It’s funny how things tend to go full circle, isn’t it? Out with the old and in with the new, then suddenly out of the blue it’s back in with the old again. What I’m trying to say is, holy Asteroids, soon you’ll be able to rock your favorite old-school Atari games on the iPad with the latest retro style appcessory the Atari Arcade-Duo Powered Joystick, a creation by & joint effort between Atari and Discovery Bay Games.
Not that it’s necessarily a huge market to begin with, but up until now the iCade has practically dominated this niche, now it will have no choice but to make room for some competition. Unlike the iCade, the Atari arcade joystick connects via the 30-pin iPad dock connector rather than using a Bluetooth connection and it’s also significantly cheaper at around $60 compared to the $100 iCade price tag.
A few short days ago, August 31 to be precise, the Atari’s Greatest Hits iPad app was also updated. Hmm, coincidence? The app contains 100 of Atari’s all time greatest classics. Games including Super Breakout, Centipede and Lunar Lander to name a few. Of course for the entire collection of games you’ll have to buy the full version of the iOS app which will set you back $14.99.
Back to the retro style Atari joystick for the iPad. In case you’re wondering when you can get your hands on one and where it will be available for sale, according to a review on DVICE by Raymond Wong we’re looking at an October 2nd availability date.
The Atari Arcade is scheduled to drop on October 2 at Target and then in November at Toys “R” Us and Walmart for $60.
For the record, the Arcade-Duo only works in portrait mode and not landscape, which of course is fine considering the purpose it serves and the type of games that are meant to be played while using it. At this time the Atari’s Greatest Hits app is the only compatible app for this peripheral. We can only hope more iPad games will follow and that developers will take the time to create new apps that work with the accessory. Not that there’s anything wrong with top Atari 2600 games, but owners would enjoy more options.
How will this new gaming device fair on the market? Well, who knows, it could really catch on or perhaps quickly become nothing more than a cool collectors item. I guess a lot of its success depends on whether or not the concept catches the attention of top iOS developers who are willing to develop compatible games for it.