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N-Gage No Longer Relevant 248 (via Kotaku) has a story discussing a dire portent for the N-Gage. The Entertainment & Leisure Software Publishers Association sales charts will no longer reflect N-Gage sales. From the article: "The N-Gage chart, though still produced, is of little interest to anyone. Sales of the machine and its software have failed to make any impact on the market at all. We still keep sales charted and are available on monthly, quarterly and annual reports, though we have dropped the platform from the ELSPA chart following a lack of interest."
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N-Gage No Longer Relevant

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  • by Lindsay Lohan ( 847467 ) on Wednesday January 12, 2005 @04:02PM (#11339155) Homepage Journal
    Sales of the machine and its software have failed to make any impact on the market at all.
    I'd heard that a new version of the N-Gage hardware will be introduced before Nov. 2005 - possibly as early as September - although the platform will remain backwards compatible throughout. Although they will admit to slow sales [], sounds like Nokia is not quite ready to judge the N-Gage as a success or failure.

    I remember the same fatal pronouncements [] for Windows CE... four years ago.

    Then again, N-Gage really could be a dying platform.
    • by mgs1000 ( 583340 ) on Wednesday January 12, 2005 @04:11PM (#11339287) Journal
      Actually, Nokia just eliminated [] a bunch of the people working on N-Gage stuff.

      They are about to pull the plug on the whole damn thing.

      • by Anonymous Coward
        Actually, Nokia just eliminated a bunch of the people working on N-Gage stuff.

        That article does not say they were elimintated from the N-Gage project specifically.
        Nokia Corp., the world's biggest mobile phone maker, said Tuesday it plans to lay off "a few hundred" research and development workers globally, including up to 250 in Finland, in a move to cut costs
        Sounds like a good business move to me.
        • That article does not say they were elimintated from the N-Gage project specifically.

          Of course not. Why would Nokia give out that specific information? The cuts are announced to please the investors; specifying any more details would have no benefit for the company. But it's pretty obvious where the cuts are done, considering what multimedia products company is involved in, and especially lackluster sales.

          • **But it's pretty obvious where the cuts are done, considering what multimedia products company is involved in, and especially lackluster sales.**

            ok so.. tell us what multimedia products the company is involved in that are dumping?

            they do stuff like set top boxes for tv's as well. my bet is on that.

            any investments they're done to n-gage hw are things that would have been have to do anyways for other phones they got(excluding advertising of course, but then again they got a roll of money they're sitting o
      • actually you're just pulling stuff from your ass, they're just 250 random people from the multimedia department, nowhere does it say that it's the "ngage team" - i doub that they even don't have a "n-gage" team that big.

        ngage is just a little part of the whole symbian effort over at nokia, a byproduct if you will. 3650 with slapped on extra memory.

        of course, if you don't know anything about nokia you could assume so.... but then you could be ignorant enough to think that ngages advertising could have pull
        • i doub that they even don't have

          Well said, Bierce, well said. For what it's worth, the Nokia design team for the N-Gage hardware alone was almost 200 people, let alone the seven seperate development teams they had. Hell, their E3 staff was almost a hundred.

          actually you're just pulling stuff from your ass

          In that respect he's not alone.

          of course, if you don't know anything about nokia you could assume so

          This from someone which thinks a N-Gage is a 3650 plus ram, and doubts that Nokia maintains wha
    • by OverlordQ ( 264228 ) on Wednesday January 12, 2005 @04:13PM (#11339306) Journal
      Well Netcraft hasn't confirmed it, so I'd be wary of this story.

    • I'd heard that a new version of the N-Gage hardware will be introduced before Nov. 2005

      Let me guess... it will be called the "HO-Gage".

    • I remember the same fatal pronouncements for Windows CE

      You must be thinking of the well-established fact that Windows CE is usually a fatal disease for electronic hardware.
    • Then again, N-Gage really could be a dying platform.

