If you’re an iPhone or iPad owner with a penchant for gaming but no love for Apple’s virtual control interfaces, the new iCADE 8-Bitty from ThinkGeek is exactly what your stubbornly retro longings need.
Unveiled during this week’s American International Toy Fair in New York, the iCADE 8-Bitty is a palm-sized physical controller built specifically for iOS devices that provides users with a conventional input blend of face buttons and D-Pad.
Similar in design to the classic Nintendo NES game pad, the iCADE 8-Bitty is a mini version of the larger iCADE controller and functions with compatible iOS and Android games via a combination of two AA batteries and wireless Bluetooth connectivity.
In terms of software compatibility, ThinkGeek’s internal design group GeekLabs is making the iCADE 8-Bitty’s code freely available to game developers for insertion into their software.
Some of the existing games that provide support for the iCADE 8-Bitty include the Atari Classics Collection, Pac-Man, and Super Mega Worm.
According to GeekLabs director Ty Liotta, the little wireless controller will retail for just $25 USD when it arrives in stores later this year—which is a price point that’s significantly cheaper than the original $100 USD iCADE cabinet.
“We’re excited to extend on the success of the original iCADE,” enthused Liotta in an official release. “And with millions of iOS and Android devices in circulation it only makes sense to widen the field and bring the fun of iCADE to every possible device.”
Toy Fair 2012 is taking place now at the Jacob K. Javits Convention Center on 11th Avenue between 34th and 38th Streets. The event runs until February 15.