Espoo, Finland — Nokia launched its N-Gage game download service for users of N-series mobile phones around the world, including unlocked N-series “multimedia computer” phones sold in the United States.
Compared to typical downloadable Java games, the N-Gage games deliver “stunning graphics and the capability of true 3-D experiences,” the company said. The games “will be better and able to take advantage of the power these multimedia computers” and are “among the most ambitious graphically rich mobile games ever produced,” the company added.
Depending on the game, some phones will let consumers play in either landscape or portrait mode, and some have other features that deliver a better game-play experience, Nokia said. The Nokia N81, for example, features dedicated games buttons, as will the N96 due in the third quarter.
All games can be downloaded over the air directly to the cellphone, or can be downloaded to a PC for side loading to the phone.
Compatible phones available in the United States, all based on the Symbian Series 60 OS, are the N81, N81 8GB, N82, N95 and N95 8GB. They are available in Nokia flagship stores, wireless retailers and online stores, including Amazon.com, Walmart.com, LetsTalk.com, BestBuy.com, TigerDirect.com, Dell.com, Gateway.com and PCMall.com. N-Gage games, however, are only sold through Nokia’s www.n-gage.com.
The service launched with six games, with seven more to follow “closely,” the company said. All told, Nokia has announced the titles of more than 30 N-Gage made-for-mobile games that will be available for the service, which includes exclusive games and games from such game publishers as Electronic Arts and Gameloft. Nokia also produces games for the platform.
To play N-Gage games, users must first wirelessly download the free N-Gage application from www.n-gage.com . After a free trial of a downloaded game, consumers can buy the game outright or buy a license for a day of use at $2.99 or for a week at $6.99. Purchased games cost $9.49 to $13.49.
The first set of games includes EA Sports FIFA 08 by EA Mobile, Brain Challenge and Asphalt 3: Street Rules by Gameloft, and World Series of Poker Pro Challenge by Glu Mobile. Other titles on the way include THQ Wireless’s Star Wars: The Force Unleashed and Worms World Party.
Star Wars: The Force Unleashed plays on the Nokia N81.