I don't think it so much became obvious that the ipod touch was good for games, more that it became obvious that its pretty useless for everything else... even as an ipod... its bigger and has much less storage than the classic counterpart. Jobs himself even said this, they are focusing on games because that's all it's remotely good for.
people like games. they like making games and they like playing games. all Apple needed to do was NOT restrict them - even then people were hacking doom into the original ipods - just give it beefy specs, and an open(ish) dev process and you will have games, thats what they got. it doesn't even matter that the control system is TERRIBLE for most games.
so yeah, its not hard to make a gaming machine, in fact you pretty much have to go out of your way not to. If Apple were serious about gaming I think they would have added some physical controls.
Anti-Apple rhetoric aside, this is simply proof that the gaming market is bigger than anyone realizes. It fills space like gases fill volumes.
Whether or not a large touch screen is suitable for ALL games, there are some games that will do very well on that platform. Need I mention the Wii? Some stuff works. Others, not so much.
If anything, as often-marginalized gamers, we should be holding the iTouch/Pad up as precedent that gaming is truly mainstream, for expert and novice alike, and that proper development and delivery is still untapped.
The whole, distribute TV shows and movies via the internet in small little windows and gaming on iPod/iPad, seems to me about rolling back the resolution and detail of content, since it's such a resource bandwidth hog, hardware spec burden to have super high quality gaming. I myself life photo-realistic environments, very sophisticated AI and really good cinematics and storyline... so you can imagine what I'd like to do with the impish little Wii... But it is easier, more cost effective for developers and you can roll out a large variety of content more quickly if it's designed for 480x320, and there's no fps battles in benchmarking going on. I hope the days of serious high quality gaming isn't over (see the development costs of modern games in a recent Toms article).
Really? The Nexus One has a better GPU in it. The iPad is just ARM parts stuck together with an Apple logo on it. Why devolop games on it when it's a closed system with a closed OS, when a devoloper could design a game for Android or Windows Mobile 7 and have the same hardware with a much more open OS AND more users. Sorry Michael Pachter, NO!
I think people are missing the point. Hardcore gamers are part of a very small minority. If this becomes anywhere near as popular as the iphone/ipod touch was it could very well push games into the mainstream community like no other platform save the wii has. I would say most indie games should be playable on the ipad from a control standpoint. I can already see the possibility for some great rts games, though it's a shame apple didn't use tegra...