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There’s no definitive proof that the creators of this incredibly complicated button-laden remote drew their inspiration from Nokia’s ill-fated N-Gage gaming phone, but there are enough similarities to spark some uncomfortable flashbacks. The Fly Mouse is designed to replace your mouse, keyboard, and TV remote with an all-in-one radial spiral of buttons that will have even the most adept touch typist hunting and pecking again.
In Finland, your time is split between two things: working for Nokia and enjoying the pungent odours of man-sweat from your colleagues in the local sauna. Now, the mobile phone giant looks to have combined the two and created an online video series of it in an effort to communicate the benefits of their N-Gage platform to developers.
It looks to be an ongoing series, with the first episode showing more nipple-fur and hot engineer bod than I was hoping for, earning it a slightly NSFW rating (if only to protect your reputation among colleagues as a heterosexual male).
Nokia tells us that Reset Generation—their new “flagship” title for the N-Gage—will appeal to those who grew up playing videogames. The multiplayer puzzle-adventure is supposed to tickle you by using parodies of characters like Mario, Link, and even Master Chief, resulting in what they call “the world’s first videogame about videogames.” We are going to call it “yet another game that couldn’t use the real thing so they decided to do humourous knockoffs.” Although who knows, if it’s crazy enough, it may work.
With Nokia’s N-gage platform recently being reborn into something that might possibly be enjoyable, Nokia are looking to entice developers to create games for the platform by offering up 70,000 Euro (or $118,750 in Aussie dollars) in prize money, plus publishing contracts.
The Mobile Games Innovation Challenge is open to developers worldwide from all levels. The three best concepts will take home the prizemoney in a 40k/20k/10k split.
If it means that mobile phone gaming gets better than tetris or solitaire, then it’s a fantastic move. Shame it’s only for N-gage devices though. Full press release below.
The official announcement won’t be until next Monday, but the N-Gage blog just let everyone know that their mobile phone gaming platform went live today. If you’ve got an N81, N81 8GB, N82, N95 or N95 8GB, you can go download and install the service now (available on both Mac and PC). If you’ve got an N73, N93i and N93, you’ll have to wait a bit for support. Here’s our hands-on of it at Mobile World Congress. In short, it’s like Xbox Live for your phone. [N-Gage Download]
According to NokNok, a meeting with Will Shen, N-Gage’s Head of Production in North America, revealed that Nokia is looking to use GPS and phone camera functionality as a utility in games. In fact, Shen noted that any functionality a phone may posses could be used to make a game more interactive. For example, users could be asked to take photographs that would be analysed by the game for relevance using “clever techniques,” then “feed” those images to an in-game character.
When asked whether or not he viewed the upcoming PSP phone as a threat to the N-Gage, Nokia games head honcho Jaakko Kaidesoja responded thusly: “I’m not scared about anybody. The real question is how do they [Sony Ericsson]do it? Can they create a link between the PSP games and a phone? Can they do the multiplayer and online stuff? We’ve been doing this for two years and it hasn’t been easy.”
Is that the real question—or is it whether or not Nokia can do anything right and finally get a gaming platform off the ground? [Pocket Gamer]
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We played a bit with the new Nokia N-Gage service, which will be one of the core services on all the new Nokia phones presented here at the Mobile World Congress 2008. As we already knew, it’s a very similar philosophy to Xbox Live, a social-oriented game service with N-Gage points, pictures, reviews, scores and rankings, so you don’t have to play against a friend live, but you can still compete. The experience was smooth, the games themselves fast and crispy, all of them playable before purchasing them. Could Nokia make it work this time?
It seems like only Tuesday that we were breaking the news that the Nokia N-Gage gaming platform Beta was available for download for the N81. Now, two days later, Engadget is reporting that the download has been hacked for all NSeries devices, provided they have the internal grunt.
That makes anybody on an N95 open for some cool gaming action. The modified download can be found here. If anybody’s brave enough, I’d love to get your reviews on the experience…