When the iPad was released earlier this year, the world was surprised to see that it actually made a splash. In fact, it garnered mostly positive reviews, exploded in popularity, and the peripheral community started booming. Shelves are now starting to fill with iPad stands, docks, and cases.
These accessories largely don’t serve much of a purpose other than to make an iPad unique or more convenient, which is a shame because the iPad has such great potential for a variety of other uses. Luckily, Justin Hubbard decided to create something that would extend the capabilities of his iPad: enter the “ultimate iPad/Android arcade machine”.
The iPad Arcade Machine is basically a dock which hooks up the iPad to not only a power source, but also a video output to a pico projector. The projector is capable of displaying whatever’s on the iPad screen, which allows you to view your arcade game on a bigger screen. The iPad Arcade Machine also comes up with a joystick and various buttons, which is definitely reminiscent of the nostalgia of the 80s.
I think that the pico projector is really what sets Hubbard’s iPad Arcade Machine apart from other accessories, such as iPad docks or even the iCade. From what I can see in the video, the image quality is quite decent and responsive. If you’re planning to re-live retro arcade games though, I think that image quality is less of an issue than the controls, which seem to correspond and work with the iPad.
Acquiring these games would not be difficult. In the demo video, Hubbard already demonstrates the capabilities of his iPad Arcade Machine through a game of Pacman. Retro games are not scarce for the iPad, with Pinball and other retro games being available at a low price.
Although the demo does look a bit flimsy, Hubbard’s machine is a prototype and probably also the model he tinkers with. It’s bound to have gone through a bit more wear and tear than an ordinary iPad Arcade Machine would have.
If you’re interested in helping Justin Hubbard out with this project, please contribute to his cause over at Kickstarter. $20 will get you a magnetic iPad dock, $200 gets you a DIY kit, and $300 for a full arcade machine with video-out capabilities.