What’s the best part of owning an iPad? Playing games on it of course! Yes, the iPad, iPhone, and iPod touch are causing the bigwigs over at Sony land, xBox central, and Nintendo… ville many a sleepless night as they become the gaming device of choice with both young and old. While gaming on the iPad is still a very young market, you can bet on it getting bigger in 2011. We did some hunting around and found some of the coolest gaming accessories currently available (and soon to be released) for the iPad! Check them out below…
Incipio 1337 iPad Gaming Case
This market is still in it’s infancy, and we have yet to see a truly useful “iPad Gaming case” but there are a couple available that come close like the Incipio 1337 iPad gaming case. This is a high density silicone case to provide a good deal of protection and grip, but what truly sets it apart are the molded grips on the back to give your hands something firm to hold onto while you tilt, tap, and steer your way through gaming mayhem. It’s gotten just about nothing but great reviews from those who’ve used it and it’s a great all around case if you are concerned about dropping your iPad. The Incipio 1337 is on sale now for $29.99.
Ektopad Gamer Cover for iPad
Here’s another interesting entry in the iPad gaming accessory arena. A soft silicone cover for the iPad with big hefty grips on the edges for you to hang onto. This case is made from similar material to what your Wii remote silicone cover is. It’s soft, squishy, and very grippy. It molds easily to your fingers and provides a very comfortable grip without loosing any friction. There’s a good deal of drop protection too built into this case with the internal rib support structure to absorb impacts. There’s access to all the ports still when this case is on, and there’s even the ability to attach an included woven elastic band to mount this case on the back of a car seat for an instant in-car tv. It’s pretty darn cool, though a little on the thick side. But that’s probably a good thing when gaming. The Ektopad Gamer Cover is available for $29.95.
iCade Arcade Gaming Case for iPad
This was just announced at this year’s CES. It’s a gaming case based on ThinkGeek’s April fools joke for this year. Slip your iPad inside this case, and it turns instantly into a retro arcade gaming machine. The buttons and controls work wirelessly with the iPad and there’s even an iCADE app that will supply the compatibility. We’re not sure if arcade games will be bundled with this app or not. Either way, there’s nothing quite like the retro feel of Donkey Kong, Astroids, Street FIghter, and all the other games that used to suck our hard earned allowance day in and day out. No news on pricing or availability was available at the time of our writing this.
Joystick-it iPad Arcade Stick
Two rather exciting iPad game joystick accessories were announced at CES this year, and one of them comes from none other than ThinkGeek. It’s is no April fools joke this time, this is a very real iPad accessory that will be released later this month. Joystick-IT is a arcade stick that sticks directly to the screen of your iPad (we’re assuming with a suction cup) and acts just like a joystick. It will work with a ton of different games, anything that uses a virtual on screen joystick really. The retro feel of this is undeniable and it adds something that has been a major gripe with many iPad gamers- physical controls. The only down side is that it won’t work when there’s a bunch of tiny buttons that surround the virtual joystick, but that isn’t the case with 1000’s of games currently available. And if you want to play a duel stick shooter, you can just buy two! The Joystick-IT is available Jan 31st and will sell for $24.99.
Ten One Design Fling Tactile Game Controller For iPad
Another very interesting and tantalizing entry in the iPad gaming accessory arena is the Fling iPad joystick controller. This works similar to the Joystick-IT but gives you another level of control because it functions more like the joystick on a PS3 or XBox. It’s made from a clear plastic material that lets you see beneath it so that it doesn’t block your screen or interrupt your gaming experience. Attaching to the edge of your iPad with suction cups, this guy can be repositioned anywhere to add another level to your gaming experience. So far, there have been nothing but awesome reviews for this device, and the only complaint is that again, it won’t work when there’s small buttons that surround the virtual joystick. The Fling is available for just $38 and comes in a pack of 2 with it’s very own microfiber bag for on the go storage.
Parrot AR Drone Quadricopter
We love toys. Toys are the best. If you stop loving toys, you stop loving life. And toys controlled by your iPad? Now that’s just awesome! The Parrot AR Drone is one such toy that has had us salivating for a while now. It’s a remote controlled quadricopter that can be controlled by the iPad. There’s even a front view camera that gives you a live video feed directly to your device. It will fly and do battle with other drones or in augmented reality via a number of super cool games available on the app store. The hulls are interchangeable for outdoor and indoor use. This is no toy for the inexperienced hand though, it’s quite pricey and a little fragile. But it is sooo so cool… Check it out for yourself, the Parrot AR Drone is available for $299.99 (with free shipping).
Last but not least is the exciting new Sphero toy that’s promised to be released lat 2011. This is a remote controlled ball that can be controlled by your iPhone or iPad. Move the controls on your iPad and the ball will move too. The designers are packaging a few games with it reportedly and inviting developers to make as many games as their hearts desire for the spheres. Developers may even score a free Sphero ball too! We can just imagine how much fun it would be to have office races with these guys, sumo fights, play office golf, augmented reality wrecking ball, or even play a mean and crazy game of pool! The possibilities are endless… as is the potential if it manages to get off the ground. Our fingers are crossed! The Sphero ball will likely retail in the range of $99.
That’s it so far, but you can bet that this market is in its infancy and will be growing exponentially in 2011. There’s surely more iPad game accessories on the horizon stay tuned!