So, Apple released its new generation of iPod classic
and iPod nano
yesterday to much fanfare. I picked up a new nano today (actually, Melissa and I each got one: hers red and mine silver).
This evening, Melissa wanted me to load the games I had previously bought for my 5G iPod onto it. There are a couple nice ones like Bejeweled and Zuma, for example. This is when something I hadn't considered happened: There was nothing to be found under the Games tab in iTunes.
So, I went to the iTunes Store to see what was up. Did I have to buy the games again for the new device? Well, the note there says:
iPod Games are compatible with fifth generation iPods (with video) only. They cannot be played in iTunes or on the iPhone.
COMING SOON: Tetris, Ms. PAC-MAN and Sudoku will soon be compatible with iPod nano (video) and iPod classic.
Well, there you have it. For whatever reason, all those games I bought for my fifth generation iPod apparently aren't compatible, and there aren't even new versions available for the new iPods. This is a downer, especially for those of us considering upgrading our 5G iPod to an iPod classic (inso upgrading you'll lose the ability to play your games), but also for those who thought the new Nano would be cool as a tiny game-playing device as well as a music/video player.
Hopefully it's just a matter of time until most of the games are made available. Since the resolution is the same, and speculation is that the Nano and Classic use a modified version of the previous iPod software, not something based on the iPhone/iPod touch version of OS X, one wouldn't think it would be that hard. Also, hopefully I won't have to re-buy all of those games...
And while on the subject of iPod games, I just can't stop writing without mentioning how badly the iPhone (and ultimately the iPod touch, too) needs games. Pretty much all cell phones these days have games available, and unofficial things like Lights Off
and even the web-based games like Bejeweled
, and BattleFleet
show that games are nice to have on the iPhone.
Still, without native gaming, we're left with non-smooth animations, a lack of sound effects, and limits on the types of interaction that are allowed (Bejeweled, for example, really wants to support tap-and-drag to swap jewels), and of course there's the desire to have games available when the web is not available or not practical to use (such as when playing a game with lots of graphics with only Edge available).
Of course, games on the iPhone will need to be at least somewhat different from games on the iPod, as the touchscreen interface really demands a different type of interaction than the scroll wheel. But again, hopefully we're just talking about a matter of time, since this just seems so obvious.