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iON iCade Core Review: Real Arcade Gaming On iPad [Video]

by on July 4th, 2012

There are thousands of great touch interface games in the App Store for your iOS devices. But there are plenty more that work well on the touch screen, but they’re better suited to be played using a physical controller.

Enter iON. They’re the ones behind the iCade. The Arcade Style cabinet that allows you to use a physical joystick and buttons for certain games. The company now has a couple of other products, including the iCade Core.

This is a version of the original iCade without the enclosure. While it may not have the full retro look, it still gives you that full arcade feel with the joystick and eight buttons. As well, without the casing, you can now put your iPad into landscape mode. A huge plus in my view.

The iCade Core still connects via Bluetooth, and there is a slot along the bottom so you can connect your charger to the iPad. The joystick is very fluid and responsive. I’ve yet to notice and lag or unresponsive ness over the Bluetooth connection. The buttons do feel plasticky, and are noisy when pushed, but once you’re playing, you hardly notice.

Here is my video review with a look at the iCade Core in action.

The only real drawback to the iCade Core is the library of games that are compatible with it. Currently there are hundreds that do work, but there are tons that just beg to be compatible with the device. Games such as Marvel Vs. Capcom 2 or Street Fighter IV. I realize this isn’t the fault of iON, it’s up to developers to add support to these devices. But the SDK is free, so it would be nice to see more games compatible.

Overall, I’m very impressed with not only build quality of the iCade Core, but how it works with the supported games. It’s very responsive and really makes playing games on the iPad that much more enjoyable.

So what do you think? Is this something you’d like use for gaming? Do you wish there was more supported game? Let me know in the comments.

Learn more about the iON iCade Core here, or check it out at Amazon.

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