PDA

View Full Version : iCade Creators Announce Nintendo-Like Wireless Controller for iOS




MacRumors
Feb 13, 2012, 12:03 PM
http://images.macrumors.com/im/macrumorsthreadlogo.gif (http://www.macrumors.com/2012/02/13/icade-creators-launch-nintendo-like-wireless-controller-for-ios/)


ThinkGeek, the creators of the iCade iPad gaming cabinet (http://www.macrumors.com/2011/05/24/ipad-arcade-cabinet-icade-now-shipping/) have upped the ante with a new Bluetooth enabled controller called the iCade 8-Bitty (http://www.thinkgeek.com/electronics/retro-gaming/ecea/). The controller is roughly the size and layout of a classic NES controller (http://www.amazon.com/NES-Controller-Nintendo-Entertainment-System/dp/B000UCF9TA), with an extra pair of A/B buttons on the right side and two shoulder buttons.

http://images.macrumors.com/article-new/2012/02/8-bitty.jpg


The 8-Bitty offers the same compatibility as the larger iCade cabinet, supporting all iCade-compatible titles and the iCade open development platform. It runs on two AAA batteries.

At the moment, this just an announcement of the 8-Bitty. Interested parties can join a mailing list (http://www.thinkgeek.com/electronics/retro-gaming/ecea/) to be notified when the controller goes on sale. The 8-Bitty will retail for $25 when it is released later this year.

Article Link: iCade Creators Announce Nintendo-Like Wireless Controller for iOS (http://www.macrumors.com/2012/02/13/icade-creators-launch-nintendo-like-wireless-controller-for-ios/)



*LTD*
Feb 13, 2012, 12:12 PM
Smells patenty to me.

The Loafer
Feb 13, 2012, 12:16 PM
insta-buy for me (x2)

Mal
Feb 13, 2012, 12:21 PM
Smells patenty to me.

Are you suggesting that Nintendo would object to this? They don't have a patent on the shape of the controller, and there have been other controllers that mimicked their design before. They seem to welcome it (even with the Wii, there are a number of third-party controllers that replicate the basic look, although they are definitely visually distinct, as is this one).

jW

jclardy
Feb 13, 2012, 12:27 PM
Now this is awesome. $25 and works with all iCade games? Yes please.

This + iPad/iPhone 4S + Airplay mirroring (or HDMI output) = awesome.

HiRez
Feb 13, 2012, 12:49 PM
That is completely awesome, the only thing I wish they had done differently is arranged the 4 buttons in a diamond shape (i.e. rotated 45°), for example I think if these were "shoot" buttons for a game, I think you'd be more likely to want to shoot up, down, left, right than at angles. And they should label the buttons (ABCD, symbols, whatever to make it easier to write instructions).

blipmusic
Feb 13, 2012, 12:50 PM
Are you suggesting that Nintendo would object to this? They don't have a patent on the shape of the controller, and there have been other controllers that mimicked their design before. [...]
jW

The shape of the d-pad would be the culprit in that case, i.e. one solid cross shape. I believe that's why Playstation's d-pad is split up (at least externally) into four pieces.

Seems that particular patent expired in 2005 (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/D-pad#Patents), though.


And, bought. (whenever it arrives) :D

[...] the only thing I wish they had done differently is arranged the 4 buttons in a diamond shape (i.e. rotated 45°),[...]

Totally agree. Would have been a more natural pattern considering the 45 degree-ish angle of the thumb (I *do* think the SNES pad is the best joypad ever conceived).

nagromme
Feb 13, 2012, 12:54 PM
I just hope there’s some sensible correlation between the many different button arrangements (and number of buttons!) on the different new iCade devices. Otherwise, a game that works well with one device will have an awkward layout on another, or else devs will have to add new options screens, making iCade support less simple that it has been.

Now this is awesome. $25 and works with all iCade games? Yes please.

This + iPad/iPhone 4S + Airplay mirroring (or HDMI output) = awesome.

