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This Is Why The Nokia N-Gage Was A Complete Flop

Believe it or not, there was once a time where the idea of playing a game on your cell phone sounded incredibly preposterous. For anyone who did not grow up during those dark times, it might be hard to believe that owning a portable system that doubled as a phone was ever a big deal — but it was. Mobile gaming has evolved tremendously over the years, to the point where it's difficult to imagine a world where you can't just grab your phone and casually play some Mario, Pokémon, or even Fortnite


The Nokia N-Gage was a pivotal piece of technology in video game history that was "the gaming phone ahead of its time," according to GSMArena.com. Not only was it a handheld gaming device like its contemporary, the Game Boy Advance, but it had phone functions like calling, texting, and even apps. It also offered wireless multiplayer via Bluetooth/internet connection and 3D graphics.

Considering how innovative it was, you would think the N-Gage would have made it into the modern era. However, it was a major failure. This is why the N-Gage was a complete flop.

Did the N-Gage Arrive too soon?

Nokia made a few mistakes with its ambitious N-Gage, which is considered one of the biggest gaming flops of all time. For one, the company took on the almighty Nintendo, which had a lock on the portable gaming market. Nokia also failed in its design, creating a product that was neither a comfortable phone nor a comfortable handheld console. In order to swap out games, you actually had to take out the battery, which certainly didn't help its market appeal. It was also $200 more than the Game Boy Advance.


Even in terms of technical specs, the N-Gage wasn't completely ahead of the GBA. While the former did have 3D capabilities, it also came with a smaller screen that had a lower resolution. With all of these factors rolled together, the N-Gage was doomed from the start. 

GSMArena.com speculated that the N-Gage was "the right product at the wrong time." Indeed, had the timing been different, perhaps it would be remembered as something more than one of the most bizarre console failures ever.