Nokia's N81 8GB now shipping with N-Gage preview

Nokia's N81 is now, at this very moment, "available globally" according to Nokia. Pre-tax, pre-subsidy €360 / $515 for the 2GB microSD model or €430 / $615 for that full 8GB of on-board flash experience. Since the revamped N-Gage platform isn't online yet, the N81 comes pre-loaded with three playable demos of FIFA 07, Asphalt 3: Street Rules, and Space Impact Light. Those same games will be available for free download-and-preview over HSDPA when the service goes live sometime "later in 2007." Still, while Nokia touts a global launch, the fact that this quad-band GSM phone only sports 2100MHz WCDMA will limit its effective use in North America -- even if it is FCC approved.