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Can you imagine a world without the iPod. I can unequivocally confirm that one did exist and it was even in colour. The days before Apple 'did' music were something of a mess for mobile tunes players. The technology and market existed but no-one had brought them together in the right way - a way that would make sense to the masses.
Yesterday we were living in a world without iPhone gaming, perhaps not quite the hotch potch of mp3 players of the late 90's but still a confusing world for many would be casual gamers.
Today, Apple launch the new 3G iPhone along with their new gaming platform for said phone and their iPod touch. This may not have really registered on the radar of many DS/PSP owning hardcore gamers who simply refuse to play games on their phone, but for Mums, Dads, Aunties and Uncles this opens a door to a whole new world.
These are the people who enjoy playing solitaire on their PC, but wouldn't buy a dedicated home console. Put games on a device they already own (or would like to own) however and they are more than interested. Even in the UK there are millions of us who are up for playing these sorts of games.
The iPhone has an impressive raft of gaming functions.
Although not really pushed as such, the iPhone has an impressive raft of gaming functions. It can detect movement like a Wii-mote and use that in game play, something already seen in the tilt sensitive iPhone version of Monkey Ball from Sega. It not only has a touch screen like the DS, but can detect more complex multi-fingered gestures. It has built in GPS that doesn't kill the battery, ideal for games that want to link your real world location into the action on screen, perhaps the weather in the game will match the downpour where you are, or perhaps you will move around the game by simply driving through your city in real life.
Games can be brought in iTune just like millions of us Brits have been buying our music for the last few years. Not only that but you can buy them directly on the iPhone then immediately download and start playing. Ideal for those delayed flights and train journeys.
A rye glance back soon shows that many in the music industry were caught napping the day the first iPod rolled out the Apple warehouse.
The only question remaining for all this is how much support they will get from third party developers. Unlike the DS and PSP Apple have no in house games development teams to fall back on. But even here, if the support of the iPod games is anything to go by (seeing titles from Sega, Namco, Square Enix and EA) they shouldn't have a problem. And with their ready made iTunes market who can blame these publishers jumping on board.
It's hard to imagine quite the gaming revolution to match the shake up introduced by the iPod, and with Apple it's easy to get carried away by the hype. But a rye glance back soon shows that many in the music industry were caught napping the day the first iPod rolled out the Apple warehouse, savvy gamers should take note and keep at least half an eye on how things develop.
With so many different perspectives it can be hard to know where to start - a little like walking into a crowded pub. Sorry about that.
But so far we've not found a way to streamline our review output - there's basically too much of it. So, rather than dilute things for newcomers we have decided to live with the hubbub while helping new readers find the columnists they will enjoy.
Our columnists each focus on a particular perspective and fall into one of the following types of gamers: