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N-Gage released on N78 & 6210 Navigator, now give us some good games…

If you own a Nokia N78 or a Nokia 6210 Navigator, then grab a glass of water, sit down and steady yourself because Nokia has just released news to make your weekend on quite a high – the N-Gage client is now available for use on these handsets.

To use the client on your phone, all you have to do is visit the N-Gage site through your mobile’s browser on your handset, select your phone from the list provided and download and install the application.  Another way you can get hold of the application is to visit the N-Gage website on your computer, download the application and install the software using PC Suite.

This news now means that 11 Nokia handsets are capable of providing N-Gage gaming, being the 5320 XpressMusic, N79, N81, N81 8GB, N82, N85, N95, N95 8GB and N96.

Nokia is in the middle of a heated battle for the crown of mobile gaming king, with competition coming from devices like the iPhone, Google’s Android operating system and more commonly associated platforms like the Sony PSP and the Nintendo DS.  Now that the N-Gage application is broadening its availability to more and more handsets, more focus will need to be put into game development if it wants to gain strength against its foes.

The N-Gage application has had more of a backwards evolution, actually starting it’s life looking more like a Gameboy than a mobile phone.  Unfortunately for Nokia, this idea wasn’t overly successful and even the launch of the N-Gage QD wasn’t life changing for anyone.  However, the concept of the N-Gage as an application survived and has lived on through modern day mobile phones where the software doesn’t appear as the main attraction but instead a utility that fits hand in hand with every other helpful application on the phone – SMS, Radio, MP3 player, N-Gage gaming experience…you can’t go wrong.

The idea that the N-Gage is thriving on is the fact that it’s not just a platform for gaming on a mobile handset, but is also a tool that connects players in an online community where they can socialise and play games with friends, and strangers.

Critics have slammed the N-Gage platform recently though, as although the service was launched in April 2008, there are still only a handful of games available to the keen gamer and although a representative from Nokia has said that a plan is in place to release games for the N-Gage application every quarter, there isn’t a fixed schedule.

Now is not the time for Nokia to stand by and watch.  Mobile gaming has launched itself into the mainstream over the past couple of weeks and it would appear the iPhone is a definite force to be reckoned with and the AppStore is a weapon the iPhone is using to beat all other platforms down.  Nokia does by no means hold any sort of grasp on the mobile gaming market and if trends carry on for much longer, the N-Gage won’t even be a part of it.

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