Each attempt at carving a scar in Nintendo’s portable wall, be it Atari’s Lynx in 1988, NEC’s Turbo Express in 1990, Sega’s Game Gear in 1991 or their Nomad in 1995, share a common, problematic thread: power was more important than size. They were all initially impressive entries, but have lived and quickly died by this principle, doomed to secure places in gaming’s hall of WTF.
With the launch of the PSP, Apple sees Sony falling into a similar trap. But despite relative quantum leaps in computing technology and publishers like Blizzard and Maxis (among others) backing the Mac, Apple is still hardly synonymous with gaming.
That is, until today. iPod, meet gPod, your younger, nerdier, muscle-bound brother. GR was there to get the scoop on this interesting new move from the house that Jobs built.
Although slimmer and lighter than both competing handhelds, the gPod feels quite sturdy (unlike the PSP, which will detonate if you sneeze). Apple hopes to marry their ingenious minimalist design with considerable power and a staggering array of features. According to Jonathan Ive, the industrial designer behind the iPod and G5 iMacs, “…the gPod will go one step beyond the PSP’s merger of console quality and portable convenience. It will undoubtedly blur the line between the handheld and the laptop.