back to article Apple iPod Touch 3G

It’s official – the iPod Touch is a games machine. When the second-generation model was launched this time last year, we noted – in one of our occasional moments of penetrating insight – that Apple seemed to have been taken unawares by the flood of games that had appeared on the iPhone and the first Touch. iPod Touch 3G Apple's …

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It's a great choice

"it's a great choice for gamers who don't feel the need to brag of their allegiance to a gaming brand"

so ipod touch is a great choice for gamers who don't feel the need to brag of their allegiance to a gaming brand but "DO" feel the need to brag of their allegiance to a music brand.

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Stop

3G

Err.. why would you expect them to call it a iPod 3G?? Is it a phone??

Yes I know its the 3rd generation but the iPhone 3G is called that because its a 3G phone, not because its the 3rd generation (which it isn't, its the 2nd generation).

Pretty clear why they didn't call it that, it'd have broken their own naming conventions and confused Joe Schmo into thinking he can make calls on it.

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Post-decision rationalisation?

Not a bad review, and it's clearly a good product, but I must take issue with a couple of things:

"...a new low price of £149..."

£149 is not a low price. It might be a *market* price, comparable with (say) the PSP, but "low" implies that the previous price was reasonable - and it wasn't.

"...gamers who don't feel the need to brag of their allegiance to a gaming brand."

Is that really an issue for gamers? Or, indeed, anyone?

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WTF?

"It’s the 32GB and 64GB models...

...that ought to carry the ‘3G’ monicker"

Why? are they HSDPA?

Surely the reason the iPhone 3G was called that, was because it was a 3G handset, not just cause it was quicker...

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(Written by Reg staff)

@Jimmy

Read the comments appended to *any* PSP, DS, Xbox 360 and/or PS3 story and you'll immediately see that it is.

Mentioning Blu-ray produces the same result - get this - even though it no longer has a rival.

Fanboys are an insecure bunch at the best of times, but console buffs take the cake.

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Games eh?

I have yet to be convinced that a touch-screen control interface is going to be any good at all for games.

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Grenade

1+1=3

Having read this piece I really find it hard to match the facts to the conclusion and it's hard to think of any reason other than the current outbreak of Applelove on the Register.

Yes, the iPod Touch has a reasonably quick CPU, an accelerometer and a microphone but this seems to be given as justification for calling it "a great games machine" and buying it over a PSP/DS. I just don't see the connection.

The Nintendo DS is far and away the market leader in the hand-held games console market yet it probably has the slowest CPU of the three, the lowest res. graphics, the fewest controls and no real MP3 playback. But then having more bells and whistles doesn't make a better games console, nor does having MP3 playback. What makes a good games console is how everything hangs together and the quality of game-play that results from that.

The DS is a simple box, that does what it's designed to do and little more. The iPod touch has advantages for some games (marble games like Super Monkey Ball springs to mind). Does that make it better for all - no.

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Grenade

All well and good but...

.... I bet they wouldn't take a battering like eldest's DS has had. Not from my eldest, she's happy playing on it, but when she leaves it out my youngest daughter (who is 3) gets hold of it and gives it some real grief (I'm talking whacking it on the table, bending it back as far as it'll go, poking the screen with the stylus).

Now if an iPod can handle that much abuse and still work flawlessly without any scratches then hey that's great. Still prefer the DS though.

Grenade, because the DS Lites my kids have seem to be bomb proof.

Rob

P.S. Yes I know there are flaws with some DS Lite's with breaking hinges, my step daughter has a second hand one which wasn't so lucky and needs repairing. I didn't mean all DS Lites are bomb proof, just the Pink one my eldest daughter has.

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Bronze badge

Brands

"it's a great choice for gamers who don't feel the need to brag of their allegiance to a gaming brand"

Just a great choice for Apple consumers who need to brag of their allegiance to a brand!

Personally I can't see the control interface being as good as the PSP or DS.

The lack of buttons and second screen means that you have to keep blocking the screen with your finger.

