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Exclusive: N-Gage camera games and GPS action

Published by Coops March 03, 2008

Exclusive: N-Gage camera games and GPS action

Published by Coops March 03, 2008

Sure, N-Gage is forging a fresh path on the portable gaming landscape, but we’ve just discovered that Nokia’s new gaming platform promises some seriously exciting twists on the journey ahead. Games that use your camera phone’s talents, location-based action, plus adventures that could tap into your contacts book contextually. Fact is, here’s a gaming service uniquely built on top-end convergence Nseries devices, all exploding with serious tech talents, and Nokia is dead set on exploiting these hi-tech features for the good of thumbkind. It’s official…

We caught up with Will Shen, N-Gage Head of Production in North America (the guy behind all the first-party launch titles), who confirmed that they’re looking at creating games that harness the power of your built-in camera, GPS receiver and any relevant skill your handset may possess that could help inspire and execute innovative games. We’re talking titles that will enable you to take shots on your camera phone to interact within adventures! Shen explained an N-Gage game could potentially use clever techniques to interpret the histogram extracted from a photograph to interact with characters in a game. Shen’s example being, “a monster you could feed photographs”, presumably requiring you to take shots of appropriate real-life items while you’re out and about. Sounds like a crazily innovative approach to Tamagotchi-style games, but no matter how it’s realized the point is that Will Shen and the rest of the brains behind N-Gage aren’t just pushing the mobile gaming envelope, they’re aiming to fire the envelope out of a frickin’ canon.

Shen also stated that Nokia is seriously looking at location-based gaming via GPS, but level-headedly emphasizing that the “focus is on innovation”, and not gimmick gaming. Similarly, he echoed last week’s news of plans for touchscreen N-Gage gaming and even the possibility of first and third-party accelerometer-based games for Nseries devices with the capability.

So with around 50-60 games slated for launch on the N-Gage platform within its first year, we’re not going to be short of killer titles Shen promises. He assured us they’ll be no “filler content”, reemphasizing Nokia’s commitment to making N-Gage a truly innovative stomping ground for gaming. We’ve got itchy digits just thinking about it.

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