Add a picoprojector (I like my Qumi so far—not the smallest, but also not super-dim) and you’ve got a big-screen gaming rig smaller than a subnotebook :)

derkunstler
Feb 13, 2012, 01:17 PM
Smells patenty to me.
Yes it is, also the graphic design was indirectly based on some graphic designs I shared with Thinkgeek not so long ago. I feel really badly right now guys. I hope to contribute to their company one day and made an effort to. But to see this example that so closely matches a design I came up with is very upsetting to me.

jlgolson
Feb 13, 2012, 01:23 PM
Yes it is, also the graphic design was indirectly based on some graphic designs I shared with Thinkgeek not so long ago. I feel really badly right now guys. I hope to contribute to their company one day and made an effort to. But to see this example that so closely matches a design I came up with is very upsetting to me.I must ask, why did you share it with them?

Apple has some pretty significant legalese about unsolicited submissions and how they automatically own all of them so if someone submits something and they come out with something similar, they can't be sued.

In my experience, folks are way too free with unsolicited submissions.

2 Replies
Feb 13, 2012, 01:37 PM
ThinkGeek rocks. I've ordered a handful of items from them (I'm picky), and only a couple have been crap.

This looks cool though..
I like how it's Bluetooth, so does not require use of Apple's stupid 30-pin port of obnoxiousness. That also means it could possibly be used with other platforms, not just Apple iOS devices.

Hopefully they'll release a tool to allow users to assign it's signals to specific actions, like a GUI that lets a user tap a center-point for the input location for the D-Pad, then a radius for the directional taps.
Then the user could customize the input for any game, and not just ones specific for the controller, or even used for input in other apps.

Ideal solution though, would be for Apple to stop being a b1tch and open up (de-gimpify) their Bluetooth stack so mainstream Bluetooth controllers (ones we already have) can be used.
Right now, Apple keeps pushing iOS via the iPad as a laptop replacement, yet they insist on restricting Bluetooth functionality to little more than what dumb-phones offer. :-/

dukebound85
Feb 13, 2012, 01:38 PM
at least be like the SNES controller, not the NES

mrat93
Feb 13, 2012, 01:44 PM
I'm pretty satisfied with my iControlPad. I can't see myself buying this.

ArtOfWarfare
Feb 13, 2012, 01:57 PM
Question:

Would the people who own such a device be willing to pay higher prices on the app store than others? (IE, if a game supported the iCade, would it be able to have a price $2 or so more than others?)

dukebound85
Feb 13, 2012, 01:58 PM
Question:

Would the people who own such a device be willing to pay higher prices on the app store than others? (IE, if a game supported the iCade, would it be able to have a price $2 or so more than others?)

No....why should it. It would merely be inut/button remapping

Vercingetorix
Feb 13, 2012, 02:25 PM
Yes it is, also the graphic design was indirectly based on some graphic designs I shared with Thinkgeek not so long ago. I feel really badly right now guys. I hope to contribute to their company one day and made an effort to. But to see this example that so closely matches a design I came up with is very upsetting to me.

So you're upset because Thinkgeek's derivative, unoriginal clone of somebody else's work looks too much like your own derivative, unoriginal clone of it. Got it.

----------

Question:

Would the people who own such a device be willing to pay higher prices on the app store than others? (IE, if a game supported the iCade, would it be able to have a price $2 or so more than others?)

I don't know that I'd be "willing to pay more" in a vacuum, but there's no question that iCade support makes me a lot more likely to pull the trigger on a game. Which is effectively the same thing.

NameUndecided
Feb 13, 2012, 02:30 PM
I'm totally getting one whenever it's out and it's confirmed that whichever SNES and NES emulators that are out will work with it.

I don't play games all that often (the excitement over that app store released Mame app wore off after a few days, but I still have it), but finally having a good controller available for some NES and SNES and Sega and arcade games will be a really great thing to have around. I was also thrilled to see that it will have shoulder buttons -- I didn't catch that at first and thought it was coming up short of what could make it perfect for SNES.

So… yaaay! I'm excited now, and I'm sure I'll tire of playing emulator games after a couple of days, but I'm still totally buying one. Seriously, this looks perfect.

Also, it looks nice. So legitimate props to derkunstler if he really did send in a design that looked close to this. Would be cool if he got something in return if he honestly did have some influence, but I can also understand them not being legally required to do so (or opening themselves up to potential problems if they do give credit and then risk under-compensation.)

stevenwilber
Feb 13, 2012, 02:41 PM
Bring back the good old 8bit days - I'm getting one.

Also it's going to be great with my new iPhone stand (http://www.standeazy.com) that I'm so excited about. It fit perfectly in my wallet so now I'm always discovering new things that I can use it for. This one hits the jackpot.