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terrible

used 'svelte' twice in the one article to describe the same product. unforgivable!!!

also, maybe the reason why they wont term it as the touch 3G is that it would cause so much confusion for the lower IQ punters who think it is then capable of making 3G phone calls and data and then start a class action suit for misleading product description a.k.a. "please pay us money because we are too f$*king stupid to know what we are buying"

the world needs to change.....

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Anonymous Coward

Are you...

...trying to get back into apple's good books or something?

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Jobs Halo

Not querying the product!!

But the verdict.

The article says the 8GB ipod touch is unchanged, but the new 32&64GB 3GS models get the more powerful processor and OpenGL 2.0 ES support.

I would guess the new games will use/need these functions so you won't be able to use the 8GB version to get the full benefit.

As I said I'm not critising the product, but I would expect that to really use it a games console you would have to recommend paying that bit extra to get the extra performance/features.

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Camera

I suppose the camera was pants anyway (as it is on my iphone), but I'm surprised to see it go completely. Surely it wouldn't have added much cost, but then again, Apple marketing guys probably figure than users will all own cameraphones as well.

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Jobs Halo

watch out sony

why the ipod touch will fail and fail badly perhaps ? read it with sarcasm.

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WTF?

why only 90% then?

you like it, so why does it lose 10%?

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WTF?

8gb for gaming?

You say the 8gb id good for gaming, yet it doesnt have the upgraded CPU nor the 3d features mentioned... WTF?

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Flame

Re: @Jimmy

"Fanboys are an insecure bunch at the best of times, but console buffs take the cake."

I reckon PC gamers have both camps beaten - pop over to somewhere like bit-tech.net and read a review of a game which is either a) console only or b) slated for 'later release' on the PC. You ain't seen vitriol like it.

As for the iPod Touch, it's definitely on the 'nice to have' list for now (plus my 2nd gen Shuffle is more than adequate for days out on the bike)

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Unhappy

When will we see

an honest review for an Apple product, that does not appear to be written by a fanboi. For example, someone who has used a Nintendo DS Lite/DSi for the past 3-6 months, or indeed a PSP for the same time. There's no way Apple can stomp into this market and take away the chunk that nintendo and sony have. They might impact on N-Series Nokias (N-gage application) but aside from that, I can't see them having much impact in the handheld console market.

What a load of nonsense. Why would people considering this not just buy an i-Phone and have all the same functionality, plus the camera/video and call facility?

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FAIL

Licking the finger that feeds it

Yet another article heavily biased towards Apple from theReg. What happened to the 'biting the finger bit', Is Apple's food better than that of others ? ha !

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what about the music

I love my 1G ipod touch, but call me silly, but I bought it to.. y'know... listen to music. and for that, it's not all that good.

I'm tied to the goddawful iTunes.

I can't edit playlists on the machine (have to use iTunes for that) nor

create more than 1 "on the go" playlist at a time

can't customise eq settings

can't have custom EQ settings per track/album.

still can't properly use either of the FM transmitters that work on other ipods.

in all this big rush to make a games machine, to make it a web browser and PDA like gadget they've consistently forgotten the most important thing. MUSIC

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Happy

RIP DS

Ok, maybe RIP is an exaggeration, but my 7 year old daughter has used her DS about a dozen times in as many months whereas she regularly picks up the iPod Touch for a play on games that cost 59p. I'm betting Nintendo are worried.

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FAIL

Are you kidding me?

Have you actually TRIED to play a game on an iPhone/Touch?! With very few exceptions, it's a frustrating waste of time and money.

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Jobs Halo

@/\/\j17

So you're saying that the DS is better because it's a device with a slower CPU, worse graphics, worse screen, worse interface, and made out of cheep plastic? What exactly is better about "how it hangs together", remembering that apple is king of devices that "hang together" well.

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jai
Silver badge

@ Jimmy Floyd

re: Brand allegiance "Is that really an issue for gamers? Or, indeed, anyone?"

damn right it is - you're obviously not a real gamer. when was the last time you started a game in the evening and didn't quit until sun rose the next morning?

as obsessed as i am with the GTA series of games, i drew the line at owning an Nintendo product just so I could play GTA Chinatown (i borrowed my mates one, but hated every minute of using it)

thankfully it's now coming out on the PSP so I can give back the wretched DS and play the game instead on a decent platform (at least until the iPod/iPhone version comes out, which i expect will top both of them).

