Before mobile gaming became super popular among iPhone users and Android phones, the mobile gaming market was not really that big.
In 2003, the handheld gaming world was monopolized by Nintendo. Little did the world know that another handheld would soon be released as a rival to the Gameboy Advance. While most would expect it to come from Sony or Sega, it came from Nokia. Nokia made a mobile gaming system that was also a cell phone called the N-Gage.
Even though this sounded like a great concept, it was a complete flop. I remember Gamestop having a playable version on display for everyone to play. It looked really funky, and was confusing to figure out the controls. Many people called the N-Gage a taco with speakers because of its design.
Many gamers didn’t buy into it either. It was reported that in less than one month after its release, less than 5,000 units were sold within the United States. EB Games even started offering rebates trying to get rid of them, and even then nobody bought them. How sad is that? That along with a very limited availability of games at launch contributed to its failure.
The N-Gage did have something that we now use a lot. At the time, the only way to play against other people was link cables. The N-Gage had online multiplayer that was available via the Internet or Bluetooth. It also could play MP3s.
Not even a later release of the N-Gage QD could save this. Many people barely even remember it. The N-Gage QD commercials didn’t even show what the newly designed device even looked like. That’s why this belongs in the Gaming Graveyard.