February 13, 2012

ThinkGeek iCade 8-Bitty—The Future Of Retro iOS Gaming (UPDATED With Photos!)

ThinkGeek iCade 8-Bitty

ThinkGeek iCade 8-Bitty Action Shot. You know you want one.

Toy Fair is in full swing and I just received an email that made as excited as Han Solo when he learned that Princess Leia and Luke Skywalker were related. ThinkGeek, retailer of all things awesomely geeky, has announced the iCade 8-Bitty. I say this is the future of Retro iOS gaming.

The future of retro what now? Let me explain.

(Note: now updated with photos. Whoo-hoo!)

Because my wife is awesome, I received an iCade iPad Arcade Cabinet for Chanukah. (Sounds like a future Electric Menorah song.) While the iCade controls don’t work with every single iOS game, they work with enough of them to make even kids who didn’t grow up in the era of quarters and real-life arcades realize the benefits of playing with a joystick. (Don’t over-analyze that last sentence, please.) And buttons! Real clicky buttons! I know these days it’s all about the touchscreen, all about the tilting, but sometimes I just wanna play Pac-Man the way it was meant to be played, y’know?

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The iCade 8-Bitty isn’t available for purchase just yet, but according to press materials, it is a wireless game controller for your iPhone or iPad. It looks similar to an old NES controller, with a D-pad on the left, start/select buttons in the middle, and action buttons on the right. Bottom line, it boils down to three words—real physical controls. That’s what I want. And based on my experience with the iCade cabinet, my kids dig it as well. They may not get fitutzed like their dad does when presented with virtual d-pads and “buttons” that are nothing more than a location on a glass-topped touchscreen. But they appreciate certain aspects of dad’s retro desires.

ThinkGeek iCade 8-Bitty

The Future of Retro iOS Gaming

The iCade 8-Bitty is portable, unlike the iCade cabinet, which is awesome but not pocket friendly. UPDATE: Now we have photos to prove it. See? It’s being held in a hand.

ThinkGeek iCade 8-Bitty

ThinkGeek iCade 8-Bitty Action Shot. You know you want one.

That is why, dear reader, that I think the iCade 8-Bitty is the future of Retro iOS gaming. Use with any iOS device you like, no fuss no muss. Now the only question is—when can I buy one?

ThinkGeek :: iCade 8-Bitty – Retro Wireless Game Controller for iPhone/iPad.