ThinkGeek has created a GamePad called the 8-Bitty. Now, I know what you must be thinking: a gamepad? Wait, aren’t gamepads going out of style? You’d be right in this line of thinking, but ThinkGeek makes the gamepads of yesterday seem like a giant bore (which is why those gamepads aren’t selling, presumably). ThinkGeek has gone retro with the new 8-Bitty which has the looks and feel of an older gamepad -- surrounded by fake wood grain, the 8-Bitty promises to be a lot of fun to use.
ThinkGeek has stated on the company’s website that the 8-Bitty will be compatible with current iCade games. If you have an Android or iOS device, you can find iCade games in the Marketplace or App Store, respectively. What does the 8-Bitty do? It provides your thumbs with a lot of fun and better overall control when you’re playing any iOS or Android iCade game.
Availability of the 8-Bitty (Cause You Know You Want One!)
TechCrunch reports that the ThinkGeek 8-Bitty will be available “soon” through the company’s website. Right now, ThinkGeek has placed a note on their website that says the 8-Bitty will be shipped out very soon. For now, we’ll have to go with the photos and information that TechCrunch has provided. Based on this information, it’s clear to see that the 8-Bitty is small in size, easily fits inside of a light fingertip grasp, and comes with plenty of easy to use controls.
Since ThinkGeek hasn’t actually shipped this gamepad yet, pricing details haven’t been released yet either (though some tech blog are reporting that this gamepad will be available for around $24 – a small price to pay for such a fun device!). However, one has to assume that this toy-like gamepad will be adequately priced for those who like to collect gadgets. Do you need an 8-Bitty? Not really. Can you play iCade games without an 8-Bitty? Absolutely; but you’ll have a heck of a lot more fun if you can play those games with a handy gamepad in-hand.
Current iCade Game Offerings Through Android and iOS
If you love the sound of a wood-clad gamepad for iCade games, you might be wondering what iCade games are currently available. PAC-Man, Emerald Mind, Plum Crazy, Muffin Knight, and other retro game titles can be found in the Android Marketplace or Apple App Store, and all of these games are compatible with the new 8-Bitty (in fact, hundreds of game titles will work with this handy gamepad). You’ll also notice that plenty of retro Atari titles are part of the iCade lineup.
Seemingly, the world is headed in a retro direction as nostalgia increases. Gaming companies like Atari are looking towards mobile platforms and other retro devices have been popping up all over the place lately. You can chalk this need for nostalgia up to a once young gaming generation getting older and leaning towards mobile, or you can consider the angle that older gaming companies are coming out of the woodwork to cash in on the mobile craze. Either way, you can expect the 8-Bitty to be one handheld mobile gaming-compatible device that sells out quickly.