We look back to remember the iconic Nokia N-Gage, a cross between a mobile phone and a games console that marked an era.
Looking back to see what cell phones looked like 20 years ago is a good way to understand how these devices have evolved into today. In this article, we will give the space it deserves to the Nokia N-Gage, which was released in 2003 and can be considered the original gaming mobile. Without a doubt, just seeing one image of this model is enough for all of us to remember how iconic it continues to be.
The truth is that the Nokia N-Gage wasn’t a big hit in terms of sales, far from it, but it planted the seed for gaming mobiles with an idea that had a lot of potential. It was a cell phone that allowed us to make calls and send text messages, but also allowed us to play games as if it were a portable video game console. Now, in mid-2022, with almost 20 years since its launch, we recall the Nokia N-Gage to reiterate its strengths, but also its faults.
Nokia N-Gage, a review of the original gaming mobile
The Nokia N-Gage was released in October 2003, representing a paradigm shift in what was known as a mobile phone at the time. The idea was clear: this Nokia device was a mix between a mobile phone and a handheld game console, both in design and in the functions it performed. In fact, it has the physical keyboard that was so common in phones at the time, but it was also designed to be used in a horizontal position, like handheld consoles.
According to Nokiamob, the idea for this Nokia N-Gage arose from Nintendo’s refusal to work with Nokia to create a joint device. For this reason, the company created in Finland wanted to compete face to face with the Japanese through the creation of this Nokia N-Gage.
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The idea was very good, but some shortcomings in the execution, the high price (about 300 euros) and the low demand from the public led to a failure in sales. Back then, unlike now, users didn’t buy a mobile phone with the idea of being able to play games. The quality of their games was also significantly lower than Nintendo’s.
Additionally, as Nokiamob points out, inserting an MMC (MultiMedia Card) card required removing the battery, ie. turn off the phone. To this we must add that the placement of the buttons was not the most comfortable, nor was the placement of the smartest speaker.
Among the specifications of the Nokia N-Gage we find a weight of 137 grams, while the thickness was 20 millimeters. In front, it mounted a 2.1-inch TFT screen with a resolution of 176 x 208 pixels. It came with Symbian 6.1 as operating system, with 3.4 MB RAM, Bluetooth 1.1 and FM radio. Its 850 mAh battery, capable of offering up to 4 hours of phone calls, was also important.
A while ago we at Netcost-security.fr imagined what would happen to the Nokia N-Gage if it were released today. The conclusion was that the results would be very different, because now many people buy a mobile phone with the main idea of using it to play games. Nokia was ahead of the future with this hybrid of mobile phone and handheld gaming console, and its work was responsible for the gaming smartphones we know today.
Although almost 20 years have passed since its release, the N-Gage is still an iconic model that is often remembered. There is actually a 100% legal emulator that allows you to play Nokia N-Gage on your Android mobile. If you want to relive the past, just install it to play titles like Red Faction, Call of Duty or Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater.