Posted by: Olga Kharif on May 19, 2005
We’ve known that mobile games are taking off for several years. One sure sign of that was Nokia’s decision to release its N-Gage wireless gaming console/cell phone.
Now, the world’s largest cell phone maker just announced that it would start making its N-Gage games available for souped-up cell phones, called smartphones, as well. Considering that Nokia’s mobile games are among the most advanced out there, featuring 3-D action and real-time multiplayer gaming capabilities, I think the company could finally cause real pain to current handheld gaming consoles leaders Sony and Nintendo.
These portables will be increasingly going head-to-head with phones. Just on May 17, Nintendo unveiled its Game Boy Micro, a gaming console the size of a cell phone and, according to gamers who'd seen it, excessively cute.
Meanwhile, cell phones which, until now, have lacked the capabilities to offer cool graphics and multi-player functionality available on the portables, are now acquiring them. Nokia's gaming smartphones, expected to be released in early 2006, will offer 3-D gaming and multi-player capabilities.
The winners of this battle are yet to be determined, but Nokia will make a tough opponent. And it could end up doing in portables what Microsoft accomplished in regular gaming consoles: Microsoft's Xbox came out of the left field to grab the No. 2 position in regular gaming consoles, behind Sony.