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iCade, Part 2: Electric Boogaloo

Remember the iCade, ThinkGeek’s April Fool’s joke? Techi’s own James Mowery brought it to our attention yesterday. James expressed sadness upon revealing it didn’t exist. But James may not have to be sad forever! The buzz around the iCade is beginning to grow.

Quite frankly, the iCade is a very necessary call to attention to a very untapped market.

Currently, there does exist a gaming peripheral for the iPhone – well, sort of. A group of hackers in the UK developed the iControlPad in 2008 to work with jailbroken iPhones. But that’s a little less than legit. However it proves, if anything, that there is a market for that sort of thing, and one dedicated enough that it’s willing to do it itself if it isn’t going to be done elsewise.

And these people are dedicated for a reason. Have you ever tried playing a game with ‘buttons’ on an iPhone? The lack of tactile feedback renders anything not tilt-based almost unplayable, and something tells me we’re going to see similar problems with the iPad. If Apple wants to step their game up (literally), they’re going to need to look into peripherals.

But lo and behold, they are! The link there is an Apple patent showing designs very similar to the hacked version. We’ll be seeing something similar to the iCade soon enough.

Then again, half the iCade’s appeal is the fact that IT’S THE ICADE. Look at it. It’s a thing of utter nerd beauty. But James still may not have to worry about it: ThinkGeek’s previous April Fool’s effort, the Star Wars Tauntaun sleeping bag, went into production after thousands of would-be Jedis demanded it, and the buzz around the iCade very much seems to be gathering similar momentum. One fan has even offered to fund 100% of the production cost.

I think Apple had better revise its patent.

[Sources: CrunchGear, Ars Technica, PatentlyApple]

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