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Before You iPad vs. iPhone vs. iPod Touch: What’s Best For Your Gaming Buck?


The iPad is often described as "a giant iPod Touch", but the differences between the two devices, as well as the iPhone, are pretty noticeable once you start gaming. Not sure which one to get? Here’s a breakdown of what you need to know to get ahead of the game – and don’t forget to visit the main iPad, iPhone & iPod Touch gaming page for more info.

I Don’t Want To Look At A Tiny Screen. I Prefer Big, Splashy Visuals.

The iPad will work for you. The screens are twice the size of the iPod Touch and iPhone – about 10 inches by 7 inches. Best of all, the iPad plays most of the iPhone and iPod Touch games either in original size (which you probably don’t want) or at double the screen view.

Read: 5 Must-Have iPad Launch Games

The iPad also has games made specifically for the device. These take advantage of the larger screen – and provide the big, splashy visuals you’re looking for.

I Can’t Justify Something That Just Plays Games. I Want A Multipurpose Device.

The iPhone and the iPad will provide you with the excuse to play games on the side. The popular iPhone is a cell phone, so you can get in a quick game in between calls (or, presumably, vice versa). Newer games will automatically save your game when a call comes in, too.

The iPad is by far the most versatile mobile gaming device, as the mini-laptop runs word processing software, full-scale paint programs and dozens of other productivity elements. Keep in mind, though, that it is three times as big as the iPod Touch and iPhone, so it’s not as mobile.

I Don’t Want To Pay Any Monthly Fees. I’m On A Budget!

Grab the iPod Touch or the iPad Wi-Fi edition. The iPod Touch is a little more expensive than its twin, the iPhone, but it isn’t a phone, so it doesn’t require a monthly service plan. The iPod Touch plays virtually all the same games as the iPhone, too.

The iPad comes in two editions: Wi-Fi only and Wi-Fi/3G. The slightly cheaper Wi-Fi edition can only get online via a wireless network. The Wi-Fi/3G version can use cell phone coverage to get online most anywhere, but it will cost you a monthly fee – and it doesn’t even make phone calls!

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