iCade Creators Announce Nintendo-Like Wireless Controller for iOS

Discussion in 'iOS Blog Discussion' started by MacRumors, Feb 13, 2012.

  1. macrumors bot


    Apr 12, 2001

    ThinkGeek, the creators of the iCade iPad gaming cabinet have upped the ante with a new Bluetooth enabled controller called the iCade 8-Bitty. The controller is roughly the size and layout of a classic NES controller, with an extra pair of A/B buttons on the right side and two shoulder buttons.


    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 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
  2. macrumors G4


    Feb 5, 2009
  3. macrumors newbie

    Aug 9, 2011
  4. Mal
    macrumors 603


    Jan 6, 2002
    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).

  5. macrumors 68030


    Oct 6, 2008
    Now this is awesome. $25 and works with all iCade games? Yes please.

    This + iPad/iPhone 4S + Airplay mirroring (or HDMI output) = awesome.
  6. macrumors 601


    Jan 6, 2004
    Western US
    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).
  7. blipmusic, Feb 13, 2012
    Last edited: Feb 13, 2012

    macrumors regular

    Feb 4, 2011
    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, though.

    And, bought. (whenever it arrives) :D

    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).
  8. macrumors G5


    May 2, 2002
    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.

    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 :)
  9. macrumors newbie

    Mar 22, 2011
    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.
  10. Contributing Editor


    Jun 2, 2011
    Durango, CO
    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.
  11. macrumors regular

    Apr 26, 2010
    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. :-/
  12. macrumors P6


    Jul 17, 2005
    5045 feet above sea level
    at least be like the SNES controller, not the NES
  13. macrumors 65816


    Dec 30, 2006
    I'm pretty satisfied with my iControlPad. I can't see myself buying this.
  14. macrumors 604


    Nov 26, 2007

    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?)
  15. macrumors P6


    Jul 17, 2005
    5045 feet above sea level
    No....why should it. It would merely be inut/button remapping
  16. macrumors regular

    Jan 17, 2007
    Atlanta, USA
    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.


    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.
  17. macrumors 6502a

    Mar 28, 2011
    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.)
  18. stevenwilber, Feb 13, 2012
    Last edited: Feb 13, 2012

    macrumors newbie

    Jan 23, 2010
    Can't wait - perfect with my new stand too!

    Bring back the good old 8bit days - I'm getting one.

    Also it's going to be great with my new iPhone stand 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.
  19. macrumors 68000


    Dec 31, 2007
    Colorado & Ontario
    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.
  20. macrumors 601


    Jul 5, 2004
    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.
  21. macrumors newbie

    Feb 19, 2010
    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.
  22. macrumors regular

    Feb 23, 2010
    San Diego
    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.
  23. Guest


    May 13, 2010
    On Mars, thinking about my father...
  24. macrumors 68030


    Oct 6, 2008
    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...
  25. macrumors member

    Feb 26, 2006

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