The iCade is here. It started as an April Fools joke and became a reality. We got ours this evening and wanted to share a few unboxing photos. Its Bluetooth controls work right out of the box with all 100 games in Atari's Greatest Hits [App Store] and so far it's been a blast to play with.

We'll post our full review of the system tomorrow. Stay tuned.

  • Adams Immersive

    I wish it were a charging dock! Looks like it isn’t.

    • blakespot

      There is a hole in the "dock" structure to run a sync cable. I will discuss in the review tomorrow.

      • Adams Immersive

        My mind has been read!

        Will await the review. If the cable holds firmly so you can forget about it and just treat the iCade as a fixed dock, I might have to get one! (I’d be interested in case compatibility too, once more people try these; my minimal Feather case seems like it might be just fine.)

      • stickyicky97

        Mine is set up and working beautifully.  There definitely is an opening underneath the dock to run a power cord, so no worries there.  The landscape lip or groove is also sturdy..........although, I do wish it was recessed the same way the other dock is.  They should have just made the iCade a tad bit wider to accommodate the iPad in landscape.  Oh well....that's my only complaint.  Now developers, get those arcade type games updated and in the app store!

      • Anonymous

        As other people are curious regarding landscape support, please cover just how well the iPad can sit in there in landscape.

        Mine arrives Thursday - can't wait :).

      • Dustin

        There is a slot below the normal holder that can accommodate an ipad in landscape orientation.  Is as stable as the portrait orientation holder.

      • Paul Strauss

        And I've got an iPad 2 with mine, and even the smart cover can just flip behind the dock without causing a problem if you don't want to remove it.

  • BazookaTime

    So does it only work with the Atari's greatest hits app? Sweet looking unit.

    • stickyicky97

      right now, yes, but they are releasing an API to developers so anyone that wants to provide iCade support will be able to.  This could be perfect for games like Street Fighter and Mortal Combat!  Hurry up developers and update your apps to support this!  I get mine today!

  • Mindfield

    Want. So. Hard.  And I hope more games support this.  I'd buy this just for support in Atari Greatest Hits, but more games = more fun.  🙂

  • TKO

    Oh, I soooooo want this.  I should probably get an actual iPad first huh? 🙂  ..Just think what it will be like when the major emulation packages all support it.  {squee!}  

    • Stuart Carnie

      Yes, I've ordered mine to add support to C64 when we release the iPad version

      • TKO

        Dude, you do that, and I'll buy every game on the c64 store .. again. 🙂  ..or just put a really expensive version of Poster Paster in C64's store, sponsored by iCade, and I'll get that. :p 

  • Frank

    Thanks for the pictures Blake.  I like the looks of this. Hopefully it becomes popular so more game developers have reason to support it. I think it will.

  • Snapfreeze

    With controls like that, I can't help but immediately think about playing Street Fighter with this, but since the icade holds the iPad upright, it would never work. I assume there are bigger compatibility plans than just the atari games, or else they wouldn't need all those buttons. I just see the fixed orientation being it's biggest limiting factor.

    • TKO

      Hmmmm... I hadn't thought of that at all.  Looking at the screenshots again, would the lip along the top of the buttons hold the iPad in the landscape orientation?  Heck, a wee strip of rubber stuck along there would hold it fast.  Nothing to stop the determined retrogamer back. 😀 

      • Stuart Carnie

        It supports both, since it is not a true dock.

      • TKO

        But the recessed area isn't wide enough for a landscape iPad, is it? ..I was thinking it would have to sit against the front of the side-walls of the thing, resting (precariously) there .. hence my rubber-strip idea. 🙂 

      • Dustin

        Fits fine in landscape in that extra slot. I've tried it.  Not many atari games support landscape, so there is no incentive to currently play like that.

      • TKO

        Ah, awesome news.  Glad to know it fits in either orientation.  Thanks for the info. 

      • Paul Strauss

        Have you gotten the vector games like Asteroids, Asteroids Deluxe and Major Havoc to play in portrait modes? When I saw this thing at CES they were showing a full-screen portrait version of Asteroids - which was great, but that doesn't seem to exist in the actual Atari's Greatest Hits for the iPad. I checked the settings in the app, and only some games have a Landscape/Portrait toggle, and those that do work in portrait mode often waste space with extraneous on-screen controls (i.e. Centipede/Millipede).

      • Dustin

        I didn't notice until you pointed it out. I can get portrait mode but not full screen, the on-screen controls are always there. Was probably a development build of the software at CES. The atari app looks a little different than what they were demonstrating in Jan.

  • Anonymous

    i really want to get my hands on this badboy soon...and oh capcom, please release SFIV for ipad damnit!!!!

  • coin

    i wish cave would support the icade. 

