Apple certainly wasn’t lacking for news at its press event today. We’ve got a story up on the front page of Variety, focusing on Apple TV, right now – and an analysis piece will be in tomorrow’s daily edition.
One thing that has seemingly been lost in the shuffle is Apple made it clearer than ever that it was gunning for Nintendo and Sony – and it’s not afraid of either company’s gaming legacy. In the meantime, here’s a recap of some of the other news that Jobs & Co. unveiled.
* Three versions of the iPod will be getting facelifts – the Shuffle, Nano and Touch. All of the new models will be released next week.
* The iPod Shuffle will be even smaller and adding the Genius and voiceover functionality (telling users the name of the song and artist – and even when the battery is low). The new price will be $49.
* The iPod Nano is eliminating the click wheel and getting a lot smaller as well. A new multitouch screen is being added, along with a clip. It’s 46 percent smaller and 42 percent lighter. An 8GB model will run $149 and a 16GB model will cost $179.
* The iPod Touch will get the same retina display that the iPhone 4 boasts, along with the A4 chip (which powers the iPhone), a three-axis gyro and front and rear facing cameras. That means FaceTime is on the way to the iPod – as well as the ability to shoot 720p video and edit it locally. Prices are $229 for the 8GB model, $299 for the 32GB model and $399 for the 64GB model.
* Jobs called the iPod Touch “the number one game player in the world,” noting that it has outsold portable game devices from Nintendo and Sony combined. To date, 1.5 billion games and entertainment apps have been downloaded to the Touch alone. Apple claims the device has a 50 percent market share in the U.S. and worldwide.
* Apple unveiled Game Center – a multiplayer gaming service that lets people play with friends and matches them with people with similar skill levels. Essentially, it’s Apple’s version of Xbox Live.
* A new iTunes is coming as well. Integrated into it will be a social component called Ping that should have Facebook execs kind of nervous. Users will be able to share their musical tastes with friends or the world – and track what people of interest (including artists) are listening to as well. The iPod will then put together a custom Top 10 list of what their circle is listening to. Ping will also advise them on upcoming concerts in their area by artists they like.
* Folders, multitasking and wireless printing are coming to the iPad later this year. (Thank all that is holy!)
* Prior to that, an update to iOS will come next week, fixing a number of bugs, adding the ability to upload HD video over WiFi and GameCenter.