The eagle-eyed gamers over at Technabob have noticed an interesting little tidbit of information given with the latest update description to Atari’s Greatest Hits [Free]. Along with the typical bullet points of optimizations and improvements was a line declaring the game’s compatibility with the “official Atari Arcade – Duo Powered joystick”. Say what? Thankfully, Atari doesn’t leave us hanging with just a cryptic hint and actually provides a link to a product page for said joystick, along with the following promo image:

As you can see, this Atari branded arcade stick is an idea similar to the iCade, which we’re huge fans of and has been seeing increased support since release, but is a much more minimalistic design. This appears to make it more practical for portable use as well as more conducive to operating with an iPad in landscape mode, which the iCade isn’t designed for but can still pull off somewhat sloppily with some iPad leaning trickery. Technabob also ventures to guess that the streamlined design will lead to a lower price point than the $99 dollar iCade, though pricing and release date haven’t yet been announced.

One more question is whether the Atari Arcade joystick will function via Bluetooth like the iCade and iControlPad peripherals do, or whether it will somehow connect directly to the proprietary dock connector on the device. Currently, all there is to do is sit back and wait for the Discovery Bay Games website to update the product page for the Atari Arcade joystick with additional info, which we’ll most certainly be keeping our eyes out for.

[Via Technabob]

  • infinite

    prefer the iCade... (which I already have) :)

    • Anonymous

      so you prefer something you actually own to something you know little about and haven't tried... interesting

  • Andy Raczynski

    color me intrigued, but skeptical.

  • nomster

    looks great - needs to be able to work in landscape so hopefully it is bluetooth

    in a way i wish it was just a handheld one like the 2600s but the extra buttons are needed for the arcade ports

    nice one Atari

    • http://twitter.com/Halfbot Halfbot

      From the looks of the design it seems that Landscape would definitely be a possibility.  Which is one thing the iCade is lacking.  As a developer, this is definitely intriguing.  

      • Robotron

        Landscape works fine on iCade. It's just not as secure as portrait, but it's not a problem either.

  • davemc

    Can see the iPad getting flung across the room as soon as you play anything other than dungeon master

  • davemc

    Can see the iPad getting flung across the room as soon as you play anything other than dungeon master

  • Anonymous

    This article says it's "conducive" to landscape use, but the picture shows it portrait and gives no indication that landscape is possible at all. If it connects to the dock connector, it won't work at all, unless there's some sort of cable that can be routed appropriately. I do hope that is how it works, as I'd rather not have to use bluetooth if I don't have to, but would also certainly want landscape support.

  • Menneisyys Menneisyys

    Wowz! A must buy as iCade isn't sold for us Europeans...

    • Zwilnik

      iCade's available from Firebox.com (UK and ships to rest of Europe)

  • Nightshift Nurse

    This is great and all, but until Apple themselves design a dedicated iOS controller, we'll be dealing with an ever growing array of sticks, pads, etc. that aren't compatible with 100% of the apps that support physical inputs.

    • Mike

      Pc users have to deal with this all the time. Take all the weird motion control peripherqls released that only valve bqsically supports with source engine games.

    • Anonymous

      Well, the iControlPad guys already had the smart idea of putting an "iCade mode" into it.  So there's no reason Atari can't do this as well (minus the buttons it doesn't have that the iCade does).  As long as all of these Bluetooth controllers at least implement a "universal" mode of some sort, it might work.  But it would certainly help if Apple made some kind of API for it.

  • http://twitter.com/inzyster Tommy

    Nice, I hope this will be a thing that is available in Europe.

  • Bobby

    I like the idea of the iCade but its too expensive. 

    If this is reasonably priced (say $20 or 30) I might get one. :) 

    • http://www.facebook.com/people/Marshall-Pope/100000602530531 Marshall Pope

      The only problem there is with prices for real arcade parts it would be damn near impossible to make for that price let alone make any profit.  Its surprisingly well built and actually cheaper than many "arcade sticks" for consoles that are less well built.  My guess though is that atari will probably cheap out on the parts for this one to appeal more towards the lower end though which will be good for getting more developers to support add ons.  I just would worry about the durability of it and unless it has sand or lead weight in the bottom most gamers I know would end up accidentally slinging their iPad across the room.

      • Jelloman

        I had to replace the switches for the buttons and the joystick with an actual Sanwa stick to make the iCade more arcade-stick like (I play with MadCatz TE sticks and even built an arcade cab for the home). The OEM stick had too much wobble, and the buttons too mushy. Changing these parts was a huge improvement on the usability of the iCade.

        Otherwise, compared to the iCade, this thing looks like some cheap Tiger Electronics toy, hence why it will be sold in the outlets they are stating.

  • Termitarium

    Where is the track ball and dial? When will someone make a controller suited for centipede and tempest?

  • http://www.gadgetoid.com Gadgetoid

    iControlPad is still the way to go. Neither this, nor the iCade, will fit in your pocket. That said, if you're a die-hard Arcade fan, I would like to retract that statement and hide in a dark corner, hoping you wont notice me.

    • Anonymous

      iCade and this joystick both fit perfectly well in the same pockets you fit an iPad in.

    • Anonymous

      im pretty sure not even an ipad will fit in ur pocket

  • http://twitter.com/drelbs drelbs

    This makes much more sense than the DUO I was thinking of when I saw "support for DUO" on the updates page - it's a 3D/color viewer: http://www.yoomigame.com/introducing-duo.html

  • Macaroon

    Will this only be compatible with Atari's Greatest hits? Looks very cool, but unfortunately Atari's Greatest Hits is a bit crummy imo. Hope you will be able to play other games too...

  • Hello

    Really interesting but can they make a better design that would fit withe iPad ? I would highly recomand something with more simple and geometric shapes. Likes this it looks ugly.

  • farra

    The website says:

    "The first Atari controller connected to the iPad using the 30 pin connector, as it was meant to be."

    That suggests it is *not* compatible with the iCade bluetooth controls and that it will only work in portrait mode. :-(

  • Monte Burns

    I hope this thing works - Seems like a cool device to me!

  • Slamraman

    The iCade works great in Landscape mode. Magnificently, even. My kids play Mos Speedrun all the flipping time.