The iCade has come a long way from its humble beginnings as a ThinkGeek April Fool's gag. After trading out a fictional 30-pin dock connector for a very real Bluetooth radio and well, actual existence, it even spawned a (notably competitive) copycat product. This week, ION is unveiling a pair of new iCade products at CES, streamlining the original nostalgic tablet dock, as well as expanding its tactile toggles to iPhone and iPod touch owners.
The iCade Core faithfully recreates the original rig's control setup, Bluetooth connectivity, and passthrough charging cable, but kills the cabinet motif in favor of landscape support. Although there's no word yet on pricing for slimmed down arcade dock, ION says it should launch sometime in 2012. The new iCade Mobile, on the other hand, is penned in for a Q2 launch; it'll set you back $80 and score your iPod touch / iPhone four shoulder buttons, four face buttons and a classic D-Pad. The gamepad dock also swivels your device into landscape and portrait modes. Stay tuned for our hands on, or read on for the official PR.
Update: While glancing at Ion's booth, an impressively small, phone-sized arcade cabinet caught our attention. Dubbed the iCade Jr., we're told it's essentially an iCade for the iPhone. The unit we saw wasn't a working model, and there was nary a mention of pricing or availability, but you can catch some close-up shots of the tiny little number in the gallery below
Joe Pollicino and Amar Toor contributed to this report.
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ION DEBUTS iCade Core, A COMPACT, ARCADE-STYLE GAMING CONTROLLER FOR iPad, iPhone and iPod touch
Real arcade-style controls for iPad, iPhone and iPod touch games.
Cumberland, R.I. (Jan. 10, 2012) – ION Audio, a leader in consumer audio and entertainment technology, introduces iCade Core, a compact desktop game controller for iPad, iPhone or iPod touch. Attendees can see iCade Core for the first time at booth #12442 during the Consumer Electronics Show taking place Jan. 10–13, 2012 in Las Vegas, NV.
iCade Core is a streamlined version of ION's acclaimed iCade arcade cabinet that equips the iPad with authentic, arcade-style joystick and buttons that are ready for fierce non-stop gaming. iCade Core allows iPad users to challenge their friends, throw retro-gaming parties and achieve their highest scores yet. iCade Core offers an incredible arcade experience, bringing all the fun of classic arcade gaming to the iPad in a compact form factor.
iCade Core's specially designed cradle ensures safe loading and unloading of a user's iPad, while also providing a solid, secure fit for even the most intense gameplay sessions. Beneath the cradle is a custom-designed pass-thru slot, which allows users to charge the iPad with their standard 30-pin cable. The cradle also swivels to allow either portrait or landscape so that orientation is never a problem. iCade Core's top-quality arcade controls quickly connect to the iPad using Bluetooth wireless technology. Once the iPad is in place, simply launch any compatible app and it's game-on.
iCade Core is compatible with great classic games including PAC-MAN, Asteroids, Centipede, and Battlezone. Plus, it's compatible with tons of modern games, over 200 games in all. Users can take control of iCade Core's full-sized joystick and smash its eight arcade buttons for complete command of their favorite games. This truly unique game-controller provides hours of nonstop gaming action.
"iCade Core retains the action-packed excitement of real arcade-style control from the original iCade, while being incredibly easy to take just about anywhere," said Fred Galpern, Brand Manager, ION Audio. "iCade Core is just about the most fun you can have with an iPad, iPhone or iPod touch."
iCade Core is expected to arrive at www.ionaudio.com and other retailers in 2012.
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ION INTRODUCES iCADE MOBILE, A COMPACT, PORTABLE HOUSING THAT BRINGS CONSOLE-STYLE GAMING CONTROL to iPHONE and iPOD touch
Classic, tactile handheld control over iPhone and iPod touch games.
Cumberland, R.I. (Jan. 10, 2012) – ION Audio, a leader in consumer audio and entertainment technology, introduces iCADE MOBILE, a handheld portable game controller and housing for iPod touch or iPhone. Attendees can get a first look at iCADE MOBILE at booth #12442 during the Consumer Electronics Show taking place Jan. 10–13, 2012 in Las Vegas, NV.
Gamers using Apple's iPhone or iPod touch finally have a serious controller thanks to iCADE MOBILE: the ultimate handheld game controller for iPhone or iPod touch.
Touch screens are great for some games, but when it comes to mastering intense combat, racing, or adventure games it helps to have more than a touch screen. Since gamers prefer tactile buttons, iCADE MOBILE is the perfect solution for serious gaming on-the-go.
Gamers of all ages will love iCADE MOBILE's classic controller configuration, designed to play modern and retro games the way they were meant to be played. iCADE MOBILE's four-way directional pad, four front-facing action buttons and four shoulder buttons are designed to withstand even the most fierce button mashing. iCADE MOBILE gets your fingers out of the way and gives you a full view of the action with a specially designed cradle that ensures safe loading and unloading of your iPhone or iPod touch, while also providing a solid, secure fit even during the most intense game-play sessions.
Not only does iCADE MOBILE deliver a full view of the iPhone or iPod touch screen, it also provides the ability to view the screen in either portrait or landscape format. iCADE MOBILE's cradle conveniently swivels and locks into horizontal or vertical viewing positions, allowing each game to be played and viewed properly. Like iCade, iCADE MOBILE connects to the iPhone or iPod touch via wireless Bluetooth technology.
Mobile gaming on the iPhone or iPod touch has never been this much fun: iCADE MOBILE from ION. "iCADE MOBILE really brings the authentic look and feel of a serious game controller to the iPhone or iPod touch," said Fred Galpern, Brand Manager, ION Audio. "Now gamers can have a no-holds-barred gaming experience on their iPhone or iPod touch anywhere they go."
iCADE MOBILE will be available at ionaudio.com and other retailers in 2012 with a MSRP of $79.99.