ThinkGeek’s iCade certainly has a sense of visual flair going for it, but discerning iPad gamers who could do without the retro throwback may soon have another choice. The existence of the Atari Arcade Duo-Powered Joystick was recently confirmed in the Atari Greatest Hits app’s changelog, hopefully meaning it will make its official debut soon.
Details are still pretty scarce, but Technabob reports that the Atari Arcade joystick sports a largely plastic body with an open design that allows for easy removal of the iPad. At this point it seems likely that, like the iCade, the joystick will (for better or worse) connect to the iPad via Bluetooth to transmit control input.
The joystick, in essence, acts as a Bluetooth keyboard with certain keys bound to different on-screen actions — maybe not an ideal solution as far as control is concerned, but much easier than going through Apple’s MFi accessory certification program.
It’s far too early for judgment calls, but considering the design and button layout, the Atari Arcade joystick may soon see life as a budget peripheral. Discovery Bay Games has yet to reveal the joystick’s price point or ship date, but don’t expect it to break the bank whenever it does start making the retail rounds.