Nokia N-Gage?

In the last few days the N-Gage has come back into the news.

Surely the N-Gage is an interesting platform, if only because it allows for multiplayer gaming while on the move. What better transport if not GSM and UMTS? PSP and the DS are no where near that, so Nokia should be ahead of the competition, unfortunately the platform is not as good and the games are lacking. Not a small problem if Nokia wants the N-Gage to be successful.

According to M:Metrics, in February:
+ 48.4 million people played a mobile game
+ 20.2 million played a game they previously downloaded
+ 7.6 million downloaded a new game

These numbers are all up from the same period last year (February 2007), when:
+ 45.2 million played a mobile game
+ 18.5 million played a game they had previously downloaded
+ 6.8 million downloaded a new game.

Among Nokia owners, in February, 20.1 percent (5.9 million people) played a mobile game, against a market average of 21.4 percent. Other Nokia stats:

+6.2 percent of Nokia owners played a game they had previously downloaded (versus 8.9 percent market average)
+2.7 percent downloaded a new game (versus 3.4 percent market average)

“Nokia is currently underperforming in the games market today primarily due to the fact that the US market is flooded with low-end, free Nokia phones that came with carrier contracts,” said Mark Donovan, senior analyst, M:Metrics. “Today, N-Series devices are still quite expensive and are not widely distributed in carrier channels, resulting in low market adoption. However, among those toting high-end Nokia devices on the Symbian operating system, 30.8 percent played a mobile game, indicating that mobile gaming is a popular activity on these phones.”