There’s no question about it — as fun as mobile gaming can be, sometimes furiously pecking at a touchscreen just doesn’t cut it. For those of you who long for the halcyon days of gripping hard, uncomfortable controllers while a conceptually-simple game runs on your television, the GameDock may be just what the doctor ordered.
This nifty hardware project comes courtesy of the Oregon-based team at Cascadia Games, who not long ago put their pet project on Kickstarter for retro-minded gamers to ogle. The GameDock has a delightfully Nintendo-y vibe going — users dock their favored iDevice (no blowing required), while a pair of NES-esque controllers run into a pair of USB ports up front and an HDMI cable provides the all-important television connection.
Of course, hardware is only ever part of the equation with projects like this — one of the major issues for a product like this is tracking down games that are actually compatible with it. Creators Chris Jorgensen and Andi Greise; noted on their Kickstarter page that iCade apps with no more than two action and menu buttons should work nicely, but the pair have also been working on a dashboard app that they plan to fill with curated apps that are known to fully compatible. Sadly, not every game that would benefit from some physical buttons (I’m looking at you, Mega Man X) will play nice with the GameDock, but that’s an iCade-related rant for another time.
Thankfully, the project just recently tiptoed over its funding $50,000 funding goal, so (barring any unfortunate missteps) this thing should be hitting backers’ doorsteps by December. Speaking of which, you’ve still got until August 16 to throw your hard-earned money at this thing — a bare-bones GameDock can be yours for $100, while an additional $25 will nab you a pair of USB controllers and an HDMI adapter for your troubles.