|The arcade in your home!|
This squat and sturdy mini-arcade cabinet started life as an April Fool's Day prank in 2010, part of a tradition at the ThinkGeek website that also spawned the tauntaun sleeping bag. As the iCade joke post went viral, however, response for a real device was so strong that ThinkGeek teamed up with ION Audio to actually produce it. ION Audio is the consumer brand of Numark Industries, makers of professional DJ equipment. Also partnering with the project was Atari, and their classic game app Atari's Greatest Hits was the sole compatible game program with the iCade's launch on June 27, 2001.
As stated, the iCade is solidly built, a wooden cabinet into which one slides any generation of iPad. The two devices connect via Bluetooth, after which compatible apps will display the iCade as a controller. Since launch, the list of supported apps has been growing, including Midway Arcade and the recently released Vectrex Regeneration. The iCade's joystick is professional grade, although its action could be a bit tighter. The buttons, all eight of them, are rock solid and have a real arcade feel. Overall, the iCade goes a long way to mitigating the control problems you generally find playing classic games on mobile devices.
The cabinet is available from ThinkGeek and various retailers, usually selling for $99.99. Currently, however, ThinkGeek has them on sale for $69.99. Recently ION has released the iCade Jr., a similar device for the iPhone, but I think this is delving a little bit into the ridiculous. It is a bit cheaper, however, going for $49.99.
Buy the retrogamer in your life an iCade, and you are truly giving them the gift of the arcade.