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Next-gen N-Gage on the horizon?

Next-gen N-Gage on the horizon?

At last year's E3, Nokia indicated that the N-Gage was moving away from being a single model and becoming more of a "gaming platform," with a variety of compatible phones available. The problem was that those phones never materialized beyond the prototypes Nokia displayed at the show.

With another year gone by, it's getting closer to "put up or shut up" time for Nokia. We'd like to see the company move forward with its plans for adding gaming-friendly features to its smart phones--there's no reason they can't be just as good a gaming diversion as, say, a Game Boy Advance. But how long will Nokia wait before taking the N-Gage concept in a new direction? Every month that goes by sees the Sony PSP and Nintendo DS and DS Lite continuing to dominate the portable marketplace. Of course, it's hard to say that Nokia's gaming plans are down for the count; cell phones are only getting more advanced every year, with better displays and faster processors--and they're still the one gadget that billions of people always want to have with them.