Become a MacRumors Supporter for $50/year with no ads, ability to filter front page stories, and private forums.


macrumors bot
Original poster
Apr 12, 2001

What started as a ThinkGeek April Fools joke has now become reality. The $99 iCade iPad arcade cabinet is now shipping to early customers. The iCade offers iPad users an arcade cabinet shell to slide your iPad in and use the physical joystick and buttons to play games. Our sister site TouchArcade has already received theirs and has been putting it through the paces:
The iCade comes packaged unassembled. The box contains the main control unit, two side panels, a back panel, a handy flip-up top panel with instructions printed on the inside face, a lovely red joystick knob, screws, batteries, and a set of instructions. Getting the unit together with the help of the illustrated assembly sheet is about 5 to 10 minutes' work.
Out of the box, the iCade supports Atari's Greatest Hits iPad app which offers 100 classic Atari games in a single package. Almost every Atari game is already supported with the iCade. The included instructions show how different controls are mapped to the iCade:

As figured out by @thatdecade, the iCade simply sends out two-letter sequences for each button or joystick movement. That means it should be trivial for any iOS game developer to build in support for the iCade into their future games.

Overall the controls seem solid and a welcome addition to these classic games.
I found tearing through these classic games on the iCade to be everything I'd hoped it to be. On the whole, it's just an awesome experience. Holding the stick in your hand, hearing the switches click open and shut, and mashing the fire buttons is absolutely the way these classic games were meant to be played. A proper stick in your hand beats a virtual D-pad every time.
At present, the Atari game pack seems to be the only app to support the iCade. There do seem to be a few frustrations with the iCade acting like a Bluetooth keyboard. For example, when paired, the iPad won't bring up a virtual keyboard in text entry fields as it thinks the iCade is actually a keyboard.

The iCade is available from ThinkGeek but presently is on backorder.

Article Link: iPad Arcade Cabinet 'iCade' Now Shipping
Last edited by a moderator:


macrumors 68040
Oct 25, 2004
I just love this thing! It is awesomely stupid/cool.
I can't quite bring myself to shell out the $$$ though (I know I would not really use it).


macrumors 6502a
Mar 17, 2011
I'm glad to see this go into production and not surprised it's currently on backorder. If I had an iPad I'd probably have ordered one.


macrumors 6502
Feb 16, 2004
Fargo, ND
now all someone has to do is buy 20 iPads, these things, and rent a place downtown and BLAMO! Arcades are back! haha... wishful thinking maybe, but cool peripheral nonetheless


macrumors 603
Nov 30, 2004
Toronto, ON
Sorry to revive an old thread but I'm wondering if anybody who's purchased the iCade can tell me if the coin slot leads anywhere. It would be cool to use the iCade as a piggy bank for quarters.


macrumors 6502
Sep 15, 2005
I would be interested if anyone had experienced issues with the new iPad (3) and iCade ? Since measurements are about the same it should work fine ? Other problems ? Thanks.


macrumors 603
Nov 30, 2004
Toronto, ON
I've heard it works perfectly with the iPad 3. What I'm wondering is if Ion is planning an updated iCade with Bluetooth 4 which would be ideal for this kind of use.

Also, is it possible to update iCade's firmware should an iOS update break support?
Last edited:
Register on MacRumors! This sidebar will go away, and you'll see fewer ads.