N-Gage Goes Silently into the Long Night

Anyone remember the N-Gage video game system/cell phone? I didn't think so. Recently, Nokia announced that it would drop the hybrid device so that it could focus on portable-device features that actually make money, such as digital music and video. "N-Gage is still being sold, but it was not a success," a Nokia vice president actually admitted. The N-Gage suffered from poor reviews throughout its 2-year lifespan, despite a semi-impressive game lineup and a decent form factor. But because users had to remove the original version of the device's battery every time they switched games (!), users were unimpressed. I still think there's a market for a hybrid cell phone that does games, music, video, and PDA functionality all in a single form factor, but battery life remains the killer problem in this category.

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