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Entries in iCade (5)

iCade 8-Bitty retro gaming controller

iCade 8 bitty playing

For those who have lusted after the awesome iCade arcade cabinet but found it to be too expensive and perhaps a little on the large side, the upcoming 8-Bitty by ThinkGeek is just for you. Much smaller and retailing at just $24.99, 8-Bitty looks like a real winner to us. Expect a full review once we get our hands on one, but we can already say that for those that were quick enough to grab the app while it was available, that 8-Bitty looks like the perfect complement to iMAME.

iMAME, the iPad arcade finally arrives!

As we said back in April 2010, "Call us nerds if you like, but the classic 70's and 80's arcade games are a heritage worth preserving, a record of the origins of today's games that needs to be preserved for future generations". By far the most complete code framework for the preservation of that gaming heritage is MAME (Multi Arcade Machine Emulator). Until now MAME has only been available to those with jailbroken iPads. Today that changed.

However, so far it appears that there is no way of side-loading arcade ROMS, hence you are limited to testing the arcade hardware emulation with the 10 basic games that come preinstalled. But how long will it be until some bright spark finds a way to side load more games, and how long after that event will it be until Apple removes iMAME from the App Store? Looking through the iMAME menu items it seems clear to us that this app is a fully featured version of MAME.

What are you doing still reading this? Get iMAME while you still can, the clock is ticking people!

Source: Touch Arcade - The best source for iPad gaming news and reviews.

App Store Link: iMAME (Free)

Further Reading: Games

This Week on iPad Creative: 17th to 23rd April 2011

Just in case you missed anything this week:

Hanfree: Use your iPad in Bed (and everywhere else) Handsfree A unique stand for your iPad is offered in this (now funded) Kickstarter project, it's quite odd, take a look at the video.

Record iPad Audio on the Move with the Samson Meteor Mic A great looking USB mic that is part spaceship / part alien, and very cool looking. 

Why the Eye-Fi X2 Direct Mode is a Big Deal Dump the laptop and travel light whilst sending photos directly from your camera to your iPad with Eye-Fi's upgraded SD cards.

It's 1967 again! Ellen's back with a great GarageBand Beatles cover View this video of a great cover by Ellen.

iPad Integration with Photoshop - What do you think? We take a quick look at Adobe's 3 new apps for tablet devices and try to solicit some comments from you, our dear readers.

Friday Fun: The New Tron iPad This is silly and cool, 2 videos that show of this unique feature of the White iPad 2.

Get Creative with the Miniot Wood iPad 2 Cover It's pricey, but it doesn't stop us drooling over these wonderful looking wooden iPad 2 covers (good job they are varnished).

iCade: Pre-order and Pricing Details More gadget lust, this one is a classic though, or is at least based on a classic.

iCade: Pre-order and Pricing Details

We told you about it back in January, and now it is nearly time for us retro-geeks-of-a-certain-age to have a dream realised.

The iCade from ION is finally in production and should be available in late May, compatible with both the original iPad and iPad 2.

In the US, ThinkGeek have started taking pre-orders at the expected price of $99.99. They state the shipping date as 'by 27 May' but they have already sold out of the first batch of pre-orders! 

For those of us in many other countries Expansys are taking pre-orders too (as well as in the US). In the UK the price is listed as £66.99, although we are not sure if that will be the final price. But it gives us an idea of how much we need to save up. Expansys are a bit more woolly about lead times as well.

Don't Forget the Games

Of course, you will need some retro games to go with your Bluetooth controlled iCade and, as announced earlier this month, Atari in partnership with iON, have already released all of their classic Arcade and Console games from yesteryear on the App Store.

You get Pong for free, but that's it. If you want to play any other games from Atari's back catalogue you will need to purchase Game packs in-app, but for only $0.99 (59p) for 4 games that's not too bad really.

If you want to go for the full retro experience and load your iCade with 100 Atari games (not all classics we have to say), you can get the whole back catalogue for $14.99 (£8.99). TouchArcade did a nice review with video when the announcement was made.

Some reviews have been a bit critical of the games, but we think they are either too young to remember pumping coin after coin into the original arcade games or just expecting too much of games made in an age before handheld computing devices with onboard graphics processors.

For our part, we have our rose-tinted specs strapped firmly to our heads and we cannot wait to see one of these mini arcade cabinets loaded up with Atari goodness.

If you are pre-ordering your own iCade or have something to say about it or Atari's app, let us know in the comments.

Geek Dreams Do Come True

Everyone is talking about this but we had to share the news from CES about the iCade. Back in April we bemoaned the fact that ThinkGeek's iCade games cabinet for iPad was only an April Fool's joke.

At the time we, like many others, dreamed of how cool it would be if it was a real dock that turned your iPad into a mini arcade cabinet. We even suggested in that post a few ways this could be done for real using MAME.

Now, ThinkGeek has partnered with ION to make a real cabinet/controller to make your arcade retro gaming dreams come true. Rather than using the dock connector though, the iCade is a Bluetooth controller for compatible games, of which we imagine there will be quite a few in the future, but for now they have set up a partnership with Atari and their fantastic arcade game back catalogue.

The iCade doesn't look quite the same as the original mockup, but it does still look great, and the cabinet includes speakers which theoretically can be used for any media, meaning the iCade could double up as a dock for playing back any of your media.

At $99 we think the price is a little steep, but we are sure they will sell a load of them to sad geeks like us who constantly hark back to the days of wireframe graphics and relatively simplistic gameplay. Check out the iCade in action at CES in the Wired video below and be sure to let us know in the comments if you will be queuing up for an iCade in the Spring.