ThunderSkunk
Feb 13, 2012, 03:59 PM
Oh sweet. I can finally sell my converted USB NES controller.

...which I assume won't work with the camera connection kit USB dongle.

Super Mario 3 here we come.

Yvan256
Feb 13, 2012, 04:03 PM
I love the faux-wood finish band on it, reminds me of our first Intellivision console.

I also think they should have gone with a diamon pattern for the buttons, like the SNES gamepad. I also think they should have used rounded edges because while the NES gamepad is really easy to use, it's not the best one to hold in your hands.

They should have gone with the design of the latest NES gamepad model instead or just talk with Nintendo about making it as close to the SNES gamepad as legally possible.

kevinmmccormick
Feb 13, 2012, 04:21 PM
They don't have a patent on the shape of the controller

Nitpick: actually, they do for the main component (the d-pad), but it expired in 2005. http://www.google.com/patents?vid=4687200

Third-party controller manufacturers, etc. pay Nintendo for licensing their designs when they create and market their own peripherals. Other game manufacturers (Sega, notoriously) had to use an alternate design to prevent being sued by Nintendo who obviously wouldn't license their technology to its competitors.

afawcett
Feb 14, 2012, 12:58 AM
Ideal solution though, would be for Apple to stop being a b1tch and open up (de-gimpify) their Bluetooth stack so mainstream Bluetooth controllers (ones we already have) can be used.


Agreed. I've kept an eye on iCade series, and this is my favorite release to date. I wish this worked with the MegaMan X app Capcom released.

toddybody
Feb 14, 2012, 07:06 AM
Pretty overpriced IMO.

jclardy
Feb 14, 2012, 08:14 AM
Pretty overpriced IMO.

Really? At $25? Wii and Xbox wireless controllers cost $40, and yes are a bit more advanced, but they can price them cheaper because they make money off of selling games, not hardware.

These guys only make money on hardware and they have no where near the market that a 360/Wii/PS3 controller would have (As everyone that owns an iOS device doesn't want a controller) So at $25 it allows them to still be profitable while providing a niche product...

bboyredcel
Feb 14, 2012, 09:14 AM
isnt the icade made by ION Audio?

http://www.ionaudio.com/products/details/icade

derkunstler
Feb 14, 2012, 09:29 AM
It was not an unsolicited submission. I was working with them towards securing a position as a creative designer. I created a series of samples within my portfolio to showcase what I could develop for them. Sadly they liked what they saw but felt it better to simply replicate some of my ideas rather than offer me a position. Its common in the design world these days. Thus why the graphic design field is dog eat dog and full of contempt and hate. There is a lot of bottomfeeding and plagiarism. It's simply the nature of the business now. But it does still hurt to see an idea you developed get used without your direct input. Then to read people's reactions to a design or 'look' you promoted. People think of the company as brilliant, yet it was me who promoted the retro graphics look for their products. If you do not believe me I can share with you my portfolio samples and you can see what was lifted. :(

But the fact is that there is no trust any more. Everything is fodder and everyone is material to be used in this industry. I went out on a limb and showed them a portfolio of material on their request. But I should have known what it was all about. Its all very common. I have some changes to make. Ideas are valuable. But there are people, especially in the usa, who disregard art and feel that original ideas are there for others to take without compensation. It is a blatant disregard for the value of art and creativity that has come to a serious crisis in this country. Art is taken for granted. Ideas or artists are often declared 'worthless' until there is something to steal. How can an artist be worthless and valuable at the same time? We wont hire you but we will lift concepts from you. I can not explain to you how angry this makes me. That is why this industry will continue to revolve around mediocrity. The people who are truly creative are held at bay, raped and eventually discarded. There is no respect for innovation or originality. There is only the all mighty buck. And saving a buck worth more than providing someone with potential a chance. That is a death sentence for any industry. It is only a matter of time. The economic depression isnt just about Bush, oil, credit and people living beyond their means. its about an industry selling out and abusing and excluding talent. It's about raping creativity as a resource.

But it doesn't matter. Its my fault I should have known. I was a fool to think that they would be honest with me. I have a lot of changes to make in how I prepare my portfolio. We live in evil times where the human element doesn't matter any more. People look at the atrocities going on in China at Foxcon. People need to look right in their backyard and see the kinds of things that take place right here. And why workers have 0 faith in business these days. Its just dog eat dog. Everyone and everything is fodder.




