20 Gadgets of Christmas: Ion Audio ICade

20 Gadgets of Christmas: Ion Audio ICade

Day 13: The touch screen on the iPad has led to some great gaming possibilities, but for users nostalgic for buttons and old-school titles, the Ion iCade provides a blast from the past.

Who needs the 12 Days of Christmas? 20 Gadgets of Christmas is our daily column showcasing the best gifts this holiday season.

What it is: A dock for the iPad that’s shaped like a classic arcade machine.

What it does: Connects via Bluetooth to the iPad and works as a video game controller

Why it’s great: The iCade lets the worlds of new- and old-school technology collide for a unique experience.

How much it costs: $80

Where to get it: BestBuy.com

Ion’s iCade is compatible with the “Atari Greatest Hits” app, which allows users to download more than 100 retro games, including classics like “Asteroids,” “Centipede” and “Battlezone.”

The iCade is a stylish wooden case with classic arcade controls that presents a great game play experience when in use, and looks like a monument to the origins of gaming when sitting on the desk. It’s a great gift for iPad owners who remember playing Atari’s titles, but also works for younger users who may have missed out on the classic games.

Ion’s iCade is even a good fit for users who may not be interested in Atari games. Ion has made its software available to developers, and there are now dozens of apps that support the iCade, including “Pacman” and “Frogger Decades,” with many more on the way, according to the company.

The iCade runs on two AA batteries and will last for 70 hours before needing a switch. The accessory also has a space to allow the iPad to be charged while docked, assuring a dead iPad battery will never keep users from their games.

If you want to give iPad owners and game lovers a taste of Christmas past this holiday season, there’s no better way to do so than with the iCade.

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