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Apple discontinues the iPod, the portable gaming icon, after 22 years

Apple discontinues the iPod, the portable gaming icon, after 22 years

A row of iPod Minis slowly bleed their colors at the bottom of the frame in a 2009 ad.

picture: Justin Sullivan (Getty Images)

Pour one for every kid who carried a backpack in middle school, where they are likely to be in mourning today. With Apple discontinuing the 7th generation iPod Touch, announced yesterdayIt’s official: the iPod is dead.

Ostensibly, the iPod was a music device, intended to digitize song libraries, keep listeners away from limitations, and have better sound quality than physical media. (Whether this shift is beneficial to the music industry is of course another story.) But over the course of its many iterations, the iPod also heralded another revolution: the mobile gaming revolution.

Once upon a time, mobile games consisted of playing brick or snake On your parents dusty Nokia. And sure enough, after its release in 2001, the iPod – which appeared literally is a file bad port brick After the device was launched in 2001, the scene was similar for some time. Over the next few years, the offerings grew, but not by much. in 2006, EA released iPod versions Minted classics like sudoku And solitaire. Kaplan, the for-profit educational giant, has released a series of SAT prep courses (which I can only say: lol). Compared to other portable gaming devices of the era, such as the Nintendo DS for example, the iPod was not revolutionary.

Then came the iPod Touch.

First released in 2007, the iPod Touch completely reimagined the design of the iPod. Instead of sporting an erratic controlled track wheel, the iPod Touch looked a lot like a contemporary iPhone: smooth, rectangular, glued to a glass touchscreen that encapsulates a full silhouette. Unlike the iPhone, you can’t use the iPod Touch to summon and immediately lose the courage to summon an admiration from algebra. But if you have a Wifi connection, you can download a bunch of games that will at least distract you during Algebra.

Some of the games of the era were really excellent. Fruit Ninja! Tap Tap Revenge! words with friends! Being A practically created, or at least widely popular, new genre, laying the foundation for really cool endless runners like Alto’s Odyssey. Personally, I had a soft spot doodle jump, a platform game that made you look like an elephant (?) wearing a jetpack. The photos, stylized to look like a lined paper notebook, are written in ink in memory. But for me, at least, it was also an early introduction to the wider world of leaderboards.

Some games, quality aside, have become a legitimate cultural giant. Angry birds Produce a feature film, along with crossovers with star Wars And transformers, and Jazellion from other subsidiaries. (My grandmother bought me once Angry birds Bath rug, assuming that, since I love video games, I He should Like Angry birdsthe only video game.) The effect was undeniable.

Raise your hand if these ads have made an indelible impact on you, too.

Thus, the news of the iPod’s death sparked a wave of nostalgia KotakuSlack this evening.

Staff Editor Lisa Marie Segara pretty much yelled at all the games mentioned above, and further pointed to the iPod as the catalyst for the indisputable candy crush mad. She also praised the tilt controls that come with some games, which were “very innovative at the time. Or at least I felt like that.”

Writer Zack Zwizen added, “What a time to stay alive.” “I really miss the old age of the App Store. … No doubt we have great stuff today, but I can’t help but yearn for those simpler times when I drink fake beer and play with counterfeit lightsaber apps.”

Times are actually less simple. Instead of just a handful of choices to play, Apple’s gaming system is bigger than ever, like mainstream games—everything from blockbuster games like XCOM And Jinshin effect To indie hits like a sleeper Sayonara Wild Hearts And you are daddy– Make their way to the App Store. Apple Arcade, the subscription service that gives access to a game library, is slowly becoming a primary exploration ground for under-the-radar gems. (Many Apple Arcade games eventually make their way to the Nintendo Switch or traditional consoles, where they become “legitimacy” in the eyes of the seasoned gamer, something that continues to hide the origins of mobile games.)

But every time one of these once-essential devices gasps for its last breath, I find myself amazed at the ending—how everything, no matter how seemingly powerful or culturally influential, is so ephemeral, a fleeting moment that you don’t realize it was so fleeting it’s gone . As they say: Wouldn’t it be nice to realize that you are living in the good times when you are really living in 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 take advantage of the mid-2000s: Thank you ladies.

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