by Gary Woods
I was just thinking the other about all the wonderful hours I spent in dimly lit arcades. It was just me and the machine vying to see which one of us would walk out of there unscathed when up popped a stand for the iPad that invoked all those cool memories plus gave a lot more usability to the device. The iPad has become an amazing gaming platform with stunning video quality but sometimes the interface for some games can be a little daunting.
There are several vendors who have come up with gaming adaptors for the iPad but the one that caught my eye was from Think Geek (www.thinkgeek.com) and is called the iCade. It was originally conceived as an April Fools' Day joke but it was so well received they decided to create a real product.
The iCade is a table-sized, retro-style arcade cabinet with heavy-duty buttons and a joystick. It connects via Blue-tooth and requires 2 AA batteries. There is an opening for a 30 pin dock connector cable (not included) so you can charge your iPad.
Atari, the granddaddy of the classic arcade games, has released a free game that's fully compatible with the iCade called Atari's Greatest Hits which includes one free game and has a total of 100 games available for purchase. Another app that supports the iCade is Warblade HD ($2.99) which is a throwback to the classic arcade game, Galaga.
The only downside about the iCade is that it isn't portable, but at the recent CES show in Las Vegas they came up with the new iCade Jr. for the iPhone and iPod Touch. It works like the original iCade but doesn't have all the cabinetry, making it more portable and more affordable.
The original iCade retails for $99.99 and at this juncture the price for the iCade Jr. is to be determined.
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Gary Woods is the Computer Trainer for the Santa Barbara Association of Realtors. And he is a Broker/Associate at Home Realty & Investments, Inc