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Portables (Games) Entertainment Games

Nokia Admits N-Gage Sales Below Expectations 54

Thanks to the UK Financial Times for its article discussing Nokia's first public acknowledgment that the Nokia N-Gage 'mobile game deck' has not performed to expectations. According to the article: "'The sales are in the lower quartile of the bracket we had as our goal,' Jorma Ollila, the Finnish group's chairman and chief executive told the FT.", and it was further noted that "Nokia has set a target of selling 9m of the devices in the first two years, but the company has now corroborated early evidence from game stores that sales have been sluggish." Nokia had previously reported positive results in the short post-launch period, despite apparent evidence to the contrary, but the FT article ends with the Nokia chairman's comments that "the N-Gage had to be given until November 2005 before it could be judged a success or failure."
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Nokia Admits N-Gage Sales Below Expectations

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  • Final Comment (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Landaras ( 159892 ) <neil@we h n e m a n . c om> on Monday February 23, 2004 @03:25AM (#8360453) Homepage
    Did anyone else who RTFA (don't worry, it's short) notice this gem at the end (emphasis mine)...

    Commenting on Nokia's recent decision to lift its stake in Symbian, the leading smartphone operating system, to 63.3 per cent after moving to buy a 31.1 per cent stake from Psion, Mr Ollila stressed that Symbian would continue to be run as an independent company.

    As in, yes we promise that we won't screw Symbian up as badly as we screwed up this whole N-Gage thing...

    - Neil Wehneman
  • Re:Give it (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday February 23, 2004 @03:31AM (#8360471)
    Also don't forget to fix that ridiculous non-standard screen. What were they thinking []?
  • What went wrong (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Kris_J ( 10111 ) * on Monday February 23, 2004 @03:49AM (#8360520) Homepage Journal
    I'm sure that most people's lists of what Nokia did wrong with the N-Gage is as long as my arm, but there were only two basic mistakes.
    • Focussing on gamers while producing patronising advertising for that very group.
    • DRM -- specifically, rigging games to only play on the N-Gage, from an MMC card with no way to install them on a bug MMC flash card or play them on other perfectly capable phones in the same family
    The N-Gage's layout is perfect for games, while its Symbian Series 60 OS is a really nice smartphone OS. For some, it's the best S60 option because you can buy it off-plan and unlocked. For others it's the best S60 because it's the cheapest.

    If Nokia had just released it quietly as a gaming-oriented S60 phone and the games had been available on CD and MMC, then it would probably have exceeded all expectations and been the homebrew (game) programmer's phone of choice.

  • Taco Phones (Score:5, Insightful)

    by BrookHarty ( 9119 ) on Monday February 23, 2004 @04:03AM (#8360556) Homepage Journal
    I really thought the phone was cool, untill you I saw someone use one, they hold it like a taco. WTF was Nokia thinking!? Same with the Nokia 3300, nice display and full keypad, but its a Taco phone.

    Really, great features, but you fell like a dork using one. I think the best phone from Nokia right now is the 3620, normal dialpad, cameraphone, and tons of features.

    Myself, I want a sony P900, no thumb board (for ssh). :(

  • Re:What went wrong (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Frac ( 27516 ) on Monday February 23, 2004 @05:28AM (#8360758)
    No, the two basic mistakes were:

    1) You have to turn off the N-Gage, and take out the cover and battery in order to CHANGE GAMES. Not to mention the fragile games were the size of a triscuit.

    2) Anyone using an N-Gage as a phone will look like an idiot holding a taco sideways [].
  • Re:November 2004? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Irish-DnB ( 161087 ) * on Monday February 23, 2004 @06:24AM (#8360914) Homepage
    I actually think it'll be the other way around. A friend of mine owns one and it is so awkward to use as a phone that it's only real use is as a console.
  • by fwitness ( 195565 ) on Monday February 23, 2004 @08:15AM (#8361151)
    "...the N-Gage had so many design flaws and stupid decisions I can't even begin to count them..."

    My problem is with the poor design decisions, not with the design flaws. The N-Gage doesn't seem to have any real flaws, just conscious improper choices. The original PS2 had design flaws, i.e. with not playing DVDs, lasers going bad etc. However, having to disassemble the phone to change games is something they actually discussed and felt comfortable with.

    That's what I can't stand. It's one thing to hear someone say something stupid. They may not know better, but when a group of people choose to be ridiculous, well, my sympathy goes way down.
  • Re:Specs... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by polyp2000 ( 444682 ) on Monday February 23, 2004 @08:28AM (#8361185) Homepage Journal
    A few days ago I dropped my old 7650 which consequently bust it. I upgraded to a 6600. From what I can see the internal architecture and memory capacity is pretty much the same. Hence my joy of joys when I swapped memory cards with an N-Gage owner down the pub last night. Using the Blizzard Install application was able to play Tony Hawks and Sonic on my phone that doesnt look like a taco! I havent tried any of the others yet but suspect favorable results.

    nick ...
  • Re:What went wrong (Score:2, Insightful)

    by ooby ( 729259 ) on Monday February 23, 2004 @01:56PM (#8363756)
    DRM is nothing new to consoles. Try putting your NES carts in your X-BOX, or your Dreamcast CDs in your Game Cube.

COMPASS [for the CDC-6000 series] is the sort of assembler one expects from a corporation whose president codes in octal. -- J.N. Gray