Even without any Xbox or PlayStation refreshes, gamers have loads of platforms to be excited for. There are smartphones and tablets, the ambitious Ouya, and now the GameDock — a device that pipes iOS games to an HDTV with old school gaming controls and graphics in mind.
Creators Cascadia Games says it looked at how gamers were using their iPhone and iPad to game and concluded that the iPhone's display was too small and the iPad too large to hold comfortably in the hands.
Inspired by the retro game consoles like the NES, the GameDock is basically a dock for your iPhone or iPad that has two USB ports and a HDMI out port. The USB ports are for plugging in controllers and the HDMI port is for hooking hooking the "console" up to the HDTV.
It seems like a great idea and Kickstarter funders seem think so too (it's already reached its $50,000 goal), but we can't shake the $100 price tag (another $25 for two USB controllers that resemble NES gamepads and an HDMI adapter) and limited game support (only plays games that work with the iCade).
Even the $99 Ouya will come with a controller. Not bundling in a controller feels like a ripoff. It's like if Nintendo released the Wii U without its fancy tablet controller, and made you buy it separately. It just doesn't fly.
Still, if you must have a new "game console" to play on or just want to give your iOS games some tactile control, the GameDock looks like a relatively simple solution. Now, if only it had Nintendo's classic NES games, then that $100+ price wouldn't be so hard to swallow...