Nokia reveals key new publisher support and software for N-Gage

Strong software line-up impresses at Finnish giant's second E3 conference

Nokia's E3 press conference has revealed that a number of new publishers are set to support the N-Gage game deck, including Atari and Capcom, with eight new software titles for the system being unveiled.

The second E3 conference for the Finnish mobile company and its game deck saw it returning with a vastly improved hardware platform and a much more impressive line-up of software than last year's event.

Newly announced titles ranged from mobile versions of existing franchises - such as Atari's Driv3r and Civilisation games, EA's FIFA 2005 and SSX Out of Bounds and Hudson Soft's King of Fighters - to new role playing titles Rifts and Xanadu Next and Nokia's own driving game, Glimmerati.

The company also has a number of previously announced titles to show off for the first time - notably Sega's massively multiplayer Pocket Kingdom and Nokia's internally developed turn based strategy Pathway to Glory, both of which look like they could be very strong performers for the mobile platform.

Although the company undoubtedly still faces an uphill struggle for acceptance from the industry - and indeed from consumers - it's hard not to be impressed by how far the software line-up for the N-Gage has come in the past year. Compared with last year's near-farcical pre-E3 conference, this time around Nokia had a solid selection of products to show, in terms of hardware and first- and third-party games.

However, the pressure is definitely on the company to make its mark at E3 and in the coming months; with Sony and Nintendo's new handhelds launching early in the New Year (or indeed in late 2004 for the DS in North America), Nokia needs to carve out a niche for itself quickly if its current game device strategy is to avoid being steamrollered by the industry's biggest players.

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