CES 2012: ION Audio Goes Old-School With New Accessories
The Consumer Electronics Show is all about new technology, but some companies remind us that sometimes, it’s all about going back to the old-school. That’s exactly what ION Audio was doing this week with the introduction of three new peripherals that can turn your iPad or iPhone into a classic gaming system.
ION, the makers of the iCade gaming cabinet, had plenty to show us when we stopped by. The first was the iCade Jr., which is a miniaturized version of the arcade cabinet. Your iPhone simple snaps into the device and then gives you arcade-style controls, using either wireless Bluetooth controls or a physical connection with the unit. Though a playable build wasn’t available on the floor, the ION rep explained that it would handle just as well as the iCade cabinet, despite the compact size.
The second device was the iCade Mobile, which turns your iPhone into a handheld game system. Its build includes a digital control pad on the left side, multiple buttons on the right side, and a snug rubber-based grip in the center, which you can snugly fit your iPhone into. What’s more, the rubber holds it in place, as the rep showed us by holding it upside down – and the phone didn’t fall out. Though only one platforming game was on display for the device, it worked quite well, with very responsive controls via Bluetooth. It will be compatible with a number of games when it’s released later this year, for around $50.
Finally, for those of you who think the iCade is too big to have in your home, ION is introducing the iCade Core, which is a stripped down version of the gaming unit that offers all of the fun, but at half the size. This unit eventually removes the big, bulky arcade cabinet, instead leaving an easy-to-use control stick and buttons that you can plug your iPad into. Simply set it up and the controls interact right away, just as if you were playing a classic arcade machine. The device works with well over 250 games, including old-school efforts like Namco’s Pac-Man for iPad and Atari’s Greatest Hits. It will set you back around $80 once it releases this spring.