Nokia N-Gage games phone hits the streets

Nokia launched the N-Gage, its combined mobile phone and gaming handset, on Tuesday.

The game deck lets users play games against other people using a Bluetooth or a GPRS (General Packet Radio Service) connection.

The handset is now available in over 60 countries, Nokia said. In the U.K. the phone will sell for £229 (US$382) without a contract. Sold along with a contract the device will cost £49.95, and £199.95 with a pay-as-you-go contract, according to a spokesman for U.K. retailer Phones 4U Ltd.

In the U.K., contracts are available with Vodafone Ltd., O2 (UK) Ltd. and T-Mobile UK Ltd., while Orange Personal Communications Services Ltd. is offering a pay-as-you-go contract, Phones 4U said.

Access to the N-Gage Arena, an online community for players, will be available free for a "trial period," Nokia said, although users will still have to pay operators for their data traffic.

Games titles available immediately include Sonic N, Tomb Raider, Moto GP, Tony Hawk's Pro Skater, Super monkey Ball and Virtua Tennis. By the end of the year Nokia hopes to also offer NCAA Football 2004, Red Faction and an N-Gage version of Tom Clancy's Splinter Cell.

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