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Oh, Canada. You marvelous country with your marvelous Canadian things. While we’d never want to leave the country, Nokia has shuttered its N-Gage development outfit in the region.
The ZeeMote JS1 is a nunchuk-like Bluetooth analogue controller that we first covered back in October last year.
It was a nice idea, hampered slightly by the fact that games had to be rewritten to add support for the thing. Now Nokia has decided to embrace the ZeeMote by releasing downloadable software to let the controller work with almost any S60 app or N-Gage game.
The ZeeKey app is available for free download from the Nokia website and the mobile manufacturer has promised to bundle the app with selected handsets (presumably its more entertainment focused N-Series models).
Zeekey app for Zeemote available for Nokia phones [Pocket Lint]
PocketGamer got a look at a new accelerometer-based mobile racing game from Firemint.
As you can see from the video, Real Racing runs on the iPhone — and certainly confirms our hopes for that platform’s gaming prowess — but Firemint also have it up and running on a Nokia N95 (all the recent N-series phones have motion sensors built in).
Multiplayer races can take place over a wifi link, and your racing stats are automatically uploaded to the Firemint web site. Brilliantly, the game will also upload videos of your best times to YouTube and share your rankings via Facebook and OpenSocial into the bargain.
GCDC 2008: Firemint shows off awesome iPhone racing game [PocketGamer]
Want to code games and apps for Nokia’s N-Gage and don’t know where to start (how about on a different platform)? Never fear, Nokia has you covered with the man-packed antics of “Sauna Talk”. What better way to chew the fat about coding in C++ than inside the moist, loving grasp of your local sweat house?
It looks like this is just the first in many sauna-based chats, with the debut episode featuring an interview with Miikka Skaffari, Head of Developer Product Management for the N-Gage. If you can stomach the odd hairy chest, click the link below for the video.
I’m not really sure how they do things in the US, but down here, standard mobile phone contracts last for two years. Once that time’s up, 99.8% of people go and get a new phone. Simple plan, everybody wins. OH. Except for anyone with a Nokia phone who actually buys games over their new N-Gage platform. See, the games are locked to the handset you purchase them on. If you break your handset, you’ll get them reissued, but if you upgrade to a new phone, you lose your games. Nokia’s explanation? Our policy is that the N-Gage activation codes only work on the device where they were first activated. As with any digital media there is a potential risk of piracy and this policy is one of the ways we are dealing with piracy and ensuring our partners receive their rightful revenues from our platform.
Way to go, Nokia. Didn’t think anybody could have a worse DRM track record than Microsoft, but then, records are meant to be broken.
Gamers ‘angry’ over new N-Gage’s DRM [Develop]
In case you missed it, the “new” N-Gage service is out. The one that makes the games available over a variety of Nokia handsets, instead of a single, dedicated unit. If you didn’t know that, it’s OK, it wasn’t that interesting. This might be. Konami have signed onto the service, and will be releasing a ton of their mobile games onto Nokia’s fledgling platform, including a version of Metal Gear Mobile that will supposedly “raise the bar with respect to graphical detail and made-for-mobile features”. All relative terms, of course.
Nokia’s second attempt at N-Gage-ing mobile gamers has unofficially gone live, with the official N-Gage blog announcing that the revamped platform is now available for download. If you have a Nokia N81, N81 8GB, N82, N95 or N95 8GB, you can bask in the warmth of the new N-Gage, bringing a try-before-you-buy, Xbox Live-like experience to your phone. Offerings from Gameloft, EA and others are available now or coming soon, which don’t look too terribly bad. Yeah! That was kind of a compliment. We won’t even make a sidetalkin’ dig!