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Ovi Orion: The phone we wish Nokia would make

No one has made a great gaming phone. Sure, Apple sells lots of iPhone games but have you ever tried to play a first-person shooter or football game on an iPhone? It’s not a terrible experience but it’s nowhere near as good as playing those types of games on a Nintendo DS or Sony PSP. As for why Nintendo or Sony hasn’t released a gaming phone yet is beyond us but the demand for a device that bridges the gap between a smart phone and a portable gaming console is definitely there.

Some time ago Nokia tried to fill this mobile gaming gap with N-Gage, a mobile phone range that mimicked gaming devices. The problem with N-Gage though was that it was way ahead of its time and Nokia could only offer users Java-based distractions rather than full-on gaming experiences. After lacklustre sale figures Nokia dumped the N-Gage handset range and instead focused on gaming software and do-it-all smart phones but we think it’s time for Nokia to make a gaming comeback.

Our Ovi Orion concept is an evolution of N-Gage handsets, it is a phone/platform offering with a heavy slant on gaming. In other words, if the iPhone is Wii, then Ovi Orion would be Xbox and offer Xbox Live style features. A serious gaming phone for serious gamers. Watch our video below to see the Orion in action and click on the next page for close-up pictures and specs.

[graphics credit: Paul Oesten-Creasey]

The Ovi Orion boasts a 4.3-inch touchscreen, proper gaming controls, a killer CPU and GPU, HSDPA (3.5G), Wi-Fi and just in case you need to type out a long message there’s nifty keypad on the back with a small screen – you can flip the Orion over and use the larger screen to write and edit text too. It’s just a concept of course, but you get the idea, this phone would kick arse and most importantly provide a superb gaming experience.

Ovi Orion’s gaming platform would offer developers a chance to create serious multiplayer games and gamers the chance to play them properly.

The Orion’s gaming controls could also be used to navigate the Orion’s various menus and would offer tactile feedback.

These action keys would make all the difference to gameplay.

A series on bumps on the back would suddenly turn into a large, backlit Qwerty keypad when you needed to write that extra long message. There’s also a thin screen above the keypad that’s hidden then the keypad is off.

The screen on the back would use e-ink technology. Yes, it’s small but it’s only to see what you’re writing. Once you’ve finished writing your message, you can flip the Orion over and use the touchscreen to edit the entire document.

As the Orion’s Qwerty keypad is on the back of the handset it can take full advantage of the space. The small bumps would make the keys easy to find and they would offer tactile feedback by vibrating when you tapped them – you could turn the vibrate option off, of course.

Thin is in. The Ovi Orion would measure under 14mm thin.

The Orion’s large screen kicks out at the side, making it easier to hold.

So there you have it, our concept of what Nokia could do in the gaming space. Nokia, over to you.