GamingNexus: The two biggest handheld gaming devices on the market right now are the Nintendo DS and the Sony PSP, do you see cell phone gaming competing against those devices now or are they separate markets?
Jaakko Kaidesoja: We see the handheld gaming market and cell phone gaming as two different markets. We’re not in direct competition with handheld gaming devices. The great thing about cell phone gaming is that you are using a device that is going to be with you all the time. The majority of people are not going to leave home without their phone, whereas if you forget your handheld gaming device, you’re probably not going to go back to get it.
GamingNexus: Gaming is as much the output of the system as it is the quality of the game. Can you talk about some recent and future hardware enhancements that will make for a richer mobile gaming experience?
We are seeing a number of hardware enhancements coming: first, more powerful processors that allow for 3D hardware acceleration. If you haven’t had the chance, visit http://www.n-gage.com/e3
and check out the trailer for “ONE – Who’s Next”. The graphics are amazing and that level of quality is only possible with the processors that are available in the very latest devices. You’ll also be seeing bigger screens with higher resolution and improved audio. Finally, which is very important for gamers, we’re also working to improve the gaming ergonomics, both through the device and game design.
GamingNexus: The N93, while it has many features, puts a special emphasis on video capture and playback. Is this the beginning of a trend for higher-end Nokia Mobiles to have a highlighted feature?
Jaakko Kaidesoja: With Nokia Nseries, it’s all about delivering the best mobile multimedia experiences possible. Some of our multimedia computers will continue to be designed to enhance certain experiences such as video capture (like the Nokia N93) or music (like the Nokia N91 8GB) while still delivering a great overall multimedia experience.
GamingNexus: With the expansion of the N*Gage platform to a smartphone line, is there any chance Nokia would ever create a single focused device like the N*Gage QD again or do you expect to stay with general purpose devices?
Jaakko Kaidesoja: Right now, our focus is on the multimedia computer, which combines a range of functions (e.g. games, music, photos, videos, internet browsing, navigation, etc) in a single connected device. This means that people have a range of experiences that they can take advantage of from a single device. I won’t say that we will never have a gaming optimized device in the future, but we are hearing from the majority of consumers that they prefer to have a multipurpose device.
GamingNexus: Can you explain some of the basic differences between the Snap! Mobile or N*Gage platforms and the basic concepts of Microsofts XBox Live Anywhere platform?
Jaakko Kaidesoja:As I said before the N-Gage platform is focusing on the high-end mobile gaming market and SNAP Mobile is focusing on the connected Java gaming market. We’ve got both ends of the spectrum covered! One common element is the connected factor – people want to have the chance to share their mobile gaming experience, whether that’s competing against a friend or simply just sharing your high score. Because you are able to do this through your cell phone, which is always with you, it means access to your community wherever and whenever you want. The underlying technology for both SNAP Mobile and N-Gage is the same.
GamingNexus: What should we expect in terms of gaming from Nokia in the coming years?
Jaakko Kaidesoja: Our goal is to create a new mobile gaming culture, where people can easily find, buy and play fantastic mobile games. You will be seeing more announcements around which publishers are getting on board, you’ll be seeing some new devices and most importantly, you’ll be seeing some great games!
GamingNexus: What handheld games are you playing now? Is there one upcoming game you are really excited about?
Jaakko Kaidesoja: I’ve been playing some classics like Tetris and also EA Sport’s games and recently completed Pathway To Glory Ikusa Islands for N-Gage. There are bunch of great upcoming games on our platform like the fishing game we showed at E3 and some others that you have not seen yet and will have to remain secret for the time being. Those have taken most of my, unfortunately limited, playing time.
We'd like to thank Jaakko for taking the time to answer our questions and Kathy for helping coordinate the interview.
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