We know most gamers have a classic past and with retro gaming becoming bigger on console systems and mobile devices I knew if I looked hard enough I would find someone showcasing a product for the classic gamer in all of us.
What I discovered is a company called ION that makes a number of cool devices, but what caught my eye was the iCADE. The iCADE is a miniature arcade cabinet that allows you to connect your iPAD to it using Bluetooth. How the iCADE works is you place your iPAD on the screen holder and you can display it normal and landscape. From there you just connect to the iCADE via Bluetooth and launch an app and you can play classic games using a real arcade control panel.
The iCADE came from an April Fool’s joke done on Think Geek, they created a small arcade cabinet out of cardboard. The iCADE became popular and you knew it would only be a matter of time before a real one was created and that was what I found at the ION booth.
The arcade cabinet felt very sturdy, just like the old arcade machines I use to play on. I was impressed craftsmanship with the buttons and the joystick. If you are a serious arcader you know how it can suck to have cheap buttons or a cheap joystick because it not only feels like crap, but it messes up your game. The buttons on the iCADE felt right, they were easy to press, but could take a beating on any game you want to load up and the joystick is perfect for both overhand and underhand users.
Currently the iCADE is partnered with Atari so the game I played was Asteroids and it played just like the original. The iCADE will feature many more Atari games and they are looking to add classic more games from other companies so I hope you classic gaming companies out there will connect with these people because the iCADE was pretty cool.
Even the salesman who showed me the iCADE was a classic gamer himself so I have faith that the iCADE will do well. I don’t have a final price yet, but I will get more information on this product and update you.
Click to listen to my interview: ION ICADE Interview – CES 2011