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Nokia dismisses N-Gage demise rumours

Online reports are "completely without foundation", says Finnish mobile firm.

Finnish mobile phone giant Nokia remains "completely committed" to the N-Gage, a spokesperson has said in response to speculation that the company may be about to discontinue the mobile console range.

The reports originated with a report on online technology site The Inquirer, which claimed that Nokia is planning to shut down an R&D and production facility for N-Gage in Germany.

However, a Nokia spokesperson was quick to deny that the firm has any intention of shutting down the mobile game console division, despite the weak market performance of its handsets.

"Nokia have no intention of shutting down the N-Gage," the company told UK website C& today. "We are completely committed to the platform... There's been so much money and effort poured into the system we're not going to pull out now."

Indeed, the company does have two of the strongest software prospects for the N-Gage on the horizon, with Sega's Pocket Kingdoms and internally developed title Pathway to Glory both looking promising, albeit still unlikely to make the system into a viable rival to the likes of PlayStation Portable.

The rumours of N-Gage's demise haven't been helped by the well-publicised decision of UK market research firm Chart-Track to stop publishing an N-Gage software chart at the start of this year, citing a lack of interest in the data.

However, that data covers only boxed N-Gage titles, not downloaded Java games - and many Java game publishers have lauded the N-Gage, and particularly its much improved successor the N-Gage QD, as a popular platform for playing downloaded games.