Wireless company TTPCom will challenge Nokias N-Gage in the suddenly expanding market for mobile game players that also serve as mobile phones.
The new TTPCom Bngo game player uses a tri-band GSM wireless protocol to connect to other mobiles, and an ARM7 microprocessor, which runs the TTPCom wireless graphics engine.
Unlike the N-Gage, which uses games embedded on cartridges, the Bngo will ship with six embedded games and allow users to download up to 100 available games over the air. Games will be protected with a form of digital-rights-management (DRM) software, although the method to be used was not disclosed.
In addition, the mobile will use Bluetooth for close-proximity multiplayer games, as well as GPRS. While TTPComs wireless graphics engine supports both Java and C++ games, only about a dozen or so are listed on the companys web site.
The Bngo also includes an integrated digital still camera, although the resolution was not disclosed. Images are displayed on the units colour backlit LCD, a 176 x 220 TFT with 16-bit color depth for more than 65,000 colors.
TTPCom exists as a licensing company, and has designed a number of other non-gaming wireless platforms for a total of twenty terminal manufacturers, including Panasonic, Sharp, Siemens, and Toshiba. To date, no OEM has signed on to manufacture the Bngo. However, TTPCom hopes that OEMs will make the device available at around $200.
The Bngos keyboard includes a pair of shoulder buttons, four game keys, and a jog dial/rotating paddle for additional control options. The wireless graphics software allows a player to simultaneously move and shoot, a feature lacking on other games, the company said.
“Were looking at imaginative ways of using our intellectual property, and combining the expertise that weve developed in wireless gaming, with our knowledge of low cost handset designs, has enabled us to create a totally new mobile games player,” said Tony Milbourn, managing director of TTPCom, in a statement. “With Bngo were providing a gaming experience that is second to none, plus a fully integrated mobile phone featuring the latest and most exciting technology such as digital camera support and MMS.”
Additional features include downloadable ringtones and screensavers, the company said.