More information about Nokia’s new N-Gage, the Nokia N-Gage QD. The N-Gage QD is a compact device with a hot-swappable multimedia (MMC) slot for instant gaming, longer battery life, improved gaming controls, brighter screen, powerful smartphone features and the new N-Gage Arena launcher application.

The planned range of prices is expected to be from €99/$ 99 with a contract to €199/$ 199 as an unsubsidized, untaxed retail price. The N-Gage QD game deck is expected to be available in May 2004 for Europe, Africa and Asia Pacific and in June 2004 for the Americas.

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Nokia today announced the N-Gage QD mobile game deck, the latest addition to the N-Gage platform. The N-Gage QD is a compact device with a hot-swappable multimedia (MMC) slot for instant gaming, longer battery life, improved gaming controls, brighter screen, powerful smartphone features and the new N-Gage Arena launcher application. Gamers will be able to play all of their favourite N-Gage titles, connect to the worldwide mobile gaming community over mobile networks via the N-Gage Arena as well as take part in close-range mobile multiplayer gaming via Bluetooth wireless technology.

The planned range of prices is expected to be from €99/$ 99 with a contract to €199/$ 199 as an unsubsidized, untaxed retail price. The N-Gage QD game deck is expected to be available in May 2004 for Europe, Africa and Asia Pacific and in June 2004 for the Americas. The N-Gage QD will be available in two versions: a GSM 900/1800 variant (Europe, Africa and Asia Pacific) and a GSM 850/1900 variant (Americas).

“After six months on the market with the N-Gage platform, we wanted to expand our device portfolio based on the feedback we’ve received,” said Nokia’s Senior Vice President of Games, Ilkka Raiskinen. “With improved gaming ergonomics, gamers can now start to play games at the push of a button and enjoy the increased responsiveness of the game keys. We also added support for hot-swap MMC and extended the battery life. For phone calls, we reoriented the speaker and microphone to support ‘classic talking’.”

The N-Gage QD game deck supports existing N-Gage game titles as well forthcoming N-Gage exclusive titles like Ashen, Pathway to Glory and Pocket Kingdom: Own The World, and blockbuster hits like The Sims: Bustin’ Out, Crash Nitro Kart and Tiger Woods PGA TOUR 2004.

The new N-Gage Arena launcher makes accessing the N-Gage Arena even easier than before. The launcher is a software application preinstalled on the N-Gage QD device that allows gamers full access to the N-Gage Arena community directly from their game deck. Once installed, the launcher is accessed from an icon in the game deck’s main applications menu, similar to other N-Gage software. Using the launcher via a GPRS connection, N-Gage Arena members can communicate with one another, download exclusive content, access rankings statistics, participate in events and activities, and more. Existing N-Gage users will be able download the N-Gage Arena launcher from www.n-gage.com in May 2004.

The N-Gage QD game deck also supports advanced smartphone features such as personal information management, XHTML browser, email and the possibility to download and install additional Series 60 applications.

The N-Gage QD game deck will be showcased at this year’s Electronic Entertainment Expo (E3) in Los Angeles, California from May 12 to 14, 2004. The N-Gage booth (South Hall, 1524) will also have the latest in high-profile exclusive N-Gage titles and blockbuster hits. For more information on the N-Gage QD game deck, log on to www.n-gage.com/qd.