∞ Review: iPod touch is a gaming platform and so much more

The iPod touch literally has it all. This is Apple’s flagship iPod and is the top-selling device in the company’s arsenal — with good reason. The iPod touch incorporates everything that makes Apple a great company. It has an iPhone-like design, it can run apps, it has multi-touch, HD video recording and FaceTime video chat. If that’s not enough, Apple also put in a Retina display, the A4 chip and a 3-axis gyro.

Like I said, it has it all.

I don’t play many games on my iPhone, but the ones I do play are more casual games. That’s not really what my iPhone is for — it’s more of a communication device for me. However, the iPod touch is all about gaming.

It’s very clear looking at the new touch that Apple is going with what consumers want and that’s a gaming device. Steve Jobs said during the introduction of the touch that it had become the No. 1 portable game player in the world, outselling Nintendo and Sony combined.

That is an amazing feat for the touch, but when you throw in a faster processor, gyro and Game Center, you have to wonder what the traditional gaming platforms will do to catch up.

One of the features I enjoyed most about my new iPhone is the Retina display. I noticed it most on text because I read a lot of email and browse websites on my iPhone. Just wait until the games all start coming out with Retina display-optimized graphics –wow. Not that the current games don’t shine on the touch, they do, but you just know it’s going to get better.

The iPod touch I’ve been using this week has iOS 4.1, so I also got to try out things like Game Center. This gives gamers a new way to use games on the touch. To setup Game Center, you just enter your email, choose your region, set a nickname, and set a few settings, like allowing other people to invite you to games.

The faster A4 chip is an amazing addition for gamers. There is just no comparison between the old processor and this one. It speeds up every task you do, from opening apps to playing games.

The addition of FaceTime is huge for the iPod touch too. When you’re not gaming, you can use the touch to video chat with others. It’s really easy to setup too. Just enter your email address and Apple ID and you’re done.

To make a call, you just tap the FaceTime app or go through your Address Book and choose the contact you want to chat with. Very intuitive.

I love the addition of the front and back cameras on the iPod touch. Of course, you can take pictures, but more than that is the HD video camera. It shoots video at 30 frames per second in 720p. If you purchase iMovie for the iPod touch, you can edit and share your video without leaving the device. The quality of the videos is just superb.

The sloping design of the edges on the touch made it very comfortable to hold, especially in landscape mode, but it did cause some problems when connecting the USB cable. I’m assuming at this point, it’s just something I have to get used to.

Of course, the touch has the ability to use many of the apps on the App Store, as well as accessing the Internet for Web browsing and email over Wi-Fi. You can also download iBooks and use Apple’s new Ping service to discover new music.

The iPod touch is a great device. I can’t imagine there is much an iPod owner would want to do that can’t be done on the touch.