Thinkgeek.com first gave us the iCade Arcade game controller for iPad, one of the coolest products of all time. Now, to sweeten the deal and bring some Nintendo joy back into our lives, we get the iCade 8-Bitty, an NES-styled Bluetooth controller that works for Android and iOS. It’s an excellent idea, as playing games with onscreen touch controls is to put it bluntly, crap. A physical controller is the only way to game. Imagine all those ported and emulated games on a proper controller. The mind boggles.
8-Bitty works on Android without any hacking required, but for iOS users, you’re gonna have to jailbreak your device to get it running with the various (and mostly unsupported emulators). Here’s the full list of features for 8-Bitty.
- 8 button control including 4 face buttons, select, start, and two shoulder buttons… plus the D-Pad for movement
- Wireless Bluetooth connection with auto power save mode
- Mini version of larger size iCade cabinet invented and designed by ThinkGeek
- Fully compatible with all iCade games
- Completely open development platform. App developers can add support for iCade with no permission needed from Apple or ThinkGeek. (See links for code examples below).
- “Atari Greatest Hits” iPad App ready to go with the iCADE, including support for over 100 classic Atari games.
- Atari App comes with Missile Command for free, other games available for in-app purchase. 3-game packs are US$1. All 100 games are US$14.99
- Compatible with iPad, iPhone, and iPod Touch. Android support for most tablets and smartphones.
- NOTE: Atari Greatest Hits only runs on iPad, not on iPhone or iPod touch.
- Requires 2 x AAA batteries
It also takes a little bit of fiddling to get 8-Bitty to work on an iPad. Since it uses the US Keyboard layout, iOS users simply need to change the language to “English” in the keyboard section of iOS settings.
Keen on snatching one up? It costs US$30 and can be purchased directly from Thinkgeek. You’re welcome.