Regular readers who also happen to be oldschool gamers from the UK have likely been enjoying legendary studio Elite System's forays into retro gaming on iOSZX Spectrum: Elite Collection [App Store], and the standalone Jet Set Willy [App Store], make for some quality virtual Z80-based nostalgic gaming.

Word on the street is that in 2012, Elite will be re-releasing the ZX Spectrum, in a manner of speaking. It seems that the studio will be bringing out a a bluetooth keyboard in the form of a ZX Spectrum that will connect to the studio's iOS apps and deliver a rather close to authentic, emulated ZX Spectrum gaming experience to iOS gamers. And, while it's not confirmed, we're expecting rubber keys.

That's about all we've got on this right now, but we'll keep you posted as news breaks.

  • icekat

    now all we need is manomio to come out with a c64 keyboard with an atari/genesis plug for a joystick, and use the video out cable for a tv, and viola, perfect c64 emulation! :P.... I wonder if they could bring these apps out for the apple tv...

    • Stuart Carnie

      I'm testing the iControlPad as I type this...

      • icekat

        sweet! 😀

      • Menneisyys


        can you tell us more? What about the battery life? Support for touch screen tapping emulation with legacy games on jailbroken iDevices? Lag?

        I'm deperately looking for a decent review as the device is very-very tempting but I don't want to purchase it if it has considerable lag or bad game support (thinking of all Gameloft FPS games, for example) on JB'd devices.

      • Stuart Carnie

        Can't comment on JB and touch screen tapping emulation (not aware it even supported that). But performance on non-JB so far seems good. I'll know more when I tie it in to C64 for iOS.

    • Sexyback

      or just buy a C64x

  • Catwand

    Mastertronic games plz : D

  • Dave

    TA feels very retro-heavy of late. I'm sure these games appeal to many, but I'm not one of them. I've never been a guy who wants to go back and play the games I grew up on, when there are brand new ones that are constantly pushing the envelope.

    • EastsideStompers

      Agreed, I do find the emulated oldies mostly disappointing. There are however some great 'neo-retro' games out for the iOS that are embracing the new hardware wrapped up in old school goodness - Forget.Me.Not, Sword of Fargoal, Vector Tanks, Minter games, Pix'n Rush, Sword & Sworcery, Eliss, Edge - The more of those the better imo.

    • TKO

      I gotta disagree. I love this retro stuff. Can't get enough of it. More more more! 😀

      These games were such a strong part of my past. Every time a new emulator or retro game comes out for one of my modern pieces of equipment I have to try it. And this particular emulator is very well done, with controls customised for each game. It's a lot of fun.

      So if you're not interested in the retro stuff, just skip it. Read the next article. It's not as if there aren't plenty of other things coming out for iDevices. With all the massive array of links lined-up along the Touch Arcade pages, there is always new material to read on new games.

  • Seleuco Nicator

    Doubt it. 🙂

    IOs has a High level keyboard API, meaning you can't listen to simultaneous key presses... Keyboard API is not suited to control arcade games, only worsk to get text data on UI widgets.

    Developing a hid bluetooth keyboard driver it is not allowed by iOS license.

    • Stuart Carnie

      Ahh very true, however iControlPad has several modes of operation. The most interesting is "HID Keyboard: special packet mode", which generates a series of 3 ASCII chars for every state change, so you can truly capture down/up transitions. The 3 ASCII chars contain bits which represent the state of each button. I had envisioned a mode just like this to workaround the limitation you describe, and fortunately they support it!

      Test app works great.

      Now for C64 testing...

      • Seleuco Nicator

        I know iControlpad packet mode... But this is Bluetooth hid device with a custom firmware... I think that apple don't like this kind of workrounds and apps using this mode will be pulled... If apple liked apps controlled by external devices, they make such devices... Meantime I hope you have luck because it will be fantastic a amiga emu with such controller. 🙂

  • Jeff Murray

    YES! Coding on the iPad with a rubber keyboard... always good to practice safe hex! 😮

  • Anonymous

    I would buy that mainly as bluetooth keyboard. retrotastic!

  • James Hall

    I can just imagine using this with the HDMI capabilities of the iPad2. Rubber keyed speccy on your lap while playing manic miner on a 40" TV. The should also incorporate a small heating element in the keyboard so it gets hot as you use it, just like the speccy.

  • Sc

    Can't the chinese guys just make a device like a small console that emulates the spectrum with lcd screen and all the games included? There are the PC emulators but I am thinking of a portable device. How hard can it be? Even the phones today can do that but a dedicated device with small spectrum keyboard can be a delight!

  • Psj3809

    SC - Well there is the Pandora which has a small keyboard and can run a ton of emulators. The emulator for the DS and GP2X is pretty good as well (obviously an onscreen keyboard).  But sounds like you want the Pandora.  As for all the games included - something called copyright !  Cant do that for legit companies, just simply download them yourself though.