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January 2011 Retro Gaming Article


January 6, 2011 Retro Gaming Blog Post:

Build Your Own Arcade- Add an Apple iPad to The iCade

If you have an iPhone, you may have downloaded a few games to pass the boredom. From iPad to iCade The small screen makes it tough to really get into a game, but what about the iPad? Much bigger screen. The iPad gives a significant amount of screen real estate on which to enjoy a game as you sit on a public transit bus boasting the iPad's cool-factor. Good luck, Bus-Loser!

Even though you might be playing Asteroids on your fancy $800 toy, it doesn't really bring back the true arcade experience. So why not shove your iPad into a contraption that will make you feel like a hulking behemoth as you sit before your tiny arcade cabinet playing your favorite iPad-pirated ROMs in truer arcade style? Oh wait, you can play Asteroids and we are promised that more will ship with the iCade, but it seems you'll have to wait for 3rd party folks to jump on the API to add iCade support to games.

The iPad interacts with the iCade cabinet via Bluetooth so there are a slew of things you can do while disguising your iPad as an small arcade cabinet.

The iCade will give your ultra-slick iPad a beat-down to the mid-80's by providing a joystick and a slew of buttons that work with the iCade support that can be added to most games. It will be interesting to see how this product sells. Personally, I like the ruggedness of true arcade joysticks and have often been disappointed by weak simulations that don't hold up to drunken gaming abuse.

From iPad to iCade On disappointment is the lack of charging capability while docked in the iCade unit. That seems like a pretty simple convenience to include. Since the iCade looks a little vacant sans iPad, one is likely to use it as a dock or holder - so why not let it charge up!?!

In photos, the iCade looks somewhat like an arcade cabinet, but it's actually smaller than you might think which means the joystick and buttons are a little crowded. Like real arcade cabinets, it's made of particle board and at $99 this seems like an expensive novelty item. We'll wait for the larger model into which I can shove a 52" plasma TV for some larger than life arcade action. :)

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