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N-Gage makes play at Elisa

To work with operators, this time

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Nokia has started trials of its latest N-Gage platform with Finnish operator Elisa.

Having failed so spectacularly as a hardware console, this time round N-Gage is a platform which can be used on a variety of Series 60 handsets, although Nokia has hinted at more games-oriented handsets in future.

While the details of Nokia's new N-Gage strategy will likely be revealed next week at the Games Developers Conference, Mobile Entertainment reports that Elisa has confirmed it will be selling games and services through its own portals during the trial.

The original N-Gage games were sold on MMC cards at retail, bypassing the operator and greatly annoying them. Given that operators were being asked to subsidise the cost of the N-Gage it was optimistic of Nokia to then cut them out of revenues from game sales.

The model being tested with Elisa will no-doubt include sale of in-game features and game-enhancements as well as offering games for download. It's widely believed that there is enormous potential in selling such enhancements.

Arcade games players will be familiar with the "insert coin to continue" message, and that experience is one games companies would very much like to reproduce for the mobile gamer. ®

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