Nokia Ngage
Image: Nokia

Nokia's N-Gage is now 20 years old.

Released in 2003, the device was seen as a rival to the Game Boy Advance. Boasting powerful hardware and the ability to make phone calls, send text messages and access the internet, many predicted that it would steal away market share from Nintendo thanks to its more advanced functionality.

Nokia managed to convince companies like EA, Eidos and Sega to support the device, but, with around three million units sold, it ended up being a commercial flop.

One of the big mistakes Nokia made with the design of the first N-Gage was that it was impossible to swap cartridges without first powering down the phone and removing the battery. When used as a phone, it had to be held sideways, leading to the 'side-talking' meme.

Nokia fixed some of these issues with 2004's revised N-Gage QD, but even this model had drawbacks; it no longer played MP3 files and lacked an FM radio.

Having failed to unseat Nintendo, Nokia discontinued the N-Gage hardware in 2006, shifting focus to its Series 60 phones, which would include 'N-Gage 2.0' as a gaming platform.

Once the dominant force in the world of mobile phones, Nokia would see its market share diminish with the arrival of the iPhone and Android later in the decade; in 2014, its phone business was purchased by Microsoft.

The Nokia brand continues to be associated with mobile phones thanks to a licensing arrangement with HMD Global.