The forthcoming N-Gage mobile game deck is to receive a limited release in Japan, according to comments from a Nokia representative speaking at a conference in Tokyo.
The news will come as a surprise to many commentators, who had expected that the device would never be released in Japan due to the incompatibility of the mobile phone network technology used there.
Further details of the launch are to be announced shortly at the Tokyo Games Show. It's not yet known whether Nokia will modify the system to operate with Japanese mobile networks, or whether it will be released as a pure gaming platform without mobile phone functionality.
The move is likely to be interpreted as a bid to build support among Japanese developers rather than a genuine bid to open up a major new market for N-Gage. It's unlikely that the device will make significant headway in a mobile phone market dominated by significantly more advanced technology; however, as proof of Nokia's determination to succeed, a Japanese launch may have a lot of mileage in negotiations with publishers and developers there.