GameDock Will Turn Your iOS Device Into a TV-Based Console

The Kickstarter campaign for GameDock ended yesterday, and it was a success! The original goal was $50,000, and they ended up raising $57,302. If all goes as planned, backers should receive their GameDocks by the end of the year.

For more information on the GameDock, check out our Q&A with Cascadia Games