Dismal first week for N-Gage, say games retailers
Tomb Raider tops handheld's software chart
Figures from videogame retailers around the UK are showing an extremely low sell-through of Nokia's new N-Gage game deck in its launch week, with fewer than 500 units sold by the 6000 game stores polled by Chart-Track.
Although these figures don't include sales from mobile phone stores, which might well be expected to shift a few units of the N-Gage, they still mark something of a setback for Nokia's ambitions in the console space.
By way of comparison, Nintendo's Game Boy Advance hardware outsold the N-Gage by a ratio of almost 30:1 last week, despite the fact that no key titles launched on the GBA over the course of the week, and that the system is long overdue a price cut.
Of course, the mobile phone stores remain an unknown quantity; anyone wanting a new mobile contract with their N-Gage will have gone to one of those stores rather than a games retailer, but there's just no way of telling what proportion of potential N-Gage buyers this represents. Short of Nokia giving us sales figures itself, we'll probably never know exactly how many units N-Gage shifted in its first week on sale - only that it didn't sell very many in game retailers.
In software terms, Eidos' Tomb Raider took the number one position in the inaugural N-Gage chart, followed by Sega's two titles for the system: Super Monkey Ball at number two and Sonic N at number three. Another Eidos title, Pandemonium, came in at number four. Activision's Tony Hawks Pro Skater props up the chart at number five.
It's hard to say what kind of sales figures these positions represent, however - although given the multi-function nature of the N-Gage and the fact that a couple of games are pre-bundled with the deck, we'd expect the tie ratio for the console to be significantly lower than for other console hardware.
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