Nokia to fix sidetalking, swapping with Son of N-Gage

Backward compatible

Some critics suspect that Nokia only launched the N-Gage console-phone to drum up interest for its Series 60 platform amongst game developers. This is an expensive way of building a brand.

The phone giant is pressing ahead, and has acknowledged that it will fix the two most serious design issues with the first generation of the device. One of which made the N-Gagethe butt of many jokes. It's officially confirmed what John Romero, developer of the iconic game Doom, suggested two weeks ago (although he denied that he'd seen a prototype of N-Gage 2).

Nokia's Kirsi Kotilainen, head of game developer relations, has promised that N-Gage owners won't look so stupid when making regular phone calls, as the microphone has been repositioned. He's also said that version two will support hot-swapping games cards. The first N-Gage required the phone to be powered down and the battery removed. Nokia argued that TV-based consoles ask the user to reboot, so why not phones? However, this isn't really a sustainable argument any more: Nokia's 9200 'brick' smartphone supported hot-swappable MMCs three years ago; and rivals such as Sendo's SX1 happily perform the trick.

Kotailainen also said that the next N-Gage will be backward compatible with the earlier version. Electronics Arts president John Riccitiello recently described the first N-Gage as "a dog" but expressed confidence that Nokia would eventually succeed.You can read our in-depth N-Gage review here. ®

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