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Nokia 'fesses up to poor N-Gage sales

But exact figures somewhat hazy

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Nokia has given the first official indication that sales of the N-Gage game deck are not living up to expectations, but says that the platform must be given until November 2005 to prove itself.

"The sales are in the lower quartile of the bracket we had as our goal," Nokia chairman and CEO Jorma Ollila, told the Financial Times - the first time that the company has admitted that sales of the device have been lower than expected.

However, Ollila says that the N-Gage has to be given until November 2005 - two years after its launch in autumn 2003 - before the success or failure of the platform can be properly judged.

It's expected that at least one new version of the N-Gage hardware will be introduced before that date - possibly as early as next Autumn - although the platform will remain backwards compatible throughout.

The announcement comes after months of speculation over the N-Gage's actual retail performance. Nokia has refused to give sales figures for the device - only shipment figures of 600,000 units have been announced. And, since most video game market research firms target game stores only, not mobile phone retailers, accurate sales figures have been impossible to estimate.

Copyright © 2004, GamesIndustry.biz

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