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Service now open to N81 multimedia phone owners


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350w ago - After delays, Nokia has begun to roll-out its N-Gage gaming service and its media sharing site.

The company twice delayed N-Gage's launch last year due to unexpected software difficulties.

The service has now been opened to owners of Nokia's N81 multimedia phones around the world, with the company asking for feedback before opening the service to a wider audience.

"These are the first steps on the long journey towards becoming a competitor in the Web 2.0 services space," CCS Insight research director Ben Wood told The Washington Post.

"It now faces the challenge of building awareness for these and other services with consumers who have already gravitated towards established web brands such as Google."

Nokia released the original N-Gage, a combination phone, handheld gaming device, MP3 player, PDA, and FM radio, in 2003. A year later, a subsequent redesign - the N-Gage QD - removed radio reception and MP3 playback features.

The latest iteration of the N-Gage is an application, built into or downloaded to a supported Nokia phone, that acts as a central hub for content including games.

Nokia's social networking site - "Share on Ovi" - allows people to share photos and videos and is built on technology acquired last year with the US firm Twango.



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