Published by Tzer2 at 8:36 UTC, September 10th 2008
If the new N-Gage platform was an N-Gage game, what would its point pickups be and how many has Nokia earned so far? Read our special feature article to find out...
As most of our readers will know, the new generation of N-Gage games have an Xbox-style achievements system called N-Gage Points, with particular in-game tasks known as Point Pickups. There's a maximum of 1000 points per game.
What if we applied this system to N-Gage itself? What if the achievements of the platform received points up to a maximum of 1000? Well, here's what it might look like...
A still from the official N-Gage launch video
By far the most important thing Nokia can do for the N-Gage platform is put it on as many handsets as possible. It doesn't matter how good the games are if people can't play them on their phone.
50 - N-Gage As A Downloadable File: Make the N-Gage platform available as a downloadable application that users can install themselves. (DONE: File made available on in April 2008.)
100 - N-Gage Embedded In Firmware: Include the N-Gage application in a phone's standard firmware. (DONE: N-Gage embedded in N95 and N95 8GB firmware in September 2008.)
150 - N-Gage Embedded In Firmware From Day One: Include the N-Gage application in a phone's firmware at its launch. (DONE: N-Gage embedded in N96 at launch in September 2008.)
300 - N-Gage On All Current S60 Phones: Include the N-Gage app in all S60 phones that are currently on sale.
Multiplayer games are popular because they can give a game a much longer shelf life, though most people still don't play online on any gaming platform.
20 - Arena Online Rankings: Let people compare their high scores online through the N-Gage Arena. (DONE: All next gen N-Gage games since launch in April 2008 include online rankings.)
20 - Bluetooth Multiplayer: Let people play multiplayer with nearby N-Gage phones through Bluetooth.
20 - Arena Shadow Racing: Let people race against online recordings of each other through the N-Gage Arena.
20 - Arena Online Multiplayer (Turn-Based): Let people play online in turn-based games. (DONE: Pro Series Golf released in July 2008 featured online multiplayer turn-based gameplay.)
20 - Arena Online Multiplayer (Real Time): Let people play online in real time games.
20 - Arena Online Multiplayer (Massive): Let thousands of people play online simultaneously in the same game world.
It's the size of the userbase which determines the success of a gaming platform: the more people use a platform, the more games get released for it, which in turn attracts even more people to use the platform.
25 - Release More Than 56 Games: The original gen N-Gage had 56 titles, it would be nice to see the next gen exceed that.
30 - Release A Showcase Free Game: The original gen N-Gage had Snakes, the next gen platform ought to also have a free game that shows off what the platform can do. By letting new users see the platform at its best, it would make them want to buy more N-Gage games.
50 - Userbase Exceeds 2 Million: The original gen N-Gage had a userbase of 2 million, the next gen platform ought to exceed this.
100 - Userbase Exceeds 6 million: Nokia said they thought a userbase of 6 million would have been enough to allow the original gen N-Gage to have a healthy game development ecosystem. The next gen platform ought to exceed this number.
N-Gage-compatible phones aren't consoles, but many have hardware features which could be used to enhance games.
25 - Release A Game Which Uses The Camera: All next gen N-Gage phones have a built-in camera, the games ought to use it. (DONE: Dirk Dagger released in August 2008 lets the player scroll the screen using the camera.)
25 - Release A Game Which Uses The Accelerometer: Many next gen N-Gage phones have a built-in accelerometer (motion and tilt sensor), the games ought to use it.
25 - Release A Game Which Uses The Graphics Hardware: Many next gen N-Gage phones have dedicated graphics hardware, the games ought to use it.
The release of the first phone with N-Gage on board from day one (the N96) has boosted Nokia's points considerably, but there's a very long way to go yet.
The N-Gage application installed on a compatible phone
|On that subject though, thinking of selling my N93 as I'm starting to feel there must be real issues for it still not to be supported, do you think it could be due to lack of RAM for that handset? I noticed your comments that the 5320 Xpress Music phone seemed to run the NGage app faster than the N95, probably due to the bigger RAM, how much smaller is the RAM of the N93 than the N95 as I'm concerned if support ever does arrive then it might end up so sluggish it could be frustrating?|
There should be a
100 - Don't let Gameloft make any new games for the platform!
Well, this is the one weak point of the N93 technically: it only has about 20 megabytes of free RAM (it has a lot more RAM in total, but 20 megs is how much is left over for other apps after the phone's own functions have had their share).
The N95 isn't that much better technically with 30 megabytes free RAM, but maybe that extra 10 megs makes all the difference?
The 5320 is leagues ahead with an astonishing 85 megabytes of free RAM, which is even more amazing as the phone only costs about 200 euros and is physically very small.
The one caveat is that the N95 used to just have 20 megs free, then there was a firmware update which changed it to 30 megs free. I don't know if that's possible for the N93 though.
150 - N-Gage Embedded In Firmware From Day One: Include the N-Gage application in a phone's firmware at its launch. DONE: N96 (to be followed by N79, N85).
N/A, the N96 isn't out yet so I can't count those points yet.
When the N96 is released I'll add the points to the chart. It will apparently have N-Gage built in, but we have to wait and see to make sure.
It began shipping September 3rd according to this: http://www.nokia.com/A4136001?newsid=1248466