From time to time, we come across some pretty cool gadgets that we have no choice but to feature them. Just last week, we featured Joystick-It Tablet Arcade Stick from the cool folks over at ThinkGeek, which is an addon for the iPhone and iPad that lets you experience arcade style fun in your device. But why stop at adding physical joysticks on your device when you can have an arcade cabinet for that full retro arcade gaming experience? Well if that's the case then you might want to take a look at iCade - iPad Arcade Cabinet, again from the brilliant minds over at ThinkGeek.
The iCade actually started as an April Fool's joke back in 2010, but this supposedly imaginary iPad gaming accessory was pushed into production and is made into reality. ThinkGeek, the creator of iCade, has partnered with Ion in order to make this addon commercially available.
Enter the iCADE iPad Arcade Cabinet! To use the iCade, gently slide the iPad into the cradle. The iCADE uses Bluetooth to connect to the iPad so there's nothing else you need to do. You're ready to "insert coin" and game on!
To bring the iCADE to life, ThinkGeek has partnered with ION. Atari, the first name in classic arcade games, also signed up to bring a huge suite of classic arcade titles including Asteroids® to market with iCADE support built right in. When released, a friendly API will be made available to developers to add iCADE support to almost any game.
Well, basically iCade is a miniature arcade cabinet that works as a housing for your iPad and iPad 2. Onscreen action is be controlled by the accessory via its built-in bluetooth. The iCade's control panel features a round ball joystick with eight buttons. This neat accessory brings authentic and familiar arcade controls to classic Atari games like Missile Command and Pong. The cabinet itself looks to be solidly constructed and would certainly look great on any desk. Here's the list of features according to the official product page of the iCade:
- Beautifully retro-styled tabletop arcade cabinet for your otherwise useless iPad
- iPad connects to the iCADE controls via Bluetooth
- "Atari Greatest Hits" iPad App ready to go with the iCADE, including support for over 100 classic Atari games.
- Atari App comes with classic Pong for free, other games available for in-app purchase. 3-game packs are $1. All 100 games are $14.99
- Compatible with both the original iPad and iPad 2
For now, it seems that the list of supported games are still pretty limited. But now the makers of the accessory have released the SDK (Software Development Kit) for iCade which is available to developers so they can add iCade support to their applications. Hopefully the list of supported games expand soon because this accessory is sure going to be a blast for fans of arcade gaming. I for one, would love to get an iCade if it receives a wide app support. For a gimmick accessory, $100 seems to be a bit too much considering the number and variety of games that it supports. But if you are an iPad owner who's a big fan of retro arcade gaming and nostalgia, then the iCade is a no-brainer. To see iCade in action, check out this video:
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