Wait — did Nokia really make a gaming controller?

A protype Nokia gaming controller
(Image credit: Bing Image Creator)

Nokia, a name that ignites nostalgia in the hearts of many, especially for those who grew up with the iconic Nokia 3310 and its irresistible Snake game. In the early 2000s, Nokia was synonymous with the mobile phone market, producing some of the most legendary and beloved mobile devices of the era. However, following a Microsoft acquisition and amidst fierce competition from industry giants like Apple, Samsung, and Google, Nokia found itself relegated to the annals of history, occasionally resurrected for bouts of nostalgia-inducing memes.

But what if I told you that there's a whimsical notion floating around – a fantasy, if you will? While a Nokia resurgence in the world of mobile phones may seem far-fetched, there's a curious and now-deleted Reddit post I stumbled upon yesterday that resurfaced images of a Nokia controller. The images raise eyebrows, primarily because they bear an uncanny resemblance to the ill-fated Google Stadia controller, albeit with the unmistakable Nokia branding.

Nokia branded controller

This controller is unbreakable (Image credit: Streamview)

The Reddit thread, titled "What the Hell? Nokia Gaming Controllers?!" has since been deleted for some reason, but probably due to the swift responses of eagle-eyed commenters who clarified that this particular controller is not a Nokia creation. Instead, it hails from a company named Streamview, who have licensing rights for the iconic Nokia branding.

Streamview actually specialise in accessories for Android mobile games, which explains why this basically looks like a Google Stadia controller. In further digging I found the controller available for sale on Amazon. It's at wildly different prices in the EU compared to the UK though, so I won't be buying one myself anytime soon. 

Nokia Bluetooth Game Controller

Nokia Bluetooth Game Controller

Not available in the US, but if you're in the EU you can relive the Nokia glory days with this controller, which misses an obvious marketing trick. with no claims of being indestructible. For only €26.30 in the EU, but a whopping £92 in the UK, I guess the pricing is our final punishment for Brexit.

Before Cloud Gaming on Mobile, we had the Nokia N-Gage

Unfortunately, it looks like Nokia has absolutely nothing to do with the creation of this controller, which is a shame. One of the first games that made me rage quit was Snake, and a Nokia controller wouldn't be entirely out of the realms of possibility, considering they did make one of the first mobile gaming handhelds. Lest we forget the glory days of the Nokia N-Gage. 

The Nokia N-Gage was groundbreaking and perhaps ahead of it's time with it's hybrid mobile and gaming design. It served as a mobile but with landscape screen, physical gaming controls and a lineup of games like Tomb Raider and Sonic to name a few.

The Nokia N-Gage even supported multiplayer gaming over Bluetooth, but ultimately due to its high price point and game compatibility issues, it bit the dust in 2005. It may not have succeeded on its own, but it was a brave attempt at blending the mobile and gaming markets, and undoubtedly contributed to the evolution of mobile gaming as we know it today.

Unfortunately, it also marked a point in Nokia's timeline where they seemingly stopped being innovative. After all, experimentation is expensive. But before I digress into a 'downfall of Nokia' thought piece, I'll reaffirm my point: Nokia making gaming devices wouldn't be that much of a shock — and a controller built like a Nokia 3310 would last 100 times as long as any Elite controller. As I reminisce about Nokia's iconic past, I do wonder what if Nokia decides to dive back into the gaming world with a fresh perspective? A girl can dream. 

Jennifer Young

Jen is a News Writer for Windows Central, focused on all things gaming and Microsoft. Anything slaying monsters with magical weapons will get a thumbs up such as Dark Souls, Dragon Age, Diablo, and Monster Hunter. When not playing games, she'll be watching a horror or trash reality TV show, she hasn't decided which of those categories the Kardashians fit into. You can follow Jen on Twitter @Jenbox360 for more Diablo fangirling and general moaning about British weather.