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Key US retailer drops N-Gage from 450 stores

N-Gage 2 for E3?

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Major US retailer GameStop has announced that it is to stop selling Nokia's N-Gage game deck 450 of its stores, representing almost a third of its retail outlets, with the remaining inventory being moved to other stores.

Although GameStop is relocating the inventory rather than ditching the product entirely, the news still comes as a further blow to Nokia in the US, where the image of the N-Gage has already been tarnished by massive discounting.

Nokia continues to put a brave face on the N-Gage situation, but with most industry commentators having written the first iteration of the game deck off as a failure, all eyes are now on the company's future plans for the N-Gage platform, rather than on the struggles of the current generation of hardware.

The general consensus within the industry seems to be that Nokia will not bank on the current N-Gage to carry them through this year's E3 trade show in Los Angeles next May - with the unveiling of a new version of the device likely ahead of that event.

These rumours were all but confirmed by Nokia's Ilkka Raiskinen last week, when he told UK retail newsletter MCV that "We're learning fast... Our hardware cycles are different to what the games business is used to and our strategy is clearly to have more devices".

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