LEEWIND: The hottest new gaming platform? iPod.

LEEWIND: The hottest new gaming platform? iPod.

Courtesy of Preston Steger, Social Media Manager

LEEWIND is a weekly series by the Lee Clarion featuring a story from our archives to celebrate Lee's Centennial.

Sept. 17, 2008—It's usually a slow news day for some outlets until Apple releases their big new product. And that's when front pages and magazine covers and TV talk shows finally have a new topic to exhaust for a few days.

Not so, this time. Excitement built to its traditional crescendo and then Steve Jobs came out. And as much as every single person in the audience wanted to hear Jobs say "One more thing," it never came.

It's true that Apple can't go around releasing new awe-inspiring iPhones at every event, but that's the dilemma companies like Apple run into when they set the bar so high.

The new iPod nanos look like they were designed by Roy G. Biv himself. And if you shake them or turn them they'll pull iPhone-esque tricks. Plus it comes in 16 Gigabytes now. Seven years later and it's only three times the storage space of the original iPod.

The iPod touch became the product it should have been when it was released. The addition of a speaker and external volume controls pumped up the volume for users. Apple also addressed the biggest issue that didn't need to be addressed. Battery life jumped from 22 hours to 36 hours.

While the speaker compliments the touch perfectly, adding a microphone would give it VOIP ability, eating into sales of iPhones. Also adding a camera to the iPod touch might help some application sales, but could take away from the feature-rich iPhone. Another application lacking is copy and paste. Apple needs to meet the basics before it ventures beyond.

So what was the point of Apple calling everyone together for a bunch of upgrade announcements that would otherwise receive no attention from similar companies? Games.

Apple has chomped the music market and consumed the portable video market. What else is there to bite except those pesky PS3 and Nintendo DS units?

In all actuality, the iPod touch and iPhone hardware is superior to many of the portable gaming platforms available today, despite the lack of physical buttons on board.

Apple used a sizable amount of time it its annual iPod carnival show to boast how capable the iPod touch was for game play. Even the new ads for the device highlight the prospect of gaming on the units. Apple is chasing after gamers for Christmas this year and the company won't be happy until they've reached the next level.

iTunes 8 was also released. The best reason to download it: It's free. And then there's the whole Genius Playlist thing. And that "trippy" new visualizer.

So, while Apple continues to churn away on a touch-screen nano, may the rumors begin again. Hopefully the next updates will leave a better taste.

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