What Happened To The N-Gage Games?
One thing I learned at Intel was that, when you launch a new platform, you damn well better have a ridiculous number of applications that take advantage of it. Otherwise people will wonder why to bother. That’s especially true in the gaming world. A friend of mine had the job of “keeping the gaming community happy” at Intel, where he would basically go around and keep them updated on what Intel was doing and making sure they were building games that would take advantage of Intel’s latest chips. I’m sure that Sony, Nintendo and Microsoft all do the same thing pretty heavily for their gaming platforms. Despite all the money that Nokia has spent on the N-Gage (and despite reports that they were strongly cultivating the developer community), one of the big complaints now showing up is that none of the games on the N-Gage are very good. So, if you’re looking at buying the device, the value proposition appears to be: weird looking, expensive device that is an odd phone and not a very good gaming platform with almost no fun games. Not exactly a message that resonates with consumers. I think Nokia realizes this and is trying to rebound, but they may have a lot of trouble after the initial weak launch. Still, it’s looking similar to the overhyped launch of 3 in the UK: shoot first, find compelling applications later.