      In order to be dying, it would need to once have been alive. This platform has been a two-generation mess, a debacle in nearly every aspect of its design, from its ludicrous control scheme and low quality screen to such excellent design decisions as placing the game cart underneath the battery. Even after the first industrial design joke should have taught them their lesson, they released a second sub-mediocre hardware spasm the likes of which made the
  • by grub ( 11606 ) <> on Wednesday January 12, 2005 @04:02PM (#11339156) Homepage Journal

    ...but "No Longer" suggests they once were.
  • Correction (Score:5, Funny)

    by checkitout ( 546879 ) on Wednesday January 12, 2005 @04:02PM (#11339161)
    Shouldn't the title read: N-Gage, Never Relevant
  • by aznxk3vi17 ( 465030 ) on Wednesday January 12, 2005 @04:04PM (#11339183)
    ...they took out sidetalking.

    I mean, COME ON! That was the best feature!
  • To Sum: (Score:4, Funny)

    by holzp ( 87423 ) on Wednesday January 12, 2005 @04:04PM (#11339190)
    The N-Gage is not EN-Gaging.
  • Well duh. (Score:5, Insightful)

    by AltGrendel ( 175092 ) <> on Wednesday January 12, 2005 @04:05PM (#11339195) Homepage
    What they probably should have done is license something that was alreay in the market, like a GBA or something.

    I couldn't see how a new platform like this would hit anything other than a small, unsustainable, niche market.

    • Re:Well duh. (Score:5, Informative)

      by gl4ss ( 559668 ) on Wednesday January 12, 2005 @04:31PM (#11339524) Homepage Journal
      they sort of did it. they 'licensed' their own platform, series 60 - and built the system over it. n-gage is a strong machine, not because of games(which have just gotten to good level of playability, actually - even reporters who have always hated ngage before have had to admit that), but because of all the series60 software available for it.

      from irc to web browsers to aim to rss readers to python support(can you script your gba with python? DIDN'T THINK SO!).

      does nintendo offer a sdk for download for free? no.
      does sony offer sdk for psp for normal people? no.

      nokia does, symbian may be a bitch of a platform to get into but it's open for everyone to get into, to port emulators, to code games for. you want to write a rss reader in python with c++ components? fine, do it, you're free to do just that.

      plus, some of the best games available for it are not 'n-gage' games, they're series60 games.

      (..and I doubt it being very expensive for them to produce, as hardware wise it is almost identical to the 3650, with the difference that n-gage has more ram)
      • Re:Well duh. (Score:3, Insightful)

        by countach ( 534280 )
        Exactly right. N-gage is a bloody brilliant phone, at a cheap price, that also happens to play some damned addictive games with full 3D graphics. Even without the games, n-gage is the best value phone on the market. But some of these games beat GB-Advance hands down. They may not beat Nintendo-DS, but hey this is a phone. You can actually stick the thing in your pocket.
        • What are you, a grass-roots advertiser? There is no phone in history which has been as thoroughly and universally mocked as the N-Gage. Even though three quarters of its game library are ports of very old games, somehow only three managed to maintain any level of quality (fifa soccer, worms and puyo pop, the latter two of which aren't exactly rocket science to write.)
          • Re:Well duh. (Score:3, Interesting)

            by Lemmy Caution ( 8378 )
            I got it as a phone a while ago. It's a Symbian Series 60 phone for a fraction of the price of others. My expectations of the N-Gage as a gaming device were minimal, to say the least.

            But I just picked up Pathways to Glory. It's impressive, an excellent game of considerable depth. Pocket Kingdoms also looks like a first-rate title.

            The way I look at it is - I need a phone, don't you? Why not this one? It's not the one gaming platform that everyone should have, but it could be the phone that every gamer sho
            • Re:Well duh. (Score:3, Insightful)

              by stonecypher ( 118140 ) *
              But I just picked up Pathways to Glory. It's impressive, an excellent game of considerable depth.

              Interesting. That's counter to what I was told, but I'll give it a shot.

              Pocket Kingdoms also looks like a first-rate title.

              That's because they've got good advertisers. The game is awful.

              The way I look at it is - I need a phone, don't you? Why not this one?

              Because my phone cost me thirty bucks and didn't tie me into a service contract, meaning that I was able to shop around for good rates; the idea th
          • What are you? A grass roots troll? There is not, and never was any reason to mock n-gage. Sure, most of the early games were crap, but then so are most of the early Sony PSP games, and who is mocking it?

