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Phone games: next generation
Posted: 05-May-2001 [Source: The GUardian]

[A report from Mobile Entertainment 2001 held in Paris last week.]

by Tim Green -- "What is the most played electronic game in the world? Gran Turismo? Quake? Tetris? Pokemon Gold? Guess again. The answer, according to educated guesswork, is probably Snake. A simple black and white puzzler played on a mobile phone. It is hard to prove this, of course. But consider the facts: it took Nintendo 10 years to sell 100m Game Boys whereas Nokia sold 128m handsets last year alone. And then look around the train carriage and see for yourself how many fingers are twiddling across phones that are otherwise not in use.

"The amazing rise of the handset as a gaming device has got the video games industry in a flap. As recently as 1998 the notion of gaming on a phone had never occurred. By last week it was a big enough deal to warrant its own exhibition and conference.

"Mobile Entertainment 2001, in Paris, was a fascinating showcase for this embryonic industry. The first thing that struck, however, was just how different it is from the "conventional" games business. There was no razzmatazz here. It is hard to justify pole dancers and Ferraris when your roster of games includes draughts and hangman

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