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I'm with the 'whot no buttons' crowd

Apple need to realise there is a big difference between a device that plays music and can play the occasional interesting games and a dedicated games handheld. Given the choice between a DS or PSP for gaming against the touch I would choose the former everytime.

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Games are working just fine…

Whether you think the touch screen is suited for games doesn't matter because games are clearly a BIG deal on the touch and the iPhone. Otherwise there wouldn't be 20K games in the app store and companies like iD, EA, Capcom and LucasArts wouldn't be investing in developing iPod games. Saying that a touch screen is completely unsuited to gaming is just ridiculous. Some games will work better, some won't and some will have to be creatively rewritten. Just look at Pangea's games. Virtually every game they have on the iPhone was written for the Mac before the iPhone was even a concept. They were enjoying a "modest' success. (They being mostly one guy.) The iPhone came out, he ported all his games and now he is rolling in money. Just check out Pangea's website if you want to see some fascinating insight into games on the iPhone/iPod touch.

In two years Apple has 50 million people in its user base and they haven't even started selling in China and they haven't even started branching out into different product lines like a tablet or enabling games on AppleTV. My 12 year old son just bought his first iPod touch after saving money for a year. Guess what? None of his friends want a Nintendo DS for Christmas anymore.

Sony and Nintendo should be afraid. Very afraid.

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@Tony Smith

Fair point - I stand corrected. However, as a few people have pointed out above, the link between brand-bragging and Apple is well documented and did rather invite said comments...

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FAIL

Pointless Item?

Sorry... but for me the whole Touch range is pointless, if I actually wanted to have some fruit flavoured gadget in my pocket I would get an iPhone, not have to carry a phone and an iPod around with me and also be getting more features (i.e. proper GPS)...

Or alterntively I could get a Nokia phone, have nGage for some light gaming, lots of useful features, not get conned on the price plans (+£15 to use it as a modem with my laptop - sod that) and still only need the 1 device to carry. Oh wait... that's what I do do.

Oh, and edit out all the 3G references, it's confusing and makes you look like n00bs.

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Terminator

Touch screen gaming...

....is utterly pants [wot with your thumbs covering half the screen]

likewise accelerometer controlled gaming is also utterly pants.

Thirdly the iPhone is like a bar of soap to hold, not ideal for gaming.

Oh, finally, all the games on it are utterly pants! [go on, name a good one?!]

So, in conclusion: pants!

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J 3
Troll

@Jimmy Floyd

<quote>

"...gamers who don't feel the need to brag of their allegiance to a gaming brand."

Is that really an issue for gamers? Or, indeed, anyone?

</quote>

You haven't been around the hallowed pages of El Reg for long, specially the commentard-filled ones, I can see.

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touch screen?

generally sh*t for gaming as you're obscuring the visuals.

DS gets away with it because of the 2nd screen - most decent games need multiple inputs at same time (direction, action, qualifier etc) - gimmicky touch games with simple 'tap this' type logic will soon date.

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Dead Vulture

Ahem

As my previous post seems to not have passed moderation, I'll ask again.

The article states that the MP3 player has a "more extensive range of capabilities." What are these capabilities that neither the DS nor the PSP have?

Plays MP3's? PSP does that, plays video's? PSP does that. Plays UMD's, iPod doesn't do that, Wi-Fi? PSP does that. Dedicated console? iPod doesn't do that. Downloadable games? PSP does that. Proper GPS with a GPS receiver? PSP does that, iPod doesn't. Touch screen, PSP doesn't *need* to do that. Camera? PSP does that. Hooks up with a PC for media transfer without needing third party bloatware? PSP does that. Hooks up to a PS3 to play video's that you recorded off freeview? PSP does that. Allows you to access your PS3's hard drive from anywhere in the world over Wi-Fi? PSP does that. Ability to play PS1 games? PSP does that.

I'm struggling here to find this "more extensive range of capabilities." that was mentioned in the article. The only thing I can think of that the iPod has that the PSP doesn't is a touch screen and Bluetooth. So how did the iPod manage to score a 90% in a review when it compares very badly to a PSP in the range of capabilities?

