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Thursday, September 10, 2009

New iPod and Apple's position in portable gaming

Recently in Apple's event in San Francisco, they revealed the new generation of the iPod nano. What's different this time around isn't the design, but features. The design is practically the same as the last generation iPod nano, but it features a new built-in video camera, speaker, FM radio and pedometer. The new iPod nano is available in stores for the same price as the last generation iPod nanos, which are $149 and $179 for the 8GB and 16GB versions.

For people with an iPod touch or an iPhone, you can easily tell that there is no shortage in terms of applications and games for your device. Many of these applications I find to be useless, although some are pretty useful(i.e. flixter, remote, etc.). The games on the iPod touch and iPhone are a little more interesting though. Apple is challenging Nintendo and Sony in terms of portable gaming and seems confident in their position. This actually surprises me.... I mean have you played the games on an iPod touch or iPhone? I'm not talking about those crappy ones that don't even pose a threat to the Nintendo DS and Sony PSP. Most of the games that you play on iPhone and iPod touch require touch controls that mimic actual buttons. I've downloaded Resident Evil Degeneration on my iPhone and find it difficult and annoying to play. You have to press buttons to switch between times when you want to walk or shoot. For people that complain about Resident Evil 5's control scheme, you haven't seen anything yet until you've played Degeneration. The lack of tactile buttons on the iPhone is a real turn off in terms of portable gaming. Games are easy to play on the DS and PSP because they are made for gaming; the iPhone and iPod touch however, is not. The fact that the high profile games on the iPhone and iPod touch play by mimicking real buttons shows the weakness in Apple's devices.

Don't get me wrong, I enjoy playing games on my iPhone; I just don't think that it will surpass the DS or PSP. I've heard people complain about texting on the iPhone because of the lack of tactile buttons, and this is the same case for gaming. Tell me what you think and even argue with me if you want to, do you think Apple can succeed in terms of portable gaming with what they have now?

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