You may recall ThinkGeek's pretty convincing April Fools' prank last year: the iCade cabinet for the iPad. Now, thanks to the keen beans at Ion, the two companies held hands and turned this totally rad concept into reality (although they're definitely not the first). Come late spring, retro gaming enthusiasts will be able to pick up one of these well-built Bluetooth joystick kits for $99 direct from Ion, and eventually they'll make it across the pond for about €99 and £79. Don't worry, there'll be plenty of classic games available to suit the iCase courtesy of Atari, who's already got Asteroids working beautifully on the iPad (and it's actually a lot harder than it looks); any iOS game that takes a Bluetooth input peripheral should also play nice with the iCade. Hands-on video after the break.
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Ion iCade hands-on



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ION ANNOUNCES iCADE, ARCADE CABINET FOR iPad
Retro-styled Cabinet Brings the Arcade Experience to the iPad.

Cumberland, R.I. (Jan. 6, 2010) – ION (www.ionaudio.com), a leading manufacturer of consumer electronics and entertainment technology, announces iCADE, an arcade-style game controller designed for iPad. ION will exhibit iCADE at the 2011 International Consumer Electronics Show (CES), booth #12638, in Las Vegas, Nevada from January 6 – 9.

Flashback to the glory days of gaming with iCADE. iCADE puts your iPad into an authentic, mini arcade cabinet complete with full-sized joystick and arcade-style buttons. Impress your friends, family and co-workers with iCADE's great-looking retro design, and then challenge them for high-scores on the most entertaining iPad accessory imaginable. ION is excited about partnering with ThinkGeek on the execution of their concept for this must-have iPad gaming accessory.

iCADE's specially designed cradle ensures safe loading and unloading of your iPad, while also providing a solid, secure fit even during the most intense game-play sessions. Furthermore, the cradle offers an ideal screen-viewing angle and quickly allows iCADE's top-quality arcade controls to interact with your iPad via Bluetooth. Once your iPad is in place, simply launch an iCade compatible App and it's game on!

ION has partnered with Atari®, the first name in classic arcade games, to bring a huge suite of classic arcade titles including Asteroids® to market with iCade support built right in. Grab hold of iCADE's full-sized joystick and smash the arcade buttons for commanding control of iPad's on-screen action. This truly unique arcade cabinet and game-controller for iPad will provide hours of action and nostalgia for years to come. Enter the iCADE and go back to the future.

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Ion iCade hands-on: gaming on the iPad like it's 1979 (video)