Whatever Apple wants you to believe, the iPod touch is not a replacement for a ‘real’ portable console. Sure it plays games as well as a Nintendo DS or PSP, but if you think the iPod touch is a replacement for either of those devices you’re sorely mistaken.
There are plenty of great games for the iPod touch but the pricing is reflective of the level of entertainment on offer. The most expensive game I’ve purchased – Blue Skies 3GS at £8.99 – I only have because I wanted to see what enhancements OpenGL brought with it and the result is entirely underwhelming. The benefit of the faster internals thus far is definitely in shorter app loading times, not improved graphic fidelity.
As fun as some of the games available are, the App Store lacks anything with the charm of Patapon or the depth of The Legend of Zelda: The Phantom Hourglass. The iPod touch versions of SimCity and Monkey Island, which I utterly adore, are as close as you can get to a ‘proper’ game.
As the Wii proved, though, casual drop-in, drop-out gaming is hardly something to be criticised. For sure, if I’m at home and want to entertain myself for half an hour I’m more likely to fire up Horde mode in Gears of War 2, or play a couple of quick deathmatches in Resistance 2, but I’m hardly going to take my Xbox 360 or PS3 on a train into London.
Battery life falls just short of being a concern. Gaming is obviously more demanding than music or even video playback, although by how much depends on the title. SimCity, for example, is fairly draining, taking about three hours before the touch will throw up a 10 per cent charge remaining message, but you’ll get closer to 4.5 hours out of less intensive titles like Touchgrind or AloneAtWar.
That might sound poor, but in real terms the result is enough power to game your way through an hour commute on a train into work, listen to music all day (if you’re fortunate enough to have a job where you can get away with doing so) and still have enough juice to watch a couple of episodes of ”Family Guy” on the way home. At least with an iPod touch you won’t be killing your ability to make or receive phone calls if you do run out of power – unlike on the iPhone.
Unlike other sites, we thoroughly test every product we review. We use industry standard tests in order to compare features properly. We’ll always tell you what we find. We never, ever accept money to review a product. Tell us what you think - send your emails to the Editor.