There’s a lot of great retro-style games in the iOS App Store, but most of them are hard to control thanks to their virtual buttons. The GameDock hopes to fix that issue by turning iPhones and iPads into retro gaming consoles.
The GameDock is a small dock that connects the iOS device to an HDTV via HDMI mirroring, and gives players two controllers to play their games. The controllers connect to the GameDock through USB and look just like classic NES controllers, making them perfect for retro games.
The device supports iCade-ready games, so there’s already a built-in ecosystem. It also supports two-player games designed for docked gaming.
To make the GameDock easier to use, the creators also have a library app ready that lets players easily choose the games they want to play on the device. The controllers connected to the GameDock can control the app, so gamers don’t need to get up to choose the game they want to play.
The GameDock currently uses the 30-pin dock connector on all iOS devices. If Apple does release the iPhone 5 with a smaller dock connector, users will have to find a workaround. The creators are betting that Apple will release an adapter that will fit in the GameDock so early adopters aren’t left with a useless device.
The GameDock is currently sitting at just above $10,000 in funding, and needs $50,000. There are no more $100 “early bird” units available, so new backers will need to pay $150 if they hope to buy the device. It’s a bit expensive, but it might be worthwhile to some users who love iOS games, but wish there was an easier way to play them without virtual buttons.