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Nokia To Step Up Cellphone Game Quality

Nokia has vowed to turn cellphones into mobile game consoles with the graphics quality of the latest generation of dedicated mobile gaming devices.

The company plans a preinstalled and PC-downloadable application for its N series of smartphones and other smartphones based on the Symbian Series 60 smartphone OS to “allow consumers to easily find, buy and play rich and immersive games,” a spokeswoman said. The application will be available as a free software download in the first half of 2007 to current N series owners.

The next generation of games available for the platform will be available via select retailers, downloads to the PC and over-the-air downloads, the spokeswoman said.

Nokia is also developing additional handsets with powerful graphics chips and controls optimized for gaming. “In the short term, the graphics capabilities will be on N-Gage level and above, but the 3D hardware acceleration in some devices will offer a greater performance in the near future,” she noted.

In a taste of what’s to come, Nokia launched its own Web site to sell downloadable N-Gage games for use on the company’s hybrid N-Gage phone/game machine. N-Gage owners can trial, purchase and download such N-Gage games as Pathway to Glory and Mile High Pinball.

To access N-Gage content, consumers owners browse the online catalogs to see what is available and then download their choices to a PC. With a compatible memory-card reader and memory card, game files can then be transferred to the N-Gage game deck.