I must ask, why did you share it with them?

Apple has some pretty significant legalese about unsolicited submissions and how they automatically own all of them so if someone submits something and they come out with something similar, they can't be sued.

In my experience, folks are way too free with unsolicited submissions.

toddybody
Feb 14, 2012, 10:11 AM
Really? At $25? Wii and Xbox wireless controllers cost $40, and yes are a bit more advanced, but they can price them cheaper because they make money off of selling games, not hardware.

These guys only make money on hardware and they have no where near the market that a 360/Wii/PS3 controller would have (As everyone that owns an iOS device doesn't want a controller) So at $25 it allows them to still be profitable while providing a niche product...

I'd argue, but that would only end in me covered in blood and laughing in a prison cell.

Mainyehc
Feb 14, 2012, 11:32 AM
If this actually just sends keyboard inputs, it should work just fine with a number of emulators for OS X, right?

What could be even more interesting would be an official utility for remapping the key inputs so you could use not one but several controllers at the same time (as I'm guessing that two plain-vanilla 8-bittys — 8-bitties? — would send equal and conflicting inputs)! Do you reckon that could be possible?

JGowan
Feb 14, 2012, 12:00 PM
It was not an unsolicited submission. I ... Its just dog eat dog. Everyone and everything is fodder.I just want to offer my support to what you've said. I know how you feel. There is a lot of thievery going on -- PLUS -- even if you are a good designer, people still want your very best work for next to nothing. But have times really changed? When one considers many very famous artists/musicians throughout the ages that died with no money in a pitiful existence, we see that there is just not the appreciation of the arts as it should be. Best of luck.

Sackvillenb
Feb 14, 2012, 12:12 PM
Well, that seems pretty great! And $25 is not too bad either...

While I've found many great original games and ports on iOS devices, The lack of good controls and/or physical controls severely hampers 80% of those games...

As has been mentioned before though, good button mapping capabilities will be a must for this to succeed.

I wonder if I can play Marathon with it... :)

NameUndecided
Feb 14, 2012, 02:03 PM
I would hope that since this seems to be much less of a niche product than their arcade cabinet (that I couldn't get myself to spend even $50 on when it was on sale), that a lot more developers add support for it and there finally exists a widely-used physical controller for iOS (and Android) games.

I could see that happening, and then a year later this company releases a new version of the controller that works all the same and is just as small and portable, but is a little more modern and less retro-themed. I guess it's ultimately up to app developers though to be willing to adopt it.

Also -- I know nothing about programing and coding and that, so I wonder if their code for implementing support for their controllers is patented, or if another company could release their own controller that matches up with games that support this one.
(minor comeuppance for the alleged derkunstler incident?)

derkunstler
Feb 14, 2012, 03:49 PM
Cheers man. Sadly no the times have not changed however there comes a point when bottomfeeding and raping the arts brings about collapse. That is what we are seeing today. No lie can live forever and no one can suck and suck on something expecting it to last forever. There is a beginning and an end to all things. The moral arc of the universe is long but it bends towards Justice.

I had plans to develop a game app for their device, however those plans have been scraped. I didn't like what they did and though i originally believed in their product I have much less respect for them now. I may even get rid of this icade all together that I bought. But that is corporatism my friend, they are Nobodies friend.

But the world when see when the time comes. Though i am a developer I am an Artist first and that is where my heart will forever be. I'm from the 80's and the word selling out still is relevant in my mind. There is a lot of it going on, in fact that is what people strive to do these days. It's amazing.

I will never sell out the arts or the value of quality.
Art is life.

I wish I had a big company and big money behind me. I don't play by the rules and people come first in my book. But again I am old skool some my words may sound odd i nthis new $$$ era of branding and corporate chaos.

Oi






I just want to offer my support to what you've said. I know how you feel. There is a lot of thievery going on -- PLUS -- even if you are a good designer, people still want your very best work for next to nothing. But have times really changed? When one considers many very famous artists/musicians throughout the ages that died with no money in a pitiful existence, we see that there is just not the appreciation of the arts as it should be. Best of luck.

SBlue1
Feb 21, 2012, 11:48 AM
love the design