Before there was Sony's Xperia Play or any other dual game/phone device for that matter, there was the Nokia Ngage.
and if you owned one back in 2003, you were an Ngager!
Nokia has always been known for giving us futuristic & conceptual devices, and the Ngage was no exception.
It was a phone but shaped like a handheld gaming device, you could put gaming cartridges inside, and you could choose from a wild variety of games, from FIFA to Spiderman 2 or even Tomb Raider, you could play with friends who were Ngagers too (via Bluetooth).
The Ngage, was released late 2003, weighed 137g, had a 2.1inch screen, a 104MHz ARM CPU, 3.4mb internal RAM, a MMC storage card slot and ran on Symbian OS S60v1.
In 2004, Nokia tried to re-define the Ngage by unleashing its successor, the Nokia Ngage QD, this successor was almost 10g heavier than its predecessor, it had a bigger battery (longer lasting), supported hot swapping of memory card (you could replace memory card without turning phone off),
The Nokia Ngage sold more than 2million units by the end of 2004, it was a hit, though it didn't meet sales' expectations.
|Ngage successor: Ngage QD|
The biggest drawback about the Ngage was the fact that you had to take out the cover, remove the battery before you could swap game cartridges, oh and lets not forget the way you had to hold it when taking/making a call, weirdest thing i ever saw.
The Nokia Ngage included classic games like:
Call of Duty,
Sonic the Hedgehog,
|Ngage. NgageQD, XperiaPlay... what next?|
Looking back now, I feel the Ngage was a damn good idea that Nokia just failed to execute correctly, but given that almost 10yrs have passed since its introduction, plus the fact that we now have more powerful handheld devices capable of running the same graphic intensity we see on game consoles like PS1 or/and the Xbox, I think Nokia should give us another Ngage, this time maybe with a dual core CPU, 1GB ROM, 1GB RAM and running a Linux based OS (preferably MeeGo)
Video Demo of Nokia Ngage:
Video demo of Nokia Ngage QD:
In conclusion, the Nokia Ngage is an awesome piece of history.