New iCade controller brings a little NES magic to iOS and Android

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first_imgAs more and more of our gaming is now taking place on mobile devices, demand has grown for physical controllers that are compatible with smartphones and tablets. One of the most interesting of these peripherals has been the iCade. The faux-80s arcade cabinet started as an April Fools’ joke, and evolved into an actual product — one which has become quite popular.When a product has success, it’s inevitable that its manufacturer will milk it for all it’s worth and introduce numerous spinoff products. After several new iCade accessories were announced over the previous months, we now have what may be the coolest one yet. Meet 8-bitty: a controller that’s barely different enough from the classic NES controller to avoid a lawsuit.If you took an NES controller, added two buttons, and gave it a faux-wood appearance (reminiscent of old Atari gaming systems), you would have 8-bitty. Like the original iCade, 8-bitty connects to an iOS or Android device via Bluetooth. It will allow you to forgo touchscreen controls for all iCade-compatible games.That, however, is the biggest problem with this, and all iCade controllers. The list of compatible games is growing, but they aren’t exactly the cream of the iOS and Android crop. Sure, you can play Ms. Pac Man and other Atari classics, but you can’t (yet) play games like GTA III, Sonic the Hedgehog, or Mega Man X with the accessories.Perhaps the biggest potential with the iCade series of controllers lies with the iOS jailbreak community. If developers of console emulators begin to support the accessory, then 8-bitty will become much more desirable. It would be right at home playing Super Mario World, Tetris, or The Legend of Zelda. Until then, Cydia gamers can simply connect a Wiimote to their iPhone, iPad, or Transformer Prime.The iCade 8-bitty controller will be officially unveiled later this week at the 2012 Toy Fair. It will go on sale “later this year,” and will retail for $24.99. Those not willing to wait that long can try their hands at hacking an actual NES controller to work with iCade games.ThinkGeek via Ars Technicalast_img

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