Steve Jobs took to the the stage during today's "Let's Rock" event and made a number of announcements relevant to iPhone and iPod Gaming.

iPod touch

Announcement most relevant to our readers was the unveiling of the 2nd generation iPod touch.  The new unit is thinner than the 1st generation unit and features a curved, stainless steel back shell, similar in shape to that of the iPhone (but much lower profile).

Features include:

  • 2.1 firmware
  • Built-in speaker and volume control rocker
  • 36 hours battery for music, 6 hours for video
  • "Genius" playlist
  • Integrated Nike+iPod support

The new units maintain the storage capacities of the 1st generation units: 8GB for $229, 16GB for $299, and 32GB for $399.

Clearly Apple is positioning the iPod touch as a solid gaming device.  During his presentation, Jobs called the iPod touch "the best portable device for playing games" and ran a new ad video that shows off several games and calls the device the "funnest iPod ever."  The addition of an integrated speaker and volume controls make the device much more suitable for mobile gaming, as well.


Need for Speed image from Engadget

Senior VP of Marketing, Phil Schiller, demoed three games at today's event: EA's Spore Origins, Real Soccer 2009, and EA's Need for Speed: Undercover (of which all save Need for Speed are now avilable in the App Store.)

Firmware 2.1 / iTunes 8

Jobs also promised that we would see the iPhone 2.1 firmware this Friday. Changes in the firmware are said to include:

  • Significantly better battery life
  • Fewer call drops
  • Bug fixes
  • Faster backups to iTunes
  • No App crashes

The issue of App crashing and general iPhone instability has been a huge issue causing a number of issues for App Store shoppers installing the latest games.

Meanwhile, iTunes 8 has also been released today. The changes found in it appear to be geared more towards it's use as a music jukebox, but we hope that some iPhone related changes may have made its way into this new version.

App Store

Jobs also revealed that customers had downloaded over 100 million applications from the App Store in 60 days and that there are currently approximately 700 games available for download.

  • defaude

    The clip from the shwo about Need For Speed, looks pretty cool...

    http://de.youtube.com/watch?v=gRhpBvALz4E

  • defaude

    The clip from the shwo about Need For Speed, looks pretty cool...

    http://de.youtube.com/watch?v=gRhpBvALz4E

  • mikeadams

    think they'll have any type of trade in your old touch for a discount?

  • mikeadams

    think they'll have any type of trade in your old touch for a discount?

  • bloc party

    mike, if there was a deal available I'm sure it would be a bad one. You'd be better off selling on eBay. Do you really think these minor improvements warrant an upgrade?

  • bloc party

    mike, if there was a deal available I'm sure it would be a bad one. You'd be better off selling on eBay. Do you really think these minor improvements warrant an upgrade?

  • Dudehuge

    @mike
    Nope mike. Why upgrade? The old one is still good. Wait next year, they release new iterations every year anyways.

  • Dudehuge

    @mike
    Nope mike. Why upgrade? The old one is still good. Wait next year, they release new iterations every year anyways.

  • SteveJ

    First: I do think it warrants the upgrade for me, because I am trying to use my iPod Touch as a replacement for my old Palm, and one area it falls way short is alarms - the built-in speaker on the 1st gen iPod touch only puts on ridiculously quiet little chirps. They're almost worthless. So, for me, the addition of a real speaker is a very big deal. I also really wish the iPod Touch had physical volume controls and, low and behold, the new one does. I'm definitely having a hard time resisting the idea of selling my current touch and upgrading. One thing holding me back is knowing how the initial batch of 1st gen iPod Touch's turned out. I had to return my first one. I don't want to go through that again, so I'll probably wait a few months for it to all shake out. I'm sure there will be issues.

    Second, the iPod touch 2.1 firmware is out now! I'm downloading it as I type. I don't know why they've released it early, but given all the problems I've had with version 2.0.x, I'm definitely installing this ASAP with fingers crossed. Even if it is a beta accidentally released, it has to be better than the alpha (or earlier) that is 2.0.x. To get the update, connect your iPod touch and then click the Check for Update button, or whatever it says.

  • SteveJ

    First: I do think it warrants the upgrade for me, because I am trying to use my iPod Touch as a replacement for my old Palm, and one area it falls way short is alarms - the built-in speaker on the 1st gen iPod touch only puts on ridiculously quiet little chirps. They're almost worthless. So, for me, the addition of a real speaker is a very big deal. I also really wish the iPod Touch had physical volume controls and, low and behold, the new one does. I'm definitely having a hard time resisting the idea of selling my current touch and upgrading. One thing holding me back is knowing how the initial batch of 1st gen iPod Touch's turned out. I had to return my first one. I don't want to go through that again, so I'll probably wait a few months for it to all shake out. I'm sure there will be issues.

    Second, the iPod touch 2.1 firmware is out now! I'm downloading it as I type. I don't know why they've released it early, but given all the problems I've had with version 2.0.x, I'm definitely installing this ASAP with fingers crossed. Even if it is a beta accidentally released, it has to be better than the alpha (or earlier) that is 2.0.x. To get the update, connect your iPod touch and then click the Check for Update button, or whatever it says.

  • awesome-o

    hmmmm significantly better battery life? I really do hope so! High expectations there.

    I really don't see in the upgrade it's not as if the hardware is better
    It's just the same with volume controls and speaker. If had Bluetooth now that'd be a different story or better graphics or w.e.
    @steveJ
    Buy an alarm clock!
    Buy an alarm clock!

  • awesome-o

    hmmmm significantly better battery life? I really do hope so! High expectations there.

    I really don't see in the upgrade it's not as if the hardware is better
    It's just the same with volume controls and speaker. If had Bluetooth now that'd be a different story or better graphics or w.e.
    @steveJ
    Buy an alarm clock!
    Buy an alarm clock!

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