Yes, it may compare more favourably to the DS, but the DS isn't designed as a "gamers" system like the PSP is, its designed for quick, fun and addictive games, the same as the Wii isn't designed to go head to head with the PS3/Xbox.

So I'm really interested in knowing about these capabilities, I'm sure everyone is, after all to be given 90% must mean that it can actually play the same Assassins Creed as the PS3/PC will be able to do.

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FAIL

Ahem #

@anonymous sony fanboi.

I've had a good look at my PSP. It hasn't got a camera. It hasn't got GPS.

If you're refering to the expensive add-ons, well then my arse can have a camera and GPS if you buy a couple of add-ons and a little duct tape.

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Anonymous Coward

Not a big fan of iPhone for gaming

It's fine for the millions of tower defence games, tetris type games and the odd motion controlled game like Rollando but that seems to be about it.

Most of the games are no better than free flash games that you can play on many websites, there are no great strategy games like Advanced Wars on the DS and certainly no great action games lioke Wipeout on the PSP. There are some games that attempt to simulate a thumbstick control on the touch screen but I have never found them easy to use.

I have the iPhone, it is a great media player, OK phone, has some great apps but I haven't yet found any great games.

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FAIL

@Thomas Davie

Nice stock fanboi reaction Mr Davie.

At no point did I say the lower spec. of the DS made it better than the PSP/iPhone/iPod Touch/ball-and-cup game.

What I said was that having a faster processor/higher specs. doesn't make the iPod Touch a better games platform.

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Anonymous Coward

@Darren Barratt

"I've had a good look at my PSP. It hasn't got a camera. It hasn't got GPS."

Unlike the iPod the PSP has these as an option, can you plug in a GPS system into an iPod? Can you plug in a camera into an iPod? Can you use VOIP on an iPod? The article stated quite clearly the iPod has "more extensive range of capabilities." yet it doesn't, at least not when compared to the PSP, if anything the PSP pisses on the iPod, laughs at it and says "come back when you can do half the stuff I can do".

And not a fanboi, I own a PSP/DS/PS3/Wii and of course a PC the vast majority of my games being for the PC and the DS, not the PSP, I was highlighting the incorrect statement of the article unlike your response which is typical of an Apple fanboi who will defend their pretty but useless trinket.

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FAIL

Epic FAIL

The author is clearly delusional. Please stop them from writing piffle like this in the future, it is diluting otherwise good content with nonsense.

As has been said before, ONE button (Even the wii uses more than that, this is no project natal) and tilt sensors make for a horrid experience, and touchscreen is pointless for most games.

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@David Hicks

"I have yet to be convinced that a touch-screen control interface is going to be any good at all for games."

You speak as if there's yet to be a precedent, which is amusing only because of all the games which prove touch-screen control *is* good for games. Unless you mean games which aren't done vry well, in which case I can think of plenty controller-based games which play like utter shite too. :p

I agree about the 3G moniker. That's just plain misleading, inconsistent and stupid. iPod Touch S, is what it is, surely?

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Troll

Great

The one thing I would do most with this or any other music player is play music with it, so here's a suggestion: how about reviewing the music playing abilities? Do they sound half decent yet, or is the iPod still as woefully pish as before on that front?

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Jobs Halo

No Buttons = Bad?

As it stands, the types of games which work well with a touch interface are generally not the same as those which work well with buttons. But there are enough games in the former category to still make the iPod Touch a "good gaming device" (e.g. FlightControl, Scrabble,Super Monkey Ball).

How long will it be before a plug-in controller (or bluetooth) surfaces for the iPod/iPhone and developers code games to work with it? The relevant APIs were made available in 3.0:

"Apps for iPhone and iPod touch can now communicate with accessories via the dock connector or wirelessly over Bluetooth. ...create entirely new integrated solutions that combine an iPhone app with dedicated hardware."

http://developer.apple.com/iphone/program/sdk/accessories.html

(of course, for this to really take off, developers need a common controller API to target - so the ball is probably still in Apple's court)

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