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Nokia's N-Gage...More Than a Cellular 'Gameboy'
Nokia's new mobile gaming platform, the N-Gage, has a tough market competing against Nintendo's already entrenched GameBoy, Sony's upcoming PlaystationPortable, and the ever advancing line of games-capable cell phones. Nokia is betting that the N-Gage's wireless communication abilities will set it apart and allow multiplayer gaming to move away from computers and living-room consoles and into consumers' pockets. Coming standard with Bluetooth and GPRS internet enabled, the N-Gage has several avenues of wireless communication.
Nokia addresses the question of latency and possible bad connections by differentiating their software titles into two groups, said John Stroppa, one of the N-Gage's lead software producers in an interview with DailyWireless. Fast paced games such as Call of Duty will be run over an instantaneous Bluetooth link. These "twitch" games rely on relatively low latency and constant connections between players to deliver a quality gaming experience and would therefore not work well over GPRS cell phone networks. "Non-twitch" games such as Tiger Woods Golf are turn based and can easily tolerate the lag that would make playing a twitch game excruciating. By linking all N-Gages together through a global network much like the computer game industry does, Nokia will allow players to compete against eachother from nearly anywhere without noticeable lag.
By condensing several devices into one, Nokia hopes to reduce the "device clutter" of the modern consumer's pocket and claim the lead in a heated race for mobile entertainment.
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