The above headline isn't a joke... According to this Futurewatch blog, EA Mobile and Gameloft have pledged support for the "next generation of the N-Gage". Apparently, they aren't the only ones either, but we'll need to wait to GDC to find out who else jumped on this bandwagon. Supposedly by 2008, we'll see 'some of the biggest franchises and hottest mobile games included in the N-Gage experience." ... The N-Gage experience, eh? Would someone like to explain to me exactly what the N-Gage experience is right now as opposed to what it will be in a year?
Is there anyone out there who thinks the N-Gage has a snowballs chance in hell of actually making some headway ?
A snowball's chance? It hasn't an avalanche's chance. N-Gage's primary problem was that it was too much too early and too poorly packaged. The only way I could see them even possibly making it is if they take a cue from Apple's iPhone and go for a full-touch-screen experience, allowing developers to define their own controls (shock and horror). Even then, it's totally going to fail if it targets anything but the hand-held gaming market.
I think that this time "N-Gage" is the name of a API (like java mobile media), not a new mobile. As far as I know, it's supposed to be the included in the next gen of smartphones, which is a much larger market than a specialized, non-Nintendo, handheld gaming machine.