            Nowdays, n-gage has heaps of awesome games, many of which are n-gage originals, with a bunch of exciting new games about to be released (like "One"). N-gage is awesome, go back to trolling somewhere else.
      • plus, some of the best games available for it are not 'n-gage' games, they're series60 games.

        Actually, Palladium Games Rifts was set to come out only on the N-Gage. It was the only phone title that I've ever looked forward to, and the only reason that I visited the N-Gage booth at e3 (but I also checked to see if they had bomberman in a pvp setup, which they didn't). I've since stopped following the development of that game after playing it at e3. No matter what K Siembieda says, it does not hold true to
      • Most people don't care if an SDK is available on a gaming platform, probably less than 0.1% actually care. If I want to play series60 games, I could get a regular phone rather than the cumbersome N-Gage.
        • this is supposed to be slashdot, "news for nerds"... if it's news for nerds how can free reignind 3rd party support "not matter"?

          n-gages happen to be the best phones for s60 gaming(for number of reasons, including that most other phones only have a effectively 4 way stick/pad, also ngages happen to be the cheapest entry.. also they happen to be the only one's with no camera if that floats your boat).

      • Re:Well duh. (Score:3, Interesting)

        by stonecypher ( 118140 ) *
        (can you script your gba with python? DIDN'T THINK SO!)

        Yes, actually, you can. The amateur gameboy community currently runs C, C++, Pascal, Object Pascal, Java, Forth, Python, Ruby, Scheme, Lua and god only knows how many flavors of assembly.

        Weren't you just telling someone else not to speak up about things they didn't know shinola about?

        does nintendo offer a sdk for download for free? no.

        To licensed developers, the SDK has been free since about June of last year, on the heels of the announcements a
      • Re:Well duh. (Score:4, Interesting)

        by mausmalone ( 594185 ) on Thursday January 13, 2005 @09:38AM (#11347651) Homepage Journal
        That's all well and good, and theoretically you can do a lot of stuff with a series60 phone and the SDK, but in practice the actual hardware simply isn't strong enough to do what Nokia wanted it to do. If they wanted games to work well on the thing, all they had to do was make a few of them 2D. Also, the vertical screen was a total piece of stupidity (although, a portable DoDonPachi would have been cool). There were other serious design flaws that we all know, too. The grandparent is kinda right that by licensing another platform and then adding the telecom features to it, they may have enjoyed success. The parent is right that the s60 is a great platform. The problem, though, is that the s60 isn't designed for gaming, and that the other portable platforms aren't designed for anything but gaming. For a project this ambitious, Nokia should have (a) designed an entirely new platform that would better suit its needs, (b) do some market research (the numerous obvious major flaws of the first NGage shows that their research and testing was inadequate), (c) waited until the technology matured enough to support their goals.
    • What they probably should have done is license something that was alreay in the market, like a GBA or something.

      Yeah, because if there's one thing Nintendo wants it's an OEM to dissolve its hardware market. There's a reason that only one company has ever released a re-branded Big N platform, and there's also a reason that Nintendo fought Panasonic's contract clauses as hard as they did.

      I couldn't see how a new platform like this would hit anything other than a small, unsustainable, niche market.

  • by krbvroc1 ( 725200 ) on Wednesday January 12, 2005 @04:05PM (#11339206)
    Netcraft confirms it is not relevant. Meanwhile, on Slashdot, its irrelevancy is featured on the front page.

    Irrelevant News for News. Stuff that doesn't matter anymore.
  • Big News (Score:2, Insightful)

    by onewing ( 754420 )
    Over priced phone that has no must own games is not revevant in the hand held market?
    Big surprised there, especially with Sony and Nintendo battling for the same market.
  • I mean, who cares?! Its a stupid platform that got hyped and then nobody cared about it...

    oh wait.

    Did I just prove the article, right there?

    But seriously: This was an example of convergence that nobody really needed. I'm sure this would go down like gangbusters in Japan (cram as many features into the phone and then cram a few extra)

    But this 'game+phone' doesn't tread water in the US. USians just want phones that are phones. There is already a backlash about those who have cameras.

    Its like the Ninte
    • It's very exciting that you've worked out the market with your brilliant analysis. Perhaps you should tell this to companies like Gameloft (who made $25million US in 2004) so that they can escape their sinking ship.

