CNET First Look
Atari Arcade for iPadThe Atari Arcade joystick dock ably converts the iPad into an old-school video game machine, but a short list of compatible games and some frustrating caveats limit its appeal to retro gaming fetishists.
-I'm Scott Stein, senior editor at CNET.com and if you're an iPad owner and you're arcade fetishes, well, you may wanna take a look at the Atari Arcade. Sure, you don't have a dedicated arcade joystick for your iPad. You have to rely on touching and smudging up your screen, but there is a solution. The $60 joystick made by Atari docks into your iPad will light to use a joystick and 4 buttons with Atari's greatest hits Arcade app. Just that app and it docks vertically in portrait mode. It can reorient any other way. Now, that's a trade off because a couple of months ago we also saw another device, the Ion iCade, a giant arcade cabinet for your iPad that use Bluetooth. Now, that one use batteries and could work with several other games in addition to Atari. This one only works with Atari, but it doesn't need batteries. Once you plug that thing into your 30 pin, you are set and this thing small enough that you can tuck into a back pack if you so choose to take it around and I don't know player key games with your friends. Some people might prefer to still go within Arcade cabinet though. If you're gonna take this thing and dock it somewhere on your desk, you might as well go pull out geeky, but with this you kind of get a little bit of both worlds and as a result, the joystick and buttons feels a little bit less arcade perfect if you're gonna be a real retro perfectionist compared to something like the iCade. Then again, it's a lot better than touching on the screen, but if you're gonna put in that portrait mode, just remember it's going to shrink down those arcade games kind of letter box than a little bit. So, unless you're playing a game like centipede here which uses the full screen in order to play because that was an original arcade game that use that mode. Most of them are not going to take up nearly that screen real state and wait a second here. If you're gonna be arcade perfectionist, centipede used the centipede use the trac ball. Wait a second, why are we using a joystick for that. In fact of Atari's arcade games; Centipede, Breakout, and Missile command ones like that use trac balls or paddles. Next time, Atari, how about giving us one of those. I'm Scott Stein. It's a look at the Atari Arcade joystick dock for the iPad.