Remember the iCade? It was one of the few dozen of fake iPad arcade cabinets we covered here on MacStories last year. But while many of those cabinets will never see the light of day, or at least won't ever be produced for public release, the iCade has become a reality that will ship to consumers this Spring. As reported by Engadget in their CES 2011 coverage, the Bluetooth-based controller will be available at $99 and realized by Ion, who has teamed up with ThinkGeek to make the iCade (which was born as an April Fools' joke) a real, working peripheral.
The first games specifically built for the iCade and iPad will be developed by Atari; they already have a working demo of Asteroids that seems to be working very well on the tablet's screen through iCade's retro buttons and sticks. Any game that support Bluetooth controls, however, should support the iCade out of the box. An API will also be released to allow iOS developers to create iCade-compatible games.
More details are available on ThinkGeek's website. Check out Engadget's hands-on with the cabinet below.