      Don't mistake a bad product for a bad market. Games are alive and well on cellphones, just not on N-Gage.
    • by Anonymous Coward
      No offense, but the phones in Japan had "N-Gage"-Like machines nearly 5 years ago. They are so far ahead of us on their phones now, the only thing that would "go down like gangbusters" over there right now is a 4 Ghz Intel running XP. Half their phones are already running various OS's with everything you could think of added onto them.

      Their market is entirely different and light years ahead of everyone else. What is strange, is none of it makes it way OUT of Japan. We're still ooing and ahhing over the Raz

    • Thank you for speaking for the entire populace of the USA. We all appreciate it.

      I want a phone that is a game device and a PDA. But I want games I actually care about playing. If the Nintendo DS had a phone, I'd buy one in a second, even though it lacks PDA features.
    • USians just want phones that are phones.

      And the huge popularity of camera phones proves this.

      Oh, wait...

      But yeah, I agree, I just want a phone that makes calls and doesn't play a stupid song when I get a call.
      • How big is the MoBlogger community? How often do people use their phone cameras? Is it a constant thing? Or did they just set a background "Desktop pic" of their cat and then didn't use the camera after the first month?

  • by Anonymous Coward
    Let's face it, this is the single biggest IT blunder in recent times.

    After capturing a large portion of the cellular phone market, Nokia decides to stop developing new phones and build a portable game device - without a 3d chip. Any company trying to break into portable gaming without a 3d chipset, of any kind, is stupid, but a company that would divert resources from its core business, is just plain retarded.

    Good job Nokia. You are now a company that makes both phones and games that no one wants.
  • by Lumpy ( 12016 ) on Wednesday January 12, 2005 @04:08PM (#11339239) Homepage
    of what not to do.

    they had a great idea but half assed it in every way from the beginning.

    underpowered and a crappy phone! then come out with a second generation version and piss off the customers you already have.

    nope, n-gage was a prime example of the engineers having to bastardize something so the suits were able to get their "price point" instead of a quality product.
    • Underpowered? What does that mean? It's a series 60 Symbian phone that runs a whole ton of apps. It runs the same software as other Nokia top of the line phones. Battery life is excellent. What's crappy about it?
  • by MLopat ( 848735 ) on Wednesday January 12, 2005 @04:13PM (#11339317) Homepage
    I think this comic [] from Penny Arcade pretty much sums up how much we all care about N-Gage
  • N-Gage? (Score:5, Funny)

    by Fr05t ( 69968 ) on Wednesday January 12, 2005 @04:16PM (#11339344)
    What's an N-Gage?

    • I don't know whether it makes it more or less funny that I can honestly say I have mentioned the N-Gage to quite a few people and gotten the response, "What's an N-Gage?" Even some gamers.

  • Nokia is in this one for the long haul. Everyone knows that people play games on their mobile phones. Only thing is that n-gage can play much better games.

    BTW, the newer games that have recently come out, are bloody excellent games. The phone itself is the cheapest way to get a series 60 phone. Don't write this one off, Nokia is going to pull through on this one.
  • I never cared for n-gauge [] but always was a fan of HO []

  • by NoMoreNicksLeft ( 516230 ) <`john.oyler' `at' `'> on Wednesday January 12, 2005 @04:32PM (#11339538) Journal
    What about the Atari Lynx, please tell me they didn't drop it from the charts!
  • I wanted to give this a fair chance, since if you think about it, a cell phone and a game console don't sound like such a bad idea (this is before I realized how stupid you looked when you used it as a phone).

    So I go to the local EB games/gamestop, where I don't buy the consoles but I can at least see a demo. OMG! I'm a very technical person, and I'm not allergic to complicated interfaces, but I couldn't even get the game started. This thing had some weird game selection demos and once I got into the demo
    • The game is Pandemonium!

      Of course, once you know how to use the device it isn't that bad.

      It just costs too much. They charge more for N-Gage games than for GBA games, and most are of a lesser quality. Now it has to face off against PSP and DS.

      They need to relabel it as a cell-phone that plays games, and sell it at the Verizon store, not EB or GameStop. If they insist on marketing it as a console, they have to square off against Sony and Nintendo, and will get their balls handed to them.

      I actually do
  • Was I the only one that thought they were going to stop making n-guage trains? I realize that HO scale was always more popular, but this headline really scared me.

