Pac-Man chomping iPods

[UPDATE] Venerable Namco game to be part of new $5-per-title game catalog available on iTunes, along with Bejeweled, Tetris, Zuma, and more.

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For the better part of a year, rumors have run amok that Apple was getting into games. In May, GameSpot was told by a tech-sector recruiter that former LucasArts developer Mike Lampell was heading up a group inside Apple's storied iTunes division, which was recruiting "C/C++ coders with a 'gaming background.'"

Today at a "special event" held by Apple in San Francisco's Yerba Buena Center for the Arts, Apple finally made it official. As of today, games will be available for download on the company's popular iTunes service. Unlike iTunes video downloads, iTunes games are not playable on a PC or Mac, only the iPod itself. The cost per game will be $4.99, the same price as many Xbox Live Arcade games.

Ironically, many of the iPod games Apple is offering are already available on Xbox Live Marketplace. Foremost among them are Namco Bandai's arcade classic Pac-Man and the puzzlers Bejeweled and Zuma, both from PopCap Games. Other available titles are Cubis 2 from FreshGames and three Electronic Arts offerings--Mahjong, Mini Golf, and the mother of all puzzle games, Tetris. Two other games, Vortex and Texas Hold 'Em are also available, but their publishers were unclear.

[UPDATE] According to Apple, "Each game plays perfectly on your iPod using the intuitive click wheel as a controller." However, the controls proved problematic to GameSpot editors who downloaded Pac-Man. The game forces players to look in two directions at once at the same time by maneuvering the titular yellow hero by using the scroll wheel to change direction on a recreation of a joystick in the lower right-hand side of the screen. The control scheme for Tetris, however, which involved pushing either the fast-forward or rewind-track buttons on the click wheel to rotate and the pause/play button to "hard drop," was more intuitive.

Unfortunately for owners of older models, all Apple games are playable only on fifth-generation video iPods, which were released last year in 30GB and 60GB versions, and the new models announced today, which will be on store shelves in 30GB and 80GB flavors in October. The new iPods will retail for $249 and $349, respectively, will be 30 percent thinner than their predecessors, and will sport screens that are 60 percent brighter and have higher resolution. Apple also announced an 8GB Nano model and a new $79 1GB iPod shuffle, though neither will be able to play games.

Discussion

93 comments
squid360
squid360

I'll use my ipod for music and video only.

PuffstaJones
PuffstaJones

umm.. tetris, bejeweled and zuma... thats new and exiting...... not.

_Sam_
_Sam_

I'd prefer to play on the "classic" hand helds

mitsman
mitsman

OK, I don't care if my iPod is playing games, videos, displaying photos, contacts or appointments. I use my music player for music playback only. The best thing I've read in this article is the upcoming 80GB version!!! Now let me see how am I going to unload my older iPod... :)

slyydevil
slyydevil

and poeple are complaining on a $500 & $600 console.

rulo_rezn0r
rulo_rezn0r

too expensive for me i'll stay with my nokia "snake"

NickW1
NickW1

good job apple...... for getting games that you can get cheaply for every mobile phone on the planet

SamuriChamploo
SamuriChamploo

Well whatever. Just make it good for all of the Ipod owners out there!

DSMeatte
DSMeatte

I was just joking to my freinds about Apple making a console...the iSphere I called it. This..is just....creepy.

Ahiru-San
Ahiru-San

i just bought a game through itunes, and i think it's a good service, just like xbox live arcade (in fact they have similar games).... it's a good way to play games like those live arcade on the go, and it plays like a GBA game, better than a cell phone game, same price as those chepeast xbl arcade games. i think it's ok....

gskehans97
gskehans97

They would sell...but i wouldn't buy it , Xbox360 and my old ps2 is good enought for me!

sigma8
sigma8

Fonkey_Monkey: "the new ipods are 8, not 80" New Nano is 8. New video ipod is 80. Oops. Anyway it doesn't matter. Life has no meaning if the Shuffle can't play games.

kruegersc4
kruegersc4

This is a start for Apple in the gaming biz. This may be all they'll ever do, or their priming for an actual gaming Ipod. "anyone else thinking "nokia n-gage" alike failure for gaming on the ipod? i do... " As of now, that would never happen since iPods are still primarily Video and Music machines. Even if they sold hardly any games, it wouldn't mean the iPod would become a failure.

