The iPod touch and iPhone are typically considered to be twins with the obvious exception that the touch lacks the phone hardware. Games and applications for the iPhone are usually able to play on the iPod touch as well.
Thomas Fessler, CEO of Handheld Games Corp., says that the 3D performance between the platforms is far from the same, according to Touch Arcade. TouchSport Tennis from the company is one of the most demanding game titles for the platform and according to Fessler; the performance of the game is very different between the iPod touch and iPhone.
Significant performance differences are seen between the generations of the touch device and iPhone as well. Fessler says that his company had to modify its game to run well across all platforms and that the 2G iPod touch is by far the highest performing platform for mobile gaming from Apple.
For play on the iPod touch 2G, Handheld Games used two players with 1,500 polygons each and 32 bones and were still able to get fluid gameplay. The original iPod touch wasn't able to run the game with the same settings, and in some instances, the iPhone wasn't able to get the game to play either. The company had to reduce the polygons to 800 per player to get fluid gameplay on some platforms.
The reason the performance difference is so noticeable on games that push the hardware is that the 2G iPod touch has a processor running at 523MHz, up from 412MHz. The iPhone and the iPhone 3G along with the first generation touch all run the slower 412MHz processor speed.
Fessler says that the GPU in the new touch may have been tweaked as well, but there is no evidence making that change concrete at this time. Those with a first generation iPod touch may not be able to run some of the more hardware intensive games coming to the market.