    • Yup, that was my reaction to the headline.

      Personally, I like the LEGO trains, which are almost O-gauge.

      But to the topic on hand, it seems to me that our reaction indicates that product hasn't been successfully marketed, or we wouldn't have had that reaction.
  • I thought they meant something like this [] or like this [] when they said N-gauge.
  • of course they don't count, they can't measure them... but cheapo, sms or online bought, games are probably the biggest sellers on it.

    do free games count? nah.. didn't think so.

    s60 is pretty diverse as far as software goes.
  • by The_Whole_Fn_Show ( 767848 ) on Wednesday January 12, 2005 @04:36PM (#11339599)
    My brother was telling me about a friend of his that works for GameStop (in the Cleveland, OH area).

    Apparently, they were the leading store of N-Gages sold, with 1. It caught some guy's eye as he was walking out of the store, so he decided he'd buy it on a whim. That guy returned it a week later.

    So, with one returned unit, that store still had the most N-Gage sales in the Cleveland area.
    • If it were anywhere but Ohio, I'd agree with you, but this is a good example of the spotlight fallacy: Ohians are afraid of blinkenlights, and cannot practically use the N-Gage since their homes don't have electricity to charge the devices.

      Chances are he brought it back because he didn't know how to get it to turn back on.
  • The whole N-Gage thing was dead before the product hit the shelves! Especially considering it's size, it's a mediocre compromise of technologies at best.

    That thing is basically analogous to a gamer buying a motherboard with everything integrated like a bid'ness PC. Your phone, PDA, and gaming system are all lumped into one...that means so are all the features and upgrade paths. No thank you. I'll stick to separate components if I want a portable game system. Or wait for a palm PC with a nice graphics

  • ...some kind of model train size. Seeing as how I'd never heard of this device/platform, seems to point to poor marketing. On the other hand, I'm not a subscriber to Cell Phone Monthly so wtf do I know?
  • I've been a fan of HO gage since I was about thirteen (I'm now 47). N-gage was always too small and the trucks seemed too big on most of the rolling stock that I looked at. So, I'm really glad to hear of it's demise. Oh... I just read a bit of the other comments. I found that some of the consoles that some of the other model railroaders used were not very good either. Anyway, keep up the good work in reporting all the latest. It's a real help to be tapped in and know what's going on.
    • Okay, sorry, I just figured out it's probably just a typo.

      While I'm posting, I might as well lament the apparent demise of model railroading (no pun intended) as a hobby, whether HO, N-Gauge, or those big Lionel things with the three-rail track. Only 25 years ago K-Mart had a bunch of cheap HO-gauge stuff - track, cars, engines, parts, and whole train sets - on the racks for sale. Now apparently only the specialty hobby stores have model trains.
  • by Humorously_Inept ( 777630 ) on Wednesday January 12, 2005 @05:03PM (#11339931) Homepage
    Everything I've heard suggests that owners are pretty happy with the phones, despite their varied flaws, and that well over a million have been sold. Looks like people are buying it as a cheap phone instead of a gaming platform, much to Nokia's chagrin (although they'd never say anything like that).
    • I bought mine because I needed a modern phone without a camera (if you get caught with a camera where I work, you are terminated on the spot) and it was the best choice I could find.

      I have picked up a few games for it, but that had not been my plan. Rayman 3, and Pocket Kingdom are now soaking up quite a bit of my free time.
    • by stonecypher ( 118140 ) * <stonecypher@[ ] ['gma' in gap]> on Thursday January 13, 2005 @04:31AM (#11346322) Homepage Journal
      Nokia has been lying about their sales the whole time. As of Feb '04 they claimed to have shipped 600,000 units [], even though after its first two weeks on the market they claimed 400,000 units [], and claimed two weeks later to have doubled that. It seems a year later, a quarter of that sold inventory evaporated.

      Of course, you should check the date on that article at The Register - it's Feb 24, '04. In fact, just three weeks earlier they had lied and claimed to pass the million unit mark. []

      Nobody in the industry was fooled []. Unfortunately I can't link you to the speculation which I really want to give you, but the rumor is that Nokia never actually shipped half a million units, and that less than five percent of them have been sold, whereas an unheard of ninety percent have been returned by retailers. To give you a sense of scale, that famously bad Atari 2600 E.T. game which many people claim as the worst game in history not only outshipped and outsold the N-Gage in its entirety, but also had a lower return rate.