Fonkey_Monkey
Fonkey_Monkey

errr they had an error in there..... the new ipods are 8, not 80, as verifeid by the link...

dyvasey
dyvasey

This is about as interesting as... uninteresting things. If I really want portable gaming, I'll carry around a psp or ds or something.

greeneuro
greeneuro

anyone else thinking "nokia n-gage" alike failure for gaming on the ipod? i do...

neolives2001
neolives2001

I havean Ipod and I really don't see how can you play a game in one of them. It would be too difficult to control properly :(

thisissami
thisissami

"Ipods, if you think PS3 is too expensive all i gotta say is Ipods" completely agreed :) for only 100 dollars more, the lower end PS3 can not only play movies, music, and display photos, but it lets you download them, send them to friends, chat with friends, and oh, did i forget to mention it was in High Definition? OH YEAH! i almost forgot! there's also these wonderful things calle Blu-Ray and PS3 games! and internet! wow, all that for just 100 dollars more?!? and if you pay 200$ more you'll even get HDMI and wireless internet!

thisissami
thisissami

" surferbro "All I have to say is 'Once you go mac.... you never go back!' " Sorry: been there, done that, and I must disagree - macs just don't compete with PCs. Even if their little mp3 players can play pac man." actually today that is true... if you go mac you'll never go back, cuz mac's can run windows with the new intel core!!! i've got XP on my macbook... the only real reason i can see somebody not wanting to go mac (i don't think of not being used to it as an exuse) is if they are crazy about games... and i also think developers should start producing games on macs, and follow blizzards role!!! incase you guys don't know, macs run all programs much faster than windows, which i actually know since i've played blizzard games on both macs and windows (and mind you, it ran faster on my macbook which is a laptop than on a top notch PC desktop at Carnegie Mellon University), and yes, macs run it much faster :) Also it's fact by now that windows uses an unbelievable amount of the power of a computer, which is why it demands such high speeds. Macs and Linuxes don't use anywhere near as much power, since unlike windows, they do everything well, so when you have a mac that runs at 3.2 GHz and a windows at 3.2 GHz, the mac will be 3 or 4 times as fast as the PC

makemeweak
makemeweak

surferbro "All I have to say is 'Once you go mac.... you never go back!' " Sorry: been there, done that, and I must disagree - macs just don't compete with PCs. Even if their little mp3 players can play pac man.

joshuamcc
joshuamcc

I actually downloaded PAC-MAN yesterday, and it's an excellent port. I'm glad that I'm no longer bound to solitare when I have a break in my day, while my DS is too far away. I was going to get Tetris, but I don't want to give EA any more money than they deserve.

makemeweak
makemeweak

Are they paying poor workers a dollar a day to code these games too? Or is that just for the hardware?

chrisdojo
chrisdojo

interesting. i still don't have an ipod though....

SnuffDaddyNZ
SnuffDaddyNZ

ipodlinux.org for older ipods is a site that will help you install linux on your older ipod and has a few games including a doom port. EDIT: Reguarding the comment about IPods being expensive (refered to PS3 price). Creative released the first MP3 player with a built in HDD. The drives capacity was a whopping 6Gb, but the cost was double that you'd currently pay for the most expensive IPod.

lewser5
lewser5

Finally a new version that is cheaper, better and play good games. Now is the time to get an ipod.

jattpunjabdaa
jattpunjabdaa

thank goodness i waited to get an ipod. this 6th gen ipod is ****** pimpin!!

Switch0025
Switch0025

I've been playing Doom, some Bust a Move clone, and a few other games on my ipod for awhile now. Although I still have to get a file installed to get Pac-man. And from what I remember- too lazy to find out now- I have Bejeweled (or atleast a clone) on there to. And those were all free.

