has been changed to "The Future of N-Gage" and my guest is Mr. William Plummer, Vice President, Multimedia Sales and Channel Management.

What was or is the original concept of the N-Gage platform and why was it made into something separate then a device?

The concept of N-Gage has actually not changed from the beginning. While the physical form has changed from a device to a platform, the core promise remains the same. N-Gage is about online multiplayer gaming, which is exemplified by N-Gage Arena. What has always made N-Gage so exciting is the promise of connecting people through play - and that is only enhanced by the ability to deliver N-Gage across a range of devices.

Do you feel that the original N-Gage was successful?  Why?

While the N-Gage device may not have sold in the quantities that we had initially hoped, there are many factors that allow us to call it a success. First of all, original N-Gage owners have been fiercely loyal to their devices - finding the mobile gaming experience something they are not willing to part with. Secondly, the advent of N-Gage Arena introduced the concept of mobile multiplayer gaming to nearly 700,000 users - a concept which is a central part of the new N-Gage experience. Finally, the developer relationships that Nokia built with the original N-Gage have continued, and are allowing us to bring a large, compelling library of games to the new N-Gage platform.

What is the future of N-Gage?

The future of N-Gage is based on delivering a superior game playing experience across many devices devices as a platform - rather than as a stand alone device. This will allow more people to enjoy the N-Gage experience, become part of the N-Gage community, and help grow the market for new and exciting N-Gage titles.

How can an existing N-Gage(classic) user see this as a positive step towards the future of mobile gaming?

The base of N-Gage users has been eagerly anticipating the next generation of the N-Gage platform. They are excited to see how we are expanding on the original promise of online multiplayer gaming, and to be able to continue their mobile gaming experience on new devices that include the newest wireless features like 3G connectivity, Wi-Fi and GPS.

It’s been sad that the N-Gage application will be available for Nseries devices only, what about Eseries or S40?

N-Gage will not be limited to NSeries devices - many of our upcoming S60 3rd edition devices will be N-Gage compatible. However, at this time, there are no plans for N-Gage to be supported on S40 devices.

If there was one thing that you could say about the new N-Gage platform what would it be?

You know it's hard for me to just say one thing - but if I have to - that one thing would be that N-Gage is not just about playing games - it's about being part of a community - and I'm excited that the new N-Gage platform will be available across multiple devices and will allow more people to be part of that community.

How will the N-Gage platform be advertised to new and  existing users?

You will begin to see a number of launch activities - targeted specifically at people who own compatible devices as we launch N-Gage later this year.

Will purchasing games be a global experience, or will the US have to wait awhile?

The availability of N-Gage games will be a global experience - allowing people around the world to simultaneously begin to connect through play.

And of course… when will N-Gage be available ?

We expect to go live with N-Gage before the end of the year. I personally can't wait!

My thanks to Mr. Plummer for taking out the time to get these questions answered, and hopefully sharing a bit of insight for my readers.

Since I will be attending NokiaWorld next week I will have to name the next segment "Nokia in December", but that shouldn't be too hard. :)

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Mobile Diva Darla Mack has rounded off November by putting together a nifty interiew on the future of NGage. Those of you keen to learn more about the platform should have at least some of your questions answered, and hopefully pick up a bit of new inf... [Read More]

Comments

PseudoFinn

I actually looking forward to the N-Gage platform for once. I hadn't really in the past- but the reasoning behind switching up from a device to a platform really makes sense, and makes it more viable in my opinion. The core of N-Gage as Bill Plummer says, the online multiplaying, is key. There's a ton of devices already on the market and in the hands of consumers that will be able to jump into N-Gage right away without the purchase of a new device. As he says, this is central to the new N-Gage experience- the huge consumer base that already exists to get mobile multiplayer gaming going.

I'm pretty pumped. Can't wait for it now. Thanks, Darla. :)

pravijn

Thanks Darla.

Did he mean end of this year or 2008?

Darla

@pravijn,

The end of this year. God could you imagine waiting until the end of 2008!

pravijn

he he
phew!

i have the US version so I don't have the new n95 update and so was skeptical if it was this year or the next

I wish Nokia would be faster about such things

Nick

Cheers Darla, great interview.

I think N-Gage is a great project and I'm glad they've done away with the independent console idea. I think think the rumoured Playstation phone will stand a better chance of grabbing the public's attention, but I'll certainly be checking out N-gage

Nick

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