Nokia to release next-generation gaming platform

Nokia is launching a next-generation gaming platform to replace its phone and games console hybrid, the N-Gage.

The as yet unnamed platform, which will be unveiled at the annual video games convention E3 in Los Angeles next month, will feature on the manufacturer’s N-Series phones, such as the N70. It is thought the first handsets equipped with the next-generation technology will go on sale in spring 2007.

Head of marketing for games at Nokia Simon Etchells admits previous efforts by mobile companies to get into gaming have not worked, calling them a “little bit messy”.

He says: “Mobile gaming has not been as good as consumers would like. It’s not that people don’t want to do it but a lot of them have tried it and not had a great experience.

“We’re combining the power of multimedia with the simplicity of Nokia to create an overall gaming experience.”

Nokia sold 28.5 million smart phones in 2005, giving it a 50% share of the market. But Etchells predicts the global smart phone market will grow to 100 million by the end of this year. The N70 was the highest revenue-generating device for the company in the first quarter of 2006.

Last year Nokia appointed Lowe to create a &£100m global advertising campaign for the N-Series handsets.

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