Tech + Lifestyle

games, gear, and googleplexes (joke)

Of Rock and Roll and Cameras

I purposely arrange my schedule around Apple’s media events. No really, I do. Today I actually rescheduled a meeting so that I could read about Apple’s “It’s Only Rock And Roll” event in realtime. In my defense (or defence, for you kids across the pond), I actually got it out of the way early in a responsible, adult manner.

I hate to be anything that even vaguely resembles a fanboy, but I find their announcements absolutely fascinating. Apple has managed to take something that most companies relegate to either a press release or one of a handful of trade shows and turn it into some sort of massive party/lovefest/shindig where the crowd treats company executives like rockstars and treats rockstars like, well, regular folks. Quivering journalist-types and tech bloggers hang upon their every word, frantically posting updates to their website, and mere mortals such as myself eat up those updates like so many delicious cookies. Second-hand love like that requires talent, folks; talent that Apple has in spades. I enjoyed today’s “It’s Only Rock And Roll” event as much as any other of their announcements (well, almost: I was practically jumping up and down in excitement when the iPhone and iPod Touch were announced two years ago). There was just one problem.

The 3rd-gen iPod Touch has no camera.

Not only that, the 5th-gen iPod Nano does have a camera.

What. The. Hell?

There are plenty of possible reasons for this, and I’m not going to bother to go into them today (or any other day… go read a tech blog if that’s what you’re looking for). I’m trying to look at this from the semi-rational perspective of a gamer. Sure, a camera could have potentially been used in a few gimmicky games here and there, but it has no significant impact on my gaming experience. The chip upgrades and increase in storage capacity, on the other hand, will make a measurable difference.
It boils down to this: yeah, I’m bummed that the much-rumored camera won’t be making an appearance in the new Touch. I was also wishing for other cool iPhone tech, like the digital compass. That being said, I don’t really need a camera in my iPod, I just like having gear with more stuff crammed into them. What I was really wanting to upgrade for was gaming ability, and the new 3rd-gen makes admirable advances in that regard.

Let’s do a quick comparison:

My current iPod, a 1st-gen Touch, has what can only be described as non-existent battery life. I can game on it for perhaps 15-20 minutes before getting a 20% warning, which is entirely unacceptable from a gaming perspective. A new Touch, on the other hand, should get around 2-3 hours of play before giving up the ghost.

I’ll be able to load things wicked-fast, which is not possible on a 1st-gen Touch. They can only go sorta-fast.
My storage capacity will double when I go from 16 Gb to the 32 Gb of a midrange model. You know how many more games that is? A lot more, that’s how many.

Other improvements include multiplayer over Bluetooth, use of OpenGL 2.0, and a built-in speaker. The 1st-gen Touch has none of those things, my dear friends.

On a slightly more general perspective, I will no longer be a second-class citizen of the App Store (see earlier articles). I can play anything and everything, even if it’s dumb like Booyah Society. That is cause for celebration.
Oh, and one last parting note – I’ve got a soon-to-be-retired 1st-gen iPod Touch which is just begging to be destroyed in the worst way possible. Any suggestions on what to do with it? I’ve got a few ideas so far:

1. Shoot it.
2. Smash it with a sledgehammer.
3. Run over it with a car.
4. Try to resurrect it with a fresh battery (the root of its many failings), inevitably fail, and proceed to go through the earlier options in reverse order.

Let me know what you think! In the mean time, I’ve got a 3rd-gen iPod Touch to order…

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September 11, 2009 - Posted by | Gaming, iPhone/iPod Touch | , , , , , ,

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