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GDC: Nokia commits to the evolution of the mobile gaming market

N-Gage lives on through Smartphone technology

In his GDC keynote speech, Nokia's director of games publishing, Greg Sauter, has outlined the company's commitment to the future of mobile gaming and stressed the importance of enhancing the end-user's wireless experience.

Sauter's speech focused on the emerging Smartphone market, which Nokia believes will be the primary vehicle for the evolution of the wireless gaming experience. The company hopes to have an installed base of 250 million for its own smartphone range by 2008.

But technology is only part of the solution according to Sauter, and the wireless gaming market needs a pretty serious overhaul if its growth is to be maintained and improved over the coming years.

The company has revealed a number of new additions to its developer support system, including an enhanced and updated software development kit (SDK), improved developer tools and support on the revamped developer community site, Forum Nokia PRO, and access to community and connected gaming functionality through SNAP Mobile.

Nokia believes that the end user experience has so far failed to evolve in sync with the rapidly advancing technology platform, and has developed a next-generation consumer interface to enable fast and easy access to discover, purchase, play, manage and share mobile games and content.

"With our new consumer interface, you get quick access to new games and information, it's easy to buy and manage your games, and share game accomplishments with your friends. You can play fantastic looking games for a great overall entertainment experience in your pocket. This new consumer interface is going to transform the way people find and play mobile games," Sauter commented.

The company's N-Gage platform is also very much alive as far as Nokia is concerned, and whilst the handset technology may have changed to encompass a wider selection of devices than the standard N-Gage game deck, the concept of wireless connected gaming and an online community built through the N-Gage arena website remains a key strategy for the firm. Potentially mirroring the Xbox Live experience, Nokia plans to include gamer profiles, avatars and a new N-Gage gaming points system in the near future - all of which is designed to enhance the consumer experience in the wireless gaming market.

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