  • appfreak

    Great to see that some devs bringing old classics to the iPad would implement iCade's API to make their games compatible. I hope this removes the on-screen pads seeing in some videos and has a smart way to display landscape games.

    I appreciate all the effort to make this happen, but at $100, I'm not too confident about it. It might become an epic product if its was a limited run, though… I would certainly buy the control pad itself and then try to make my own arcade box, customize it and add a working coin slot!!! 

  • Aaron Sullivan

    Looks great and I want one, but --
    Without spinner support in the hardware we won't get spinner support in the software for any hardware I might add on, which makes me a sad panda.

  • Guest

    I love this iCade idea, only problem will be getting the devs to update their apps for it, I mean look at Sega, how many games don't even have retina display or an updated icon yet? I don't think we should expect many others devs to suddenly start supporting this and going to work.

    • Anonymous

      it uses the bluetooth keyboard standard. dead easy for developers to add support. and if a developer claims otherwise you probably shouldn't buy their game anyway :).

  • E_Domina

    too bad it only works with that one app. hopefully it'll expand to other retro or modern games for awesome gaming

  • Hardyhell

    when will it be available in europe?

    • Soul of Wit

      According to the article, as soon as they ramp up production sufficiently.

  • John Dickerson

    Give the joystick a good work out. One the things I remember about arcade games is that the controls would constantly get broken. I use to love a game called Crazy Climber it was tough on the duel joysticks and was always out of order.  I remember Dragon's Layer had issues too keeping the joystick working correctly.

    • Marshall Pope

      The thing with arcade game controls and durability is more an issue of hundreds of people per day abusing them...I really cant see that being a problem for home use.  Mine showed up about an hour ago, im putting it together now.

  • John Hood

    Is iCade being released to international markets too?

  • Seth Diamond

    I've got mine sitting here at my desk at work.  Excited to put it together at home.  But from the unboxing photos it looks like it might only be a four way joystick?  That would be unfortunate.   That would severely limit the game play.

    • Marshall Pope

      Its an 8 least it has 8 clicks and so far with tempest its smooth...I would assume it wouldnt be if it was only 4 way.

    • Darrell Spice Jr.

      4 switch joysticks can register 8 directions.   For diagonal directions, 2 switches are triggered at the same time.  If you take apart an Atari 2600 joystick, you'll see it also uses 4 switches to support 8 directions.

  • Dustin
  • Dustin
    • Darrell Spice Jr.

      Hmm - is that 1 keystroke when the button is pressed down, and another when the button is released?

      • Dustin

        No, there is not any keycode sent on button release.  The two keycodes sent seem to be mixed when multiple buttons are pressed together. For example, diagonals and combos up+right=wdec, up+1=ywfe, 1+2+3=yiumft

  • baartlebooth

    Can the stick and the buttons be easily modded ?
    I don't really get how they are electronically implemented, but obviously if I get one of those one day, the first thing I'll do would be to change them with Sanwa parts .

    • baartlebooth

      And also : get every shooter played in Tate (vertical way, like Galuda or DDP ) compatible ASAP please !

    • Dustin

      In this video interview an ION rep is asked about moddability. Spoiler, fully moddable.

  • Arcadefan

    Cave, and other SHMUP devs - PLEASE SUPPORT THIS!!!

    Needs more than ancient Atari games.

  • Paul Strauss

    So I got mine today, and had a couple of issues. First off the tiny screws that hold the front in place aren't aligned properly, so they don't quite screw in all the way - seems like a small manufacturing defect. I also wish it had a tighter grip on the iPad itself, but I guess with both the iPad and iPad 2 they had to leave it fairly open.

    My biggest issue isn't with the iCade itself, it's with Atari's Greatest Hits. There are very few games that actually were designed for the joystick or for use with buttons as controls, and even Asteroids (which would work great with the buttons) only seems to work in landscape mode, despite the awesome full-screen portrait mode version shown at CES.

    I hope there are more games on the way - especially ones that used a joystick and not a track ball. We need Dig Dug, Pac-Man, Donkey Kong (when hell freezes over, I know), Bubble Bobble, and others to really make this shine - and games will need a mode that doesn't waste on-screen space with touch-based controllers to really make this shine.

    Game developers, get crackin'!

    • Dustin

      Before starting the game tap settings, set astroids to arcade controls. That will give you portrait mode.

      I have the same loose grip on my ipad2, thinking of installing a retainer bar at the top.

      Probably don't want to force those screws. ION has seemed pretty good about fixing issues for folks. Can shoot them an email.

  • Craig Watson

    Anyone figured out how to get this to work with iMame4All?? Just got my iCade yesterday.... 🙂

  • Rashad Glover

    does it work with street-fighter IV?