The iCade Mobile controller for the iPhone and iPod Touch is now available. Similar to the original iCade, which was designed for the iPad, the idea is that you attach your device to the cradle and you have a portable gaming device. It reminds me very much of Sony’s PlaySation Portable. The iCade Mobile features a D-pad, four actions buttons and four shoulder buttons and gives the user greater control over their games. It allows a greater view of the screen, getting the users fingers well out of the way. The cradle can swivel, so portrait games are not a problem.
The touch screen controls of traditional smartphone games can be a little fiddly at times and can be difficult for extended play. The iCade Mobile gives a whole new (or perhaps, old) dimension to mobile gaming. The device itself is a very sleek black and chrome design and definately looks great. It connects to your iOS device via wireless bluetooth and can support both new and old devices, including the iPhone 3, iPhone 4 and the iPod Touch 3rd and 4th generation. It is powered by AA batteries.
Your device fits snuggly into a silicone holster so there’s no risk of damage or accidental drops. However, this holster also blocks access to the volume controls and charger connector, which makes it impossible to charge and play.
Serious gamers will love this gadget. It has the ability to bring mobile gaming alive and lengthy play will be less stressful on the fingers. Plus, when everything’s going wrong and you’re about to die for the 8th time in the row in the same place on that new game that you’ve been playing for the last week, it feels good to vent some of that frustration on real buttons!
There are a lot of good iCade supported games available, although some games don’t suport the devices layout of physical buttons.
The iCade Mobile controller is available from ThinkGeek for $69.99. Bring on the button mashing!