Alvin777
Alvin777

Steve designed the Atari game Breakout which I think will debut soon at iTunes with nostalgic effect. It's also after the japanese market who download using cellphones. For sure, coming soon, iPod games that will be more sophisticated and will use the patented Click Wheel (which made the iPod sell in the first place) along with the hardrive's accelerometer (if it had it) making the iPod a small Wii or a Gameboy Advance/DS. I can't wait for their cellphone, movie and music player, pda combo with handwriting recognition for calls, texting and gaming, hopefully next year.

nuttabutta
nuttabutta

screw pac man im gonna get vortex and zuma when i get a new ipod! those were made for the click wheel! :D

UnReAL_LeGeND
UnReAL_LeGeND

I got a ipod photo when it first came out (2 years ago) and i still dont have new one, il probobly wait til the next wave of iPods before i finally upgrade.

i_love_my_ds
i_love_my_ds

80 GB is a lot of memory.......how much video can you stuff on that thing?

goochyslap101
goochyslap101

FYI for gamespot, itunes is already offering itunes movies. for those who are thinking of getting an ipod now with video 'n' stuff, you should probably wait. apple is planning on releasing a "true" video ipod. a 4" widescreen video ipod. just google for that and see for yourself what it's mostly gonna look like. totally sweet. the games are awesome. for those who think it's a waste for apple offering games, just remember that it's suppose to appeal to casual gamers not really people who are already gamers.

Pablo620
Pablo620

Ipods, if you think PS3 is too expensive all i gotta say is Ipods

DDRFreak808
DDRFreak808

Honestly, when that Rumor Control about Apple hiring game developers surfaced a couple of months back, this is what I expected. Small games on the iPod, maybe similar games on consoles downloaded from Xbox Live and other similar services. I did not foresee Apple upgrading the iPod firmware for the 5G for games, nor did I see most of the other things introduced at the event coming. I did predict the 2G Nanos and the Movies, but I was really expecting them to hold back on games until the 6th generation.

grnidbandit
grnidbandit

gee i wish GS would not delete my comment next time when they first stated it was a 6th Gen Ipod and I commented that it was not

grave_rob
grave_rob

this is beyond rad. as if listening to hxc music while i'm at work wasn't good enough? now i can play some high stakes poker. i've said it like 200 times already but: my ipod was the best purchase i've made in the past 5 yrs.

enigma_nemesis2
enigma_nemesis2

I agree with Mit Man. I bought a 60GB iPod video with a TON of hard drive problems that forced me to format the iPod over 12 TIMES. I think they dropped the 60 GB version because it had too many harddrive-related problems. Now they release a 80 GB version with all the nice brighter screen and longer batterly life. This sucks. I won't buy another iPod video until the 8th generation (which is within two years). However, I must say the new iPod Shuffle looks SWEET!

hockeyruler12
hockeyruler12

AWESOME!!! cant wait for the new 80gb model and iTunes 7's new interface is very user-friendly, i like it alot

playwrite
playwrite

i love apple, but never buy an ipod. they allways break. this is coming from a guy who has had to send his in to be repaired 4 times in 2 years.

Igwababa
Igwababa

The new iPods are a real let down, their just thinner with no new features, I mean common atleast give the nano video or something, doing nothing is just pathetic on their part, I am defniantly not upgrading.

chug_uk
chug_uk

lmao...charging for games 4 an ipod. thats a joke. just buy a psp or ds

billysea
billysea

I think the new ipods Apple is releasing are kinda bad compare to their past. The ipod nano looks uglier with those Ipod Mini color, The new Ipod Shuffle looks cheap with that silver. They usually have breakthrough with their products, but this time I found them to be degraded.

Notoria
Notoria

oh my god what will Apple come up with next. Well that's why won't buy an Ipod for a little while, I mean a better one comes out every year.

GamesAnytime
GamesAnytime

Talk about bells and wistles, Kudos Apple

spydrman5472
spydrman5472

Where is the iBoy? If there is anyone that can step into the market and dominate with a devic e fully capable of integrating music/video/games it's Apple. At this point the PSP is a sham in said department thanks in no small part to subpar support from Sony on all fronts (except of course for the cramming of UMDs down consumer throats... thank god we spit that crap back in their face). Come on Mr. Jobs answer our collective consumer prayers of the ultimate in nerd-chic gadget wizardry!