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Take Two...For Nokia's N-Gage

Techstination feature for Tuesday, April 20, 2004

It's take two for Nokia's N-Gage. Bloomberg Boot Camp, a report on today's technology. The world's biggest cell phone maker admits sales of its first generation combination phone-video game device…the N-Gage…fell short of expectations following its introduction last October. But Nada Usina, Nokia's entertainment business general manager for the Americas says the N-Gage QD Game Deck should turn that around…

"I can say that our interest in this business is for the long term. And certainly the N-Gage QD is a product that we believe will continue our entry into this market."

It's smaller than the original, has a more easily accessible memory card slot for the games, longer battery life…and the speaker and microphone have been moved to allow the device to be used as a phone more easily. Like the original, the N-Gage QD will work on GSM wireless networks….and new pricing may attract more buyers…

"Potentially you could see the product as low as 149, 129 and even possibly 99 dollars or below. And that certainly creates an entirely new dynamic in this space."

Nokia needs to sell more of the devices to convince companies that make video games that it's worth developing for the platform…

"The head to head game play is a killer app of the N-Gage platform and we've got several titles in which you can do head to head game play."

The N-Gage QD is scheduled to go on sale in the U.S. on June 29th. Bloomberg Boot Camp, I'm Fred Fishkin.