iPod, the new portable gaming system?

iPod BejeweledWith Apple’s “Showtime” media presentation yesterday, a new contender in the portable gaming playing field emerged. Apple has announced, and is currently offering, game downloads through the iTunes Music Store for $4.99 US. These games are all playable on your 5G iPod, and are also all controlled with the iPods patented scroll wheel.

The current game list in iTunes consists of a fairly diverse collection of games. From the old school Pac-Man to the casual game superstar, Bejeweled. Here is what you can currently download for your 5G iPod.

  • Bejeweled – Match jewels to clear the board
  • Tetris – Rotate falling bricks to clear rows
  • PAC-MAN – Get the ghosts
  • Vortex – Shoot on through to the other side
  • Zuma – Slide balls of the same color together
  • Texas Hold ‘Em – Practice your poker face
  • Mini Golf – Make a hole in one (or five)
  • Mahjong – Arrange tiles just so
  • Cubis 2 – Match cubes in colorful arrays

Would you play a game on your iPod? I know that personally I played the built-in solitaire a few times, but found that controlling a game with the scroll wheel was awkward at best. The new batch of games, some co-developed with EA games, all look fantastic though. I think Apple is doing a good thing for the casual games market by making these available, and time will only tell how successful they will be.

$5 for a game to play while listening to your favorite tunes (or podcast!) sounds like a good thing to me.

5 Responses to “iPod, the new portable gaming system?”

  1. 1 Dicer999

    I saw this on iTunes yesterday. Its a good idea, but i dont think it will catch on.

  2. 2 leon

    Hmmmm…I’m happy enough with my DS but I could see this being a rather clever Trojan Horse into the portable games industry…

  3. 3 Mitchyd

    Yes! Free online games I can get on my iPod!!! FINALLY!


  4. 4 roanne

    Free games? I wonder if it’ll be okay with the iMac. as what i’ve heard, even those games w/c are bought from the iTunes store can’t be accessed through the computer, saying error messages like the game is not authorized?

  5. 5 Dimplemonkey

    No, the games are not free. They’re 4.99 a game. I did download Zuma and actually enjoyed it a lot more than I anticipated. The games were redesigned to make optimal use of the scroll wheel and if you read some of the other comments posted on the iTunes Store, you’ll see they’re scoring points (pun intended). I don’t intend on letting my iPod become my main gaming portable, but it is nice to see that I can quickly load up and play a game if I am just waiting around or need a small mental break during the day.

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