Transform Your iPad Into An Arcade System With Ion Audio's iCade

Now we've all seen how the iPhone or iPod Touch can be turned into mini pinball machine. (In case you haven't, check this out: How To Turn Your iPod Into a Mini Pinball Machine).

This time, it's the iPad's time to shine with the iCade Arcade Cabinet, which can turn your tablet into a full-fledged mini arcade.

How this device came to be is actually a pretty funny story. The iCade was initially featured on ThinkGeek as part of its April Fools Day prank last 2010.

A lot of users must have emailed the company or something because just a year later, the company has turned it into a reality by partnering up with Ion. The photo you see above is actually the spoof image that they created and showed last year.

So how does it work? Simply slide in your iPad onto the front of the console cabinet and hook it up via Bluetooth to the iCade. Start up the game that you want to play, and that's it: you've got yor own arcade gaming system, right in your living room.

Here's a peek at the actual iCade that's currently in production:

It's considerably tinier than the normal arcade systems you can find at arcades, but seriously, who was the room and the money to buy the real thing? (Aside from the filthy rich people, I mean.)

The iCade runs on 2 AA batteries but I think it would have been better if the manufacturers used a rechargeable battery pack or some other means of providing power to it to make it more convenient.

ThinkGeek has also partnered up with Atari, which is one of the staple developers when it comes to classic arcade games, to bring in a huge selection of classic arcade titles including Asteroids to the market with iCade support already integrated. An API is also slated for release with the device so that other game developers can add iCade support to their cames to allow it to be used with the console.

If you think that looks and sounds good, then wait until you see it in action. Check out this video of the iCade taken during the CES 2011:

What do you think about the iCade?

Personally, I think it would be a fun thing to have if you're a big fan of retro gaming. I'm sure kids (the real ones and the kids at heart) would have a blast with this thing.

The iCade will be released on May 31, 2011 with a $99.99 pricetag.

Source: ThinkGeek