Nokia Locks N-Gage Games To Handsets

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Nokia may have 40 per cent of the mobile phone market but that does mean when you do score a technological own goal you’ve far more angry customers on your hands…

That is likely to be the case this week too since fans of Nokia’s newly launched N-Gage service (which we reviewed to lukewarm praise) have discovered one startling con: titles bought on their handsets cannot be transferred and are locked to that phone for life.

Surely, you must be thinking, this only applies when a customer switches to a rival brand? Nope, all users – even those upgrading to a higher end Nokia model – will find their much loved and ultimately costly collection scrapped.

In an attempt to counter hostile criticism Nokia has stated the decision was made in an attempt to reduce piracy. This doesn’t hold much water however since backwards compatibility has become one of the biggest themes in modern technology. Blu-ray drives accept CDs and DVDs, even Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 consoles can play the vast majority of their predecessors’ titles.

Interestingly, Nokia ”does” have the technology to reinstall games on any handset since the company admits if a handset needs to be repaired or replaced it will reissue the necessary activation codes.

This is no doubt just the public relations disaster Nokia would have hoped to avoid a mere two weeks before Apple launches its third party iPhone App Store which will add a strong gaming emphasis – most likely combined with subsidized handsets


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