Posts Tagged iCade Core

iCade Core Hardware Review

Developer: Ion Audio
Price: $89.99 MSRP
Hardware Tested On: iPad 2

Usability Rating: ★★★★½
Protection Rating: ★★★½☆
Re-use Value Rating: ★★★★½

Overall Rating: ★★★★☆

ION Audio has refreshed the original iCade as the iCade Core, acting as a more compact version of the original controller. Functionally, it’s identical; the buttons feel slightly softer compared to the original iCade, but hardware-wise, it is identical and has the same compatibility.

The benefit to the iCade Core is that it I just so much more portable and versatile. Want to play on the couch with the iCade in the lap? Go for it. It’s also much better for playing on a TV via HDMI. Also? There’s no assembly required.

The drawback is of course that it just does not look as cool without the arcade cabinet. The iPad stand does have some room to slide around in the space carved out for it, so having a case might be a good safety mechanism. As well, one of the things I would like to see would be at least a key combination to call up the software keyboard, because until it idles out or Bluetooth is manually turned off, the iCade Core will take over keyboard input.

Bottom line, I must say that while both systems are functionally identical, the iCade Core’s increased portability and practicality makes it a superior option to the classic iCade for iPad owners, unless of course the original arcade-cabinet style is being used as a decoration somewhere.

It is that magic time of the year where electronics manufacturers trot out their prize show ponies at the 2012 Consumer Electronics Show.  Aside from being the first big trade show of the year, it is also used as an opportunity for companies to debut their new products.  After the standout success of ION Audio’s iCade, at last year’s show, it only seemed like a matter of time before we were treated to their next innovative takes on the peripheral.

Today they were proud to announce that they have not one, but THREE new additions to the iCade line, two of which are aimed at making better use of your more portable iOS devices.  Here is the full rundown of what you can expect to see in 2012:

iCade Jr

If it wasn’t obvious from simply eyeballing it, this is a miniaturized version of the original iCade cabinet that started it all.  Featuring a fully articulated joystick, the device also has four front facing buttons as well as four that are around the back of the cabinet’s assembly.  Why exactly are there four buttons around back?  Who knows, but you can bet that the first person to figure it out could stand to make quite a bit of money from the App Store.  Meant to nestle a iPod Touch or iPhone inside, this is perfect for the arcade junkie on the go.

iCade Mobile

Just in case you couldn’t tell from the image above, this next re-envisioning of the iCade brand retrofits an iPhone or iPod Touch into something that more resembles the form factor of Sony’s early iterations on the PlayStation Portable.  What it lacks in joystick it makes up for in a D-pad, which could be either a really good or really bad thing, depending upon the quality of the materials used to construct the device.  Based purely upon the image above there also appears to be some sort of ergonomic hand grips behind the molding of the chassis, which should hopefully ease the wrist strain that has previously been associated with gaming on the smaller iOS hardware.

iCade Core

Remember everything that you liked about the iCade?  Well what if we told you that you could have the same functionality, without having to haul around that gigantic cabinet everywhere?  The iCade Core will attempt to do this by removing the exterior case assembly and focus on keeping the form factor to a minimum.  Simply put, all of the core mechanical pieces of the previous monolith have been shrunk down to fit into a glorified joysick arcade pad.  In the back of the station is a grove and docking station where gamers can securely dock their iPad and get back adventuring down retro gaming memory lane.

These all look like great additions to the already outstanding iCade family.  What could be coming next an even smaller model for your iPod Nano?  We sure hope not, but only time will tell…

 

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