Nokia says its revamped N-Gage service will become "the largest mobile gaming platform in the market by far" and create "a new industry" for developers and publishers at a press event in London this morning.
The service – which uses has a single focus on digital distribution, offers try before you buy options and is backed by a raft of industry partners (including EA, Capcom, I-Play and others) – is due for roll-out in November.
The N-Gage application will be available to all Nokia’s N-series devices – which have already sold 40 million units in total.
Such "instant backwards compatibility" will provide a "huge market attractive to publishers" said Anssi Janjoki, executive vice president and general manager of multimedia at Nokia who has headed up the company’s new web-centric service strategies.
Nokia also said that the games software would cost €10 a piece, with gamers allowed access to daily and monthly rental options for games.
The games push is just one part of the company’s new ‘Ovi’ strategy, which adds a number of service-driven elements to its phones, covering games, music and maps. Nokia is aiming to drastically change its business strategy from one focused on devices to one that addresses how mobile and social internet applications can work together.
"We are transforming Nokia into an internet-driven experiences company," explained Nokia’s CEO Olli-Pekka Kallasvuo. "The internet is immediately becoming a space of immediate personal experiences.
"We are thinking beyond the devices," he added. "Devices alone are not enough anymore – people want a complete experience."
The Finnish firm is also introducing a new N-Series phone, the N81, that will be a corner-stone of Ovi’s web-based commerce functions and provides a new iPod-like scrolling user interface.