Nokia about the next generation of mobile(phone) gaming

Nokia N-Gage QD Cellular Phone / Handheld Game DeviceGamesutra reports on the Game Developers Conference today about: “Nokia’s keynote at GDC Mobile this year was rather low-key, with only a few new announcements during the rather short presentation. The address was given by Gregg Sauter, Nokia’s Director of Games Publishing

Nokia’s Smartphones are the most advanced of the bunch, and Nokia has currently shipped 2.5 million of these worldwide, and predict a 250 million userbase by 2008. Nokia has found that Smartphone owners are five times more likely to purchase game content than owners of other handsets.

Their plan is to beef up their N-Gage arena content to work with Smartphones, very much mimicking the Xbox Live Arcade experience. You can have a gamer profile and avatar (or take your own picture with your cameraphone), and win N-Gage points (NGPs).

Much of what Nokia announced is not new – you can program in C++, have access to analyzing and debugging tools, community and multiplayer hosting, DRM solutions, training and workshops, global developer support, and early access to prototypes. The most interesting bit is the community and multiplayer hosting. With their recent partnership with Sun for their SNAP mobile Java technology, gamers can communicate with greater ease and access the games portal from PCs and internet-enabled phones.

Nokia’s next generation mobile games platform is expected to launch in the first half of 2007, with a range of titles and devices.”