Nokia makes a play with N-Gage gaming unit

The Nokia N-Gage, a palm-sized wireless-gaming unit with mobile phone and MP3 capabilities, will cost $599 when released in two weeks.

Nokia Australia yesterday confirmed pricing for the N-Gage, which will allow mobile multiplayer gaming over GPRS networks.

Multiplayer gaming will be restricted to Bluetooth connectivity at the launch date of October 7. Bluetooth will allow local multiplayer gaming for N-Gages in close proximity.

Nokia's N-Gage Arena service will also be available on the launch date. Free until next year, the gaming portal will offer downloads, help users organise multiplayer games (once available), etc.

The 104MHz ARM processor N-Gage runs games on 8MB and 16MB MMCs (Multi Media Card) via a 4096 colour display. It will launch with 10 titles including Tomb Raider and Tony Hawk's Pro Skater. Games will cost $59.95 or $69.95, said Nokia Australia business manager Rick Gawdat.

N-Gage games would also be optomised for the device, not simply ported from other versions, said Gawdat.

The N-Gage can receive FM radio, and can record audio with the Nokia Audio Manager PC software.

The device also allows users to listen to the radio or take phone calls while playing games, said Gawdat.

USB connectivity allows users to download software such as MP3s, as well as synchronise personal information management applications.

The device runs on the Symbian operating system with Java support. PC Suite software is also included.

Mobile phone features include MMS, polyphonic ring tones and voice dialling.

The N-Gage will be available in over 1500 stores around Australia.

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Steven Deare

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