Apple discontinues mobile gaming icon iPod after 22 years

Apple discontinues mobile gaming icon iPod after 22 years

A row of iPod Minis slowly bleeds its color schemes across the bottom of the frame in a 2009 ad.

Photo: justin sullivan (fake images)

Pour one out for every kid who strapped on a backpack in high school, since they’re probably in mourning today. With Apple’s discontinuation of the seventh-generation iPod Touch, announced yesterdayIt’s official: the iPod is dead.

Ostensibly, the iPod was a music device, intended to digitize song libraries and take listeners away from the limitations and galactically better sound quality of physical media. (Whether such a change was good for the music industry is, of course, another story.) But throughout its many iterations, the iPod also heralded another revolution: that of mobile gaming.

Once upon a time, mobile gaming was all about playing Brick either Snake in your parents’ dusty Nokia. And of course, after its launch in 2001, the iPod, which literally featured a poor quality port Brick after the device’s launch in 2001, it had a similar outlook for a while. During the following years, the offers grew, but not much. In 2006, EA released iPod versions of classics coined as Sudoku Y Alone. Kaplan, the for-profit educational giant, launched a series of SAT Prep Courses of Study (to which I can only say: lol). Compared to other mobile gaming devices of the time, such as the Nintendo DS, the iPod was nothing revolutionary.

Then came the iPod Touch.

First released in 2007, the iPod Touch totally reinvented iPod design. Instead of a brick with a lopsided control wheel, the iPod Touch looked a lot like its contemporary, the iPhone: sleek, rectangular, with a glass touchscreen that covered its entire silhouette. Unlike the iPhone, you couldn’t use an iPod Touch to summon and instantly lose the courage to dial your algebra crush. But if you had a Wi-Fi connection, you could download a bunch of games that would at least distract you. during algebra.

And some of the games at the time were really great. fruit ninja! tap tap revenge! words with friends! temple run pretty much created, or at least widely popularized, a new genre, laying the groundwork for truly fantastic endless runners like The High Odyssey. Personally, I had a soft spot for Doodle Jump, a platform game that casts you as an elephant (?) with a jetpack. The images, stylized to resemble a lined paper notebook, are seared into memory. But for me, at least, it was also an early introduction to the wider world of leaderboards.

Some games, quality aside, became legitimate cultural giants. angry birds spawned a feature film, along with crossovers with Star Wars Y transformers, and a bunch of other spin-offs. (My grandmother once bought me a angry birds bath mat, assuming that since I like video games, should I like it angry birdsthe only video game.) The impact was undeniable.

Raise your hand if these ads also left an indelible impact on you.

And so the news of the death of the iPod set off a strong wave of nostalgia in KotakuSlack this afternoon.

Staff Editor Lisa Marie Segarra highlighted virtually all of the games listed above, further pointing to the iPod as a catalyst for the undisputed candy crush mania. He also praised the tilt controls that came with some games, which were “so innovative at the time. Or at least that’s how I felt.”

“What a time to be alive,” added staff writer Zack Zwiezen. “I really miss the previous era of the App Store. … We certainly have some great stuff going on today, but I can’t help but long for those simpler times when I drank fake beer and played around with faux lightsaber apps.”

The tenses are in fact less simple. Instead of the handful of must-have options, Apple’s gaming ecosystem is larger than ever, with top games from blockbusters like XCOM Y Genshin Impact to sleeper indie hits like Sayonara Wild Hearts Y slime it’s you— head to the App Store. Apple Arcade, a subscription service that grants access to a library of games, is slowly becoming an essential exploration ground for hidden gems. (Many Apple Arcade games eventually make their way to Nintendo Switch or traditional consoles, where they are ‘legitimized’ in the eyes of the hardcore gamer, something that continues to obscure the origins of mobile gaming.)

But every time one of these once-essential devices draws its last breath, I’m struck by the finality: how everything, no matter its seeming staying power or cultural impact, is fleeting, a fleeting moment you don’t realize is there. It was fleeting until he left. As they say: Wouldn’t it be nice to recognize that you’re living the good times when you’re actually living the good times? I think so.

Anyway, yes, RIP to iPod. You had a good run. You have left a good legacy. And to really get everything in the mid-2000s: Thank you from Mms.

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