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TTPCom pitches 'sub-$200' platform for mobile gaming

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Cambridge-based wireless design company TTPCom is kicking off this week's 3GSM World Congress with the unveiling of a mobile games player reference design. TTPCom doesn't actually build phones (more's the pity - we loved the one they showed us last year), but licences designs and IP to manufacturers. The new design will therefore be pitched at companies wanting to produce products for the wireless gaming/youth market, and will to some extent go up against Nokia's N-Gage.

Its codename is B'ngo. "How do you say that?" we asked. "Make a noise like you've got a mouth full of sticky toffee?" Apparently not - "Bingo", you say.

Bnnneurge (as we still like to think of it) uses an ARM 7, is triband GSM, has a still camera, 176 x 220, 65,000 colour TFT, GPRS, Bluetooth, polyphonic ringer, basically all the gizmos you'd expect in a cool phone today, but it's more of a console shape, and has gaming keys and TTPCom's WGE graphics system included. The spec indicates TTPCom will be pitching it in at least two variants, Java being included in the high end version.

But the company expects it to retail in the sub-$200 category before operator subsidies, so it should be possible to get quite a meaty device quite cheap. Whereas with N-Gage Nokia is fairly clearly taking a pop at the console market, B'ngo seems to be anticipating that the phone business will use a slightly different model.

It's anticipated that the device will ship with some bundled games, and games will also be available for download; B'ngo, natch, has DRM in it. It'll be able to play network games over the air, but also includes a facility for up to eight players in close proximity to play via Bluetooth. Which could be fun, and considerably less financially taxing than the stuff the networks want to sell you.

There's a picture available here, and a bigger one here. ®

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