      Listen [] harder. [] There are more hits for the phrase "n-gage sucks" than there were confirmed walmart sales of the device the world over in two years of carrying the monstrosity.
  • I'm not surprised by this - the N-Gage sucked as a phone that could play games. I got one free, and absolutely hated it. Once of the main problems was that it's hardware and software were identical to a normal Nokia smartphone (e.g Nokia 3650). So once the games got hacked and you could play them on a standard Nokia phone (or even a Siemens phone!), why would anyone use an N-Gage. If it had an extra 3D processor, the idea might have worked...

    Personally, I think the best way out the mess is to keep the N-G
  • Why N-Gage sucks (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Mori Chu ( 737710 ) on Wednesday January 12, 2005 @05:21PM (#11340192)
    It tries to be many things and doesn't excel at any of them. People want mobile devices that do things well foremost, and do many things second.

    Let this be a lesson to the "convergence"-crazy companies who are putting blurry cameras, pitiful games, tiny amounts of MP3 storage, and other features into cell phones that don't even make calls well. Give me a GameBoy Advance and a solid cell phone in separate casing any day.

  • My impression (Score:3, Interesting)

    by aliens ( 90441 ) on Wednesday January 12, 2005 @05:29PM (#11340283) Homepage Journal
    I got an N-Gage QD when I needed a new phone because after rebates it was $0 with a bluetooth headset. I love it.

    I have a great NES Emulator it, great gameboy, AgileChat for IM, PuTTY that actually is workable enough to connect and run some specially made bash scripts, Opera, and some really fun games. I'm addicted to Tony Hawk it's so much like the original on PS1. The only thing that doesn't exist in the QD is Stereo sound :( but I have an iPod.

    All in all I think had they not released the original Ngage they would have done much better. That's what you get when you rush product without QA and test groups.
    • You're right, Tony Hawk on n-gage rocks. But so do a lot of other n-gage games - Pathway to Glory, Rally 3005, Ashphalt, Sims etc etc.

      Oh yeah, and its a great full featured phone at a cheap price too.
  • You mean is *was* relevant at one time?

    Could have fooled me!

    Handheld gaming platform with gimmicky advanced features (Intarweb connectivity vs. cell phone integration)? check.

    Relatively diminuitive cult following? check.

    Games of questionable quality? check.

    Management who really doesn't fucking know what they're selling and repeatedly screws over the relatively diminuitive cult following? check.

    Oh well, at least the N-Gage has color.
  • by Refrag ( 145266 ) on Wednesday January 12, 2005 @05:57PM (#11340676) Homepage
    Doesn't the title falsely indicate that the N-Gage was at one time relevant?
  • My advice to anyone looking for a new phone is to buy an N-Gage. It is the cheapest way to get a Series60 phone, and Series60 is the shit.
  • September 2004:

    Speaking at EGN today, Nokia has been waxing lyrical about the success of the N-Gage, announcing that over a million units (N-Gage and N-Gage QD) have been sold so far. Indeed, many were sceptical of Nokia's foray into the games industry, and this is proof of a surprising level of success. With over 100,000 subscribers to N-Gage Arena, plenty of gamers have clearly put their faith (and their funds) into the machine.

    Nokia will be pleased to have established a fairly solid user-base ahead of
  • Everyone of you is dissing the N-Gage because everyone else does so. How many of you have ever used one?

    My QD has:

    - eBooks (and they're actually readable)
    - Java games
    - Symbian games
    - a fully-featured web browser (not just WAP)
    - an email client which supports POP3 and SMTP, with SSL
    - PuTTY (SSH client)
    - Bluetooth
    - a good D-pad
    - N-Gage games (yes, they have got better than the first ones from 2 years ago! Pathway to Glory would rule on any platform - it's X-Com or Laser Squad, only better, including the gra

  • Like when theit boss made a statement that no self-respecting 26y/o would been seen in public playing GBA.

    How could they not suceed after calling their entire target demographic loosers and dorks?
    Oh wait, this isn't bizarro world. Good. I hope they lost a bundle.

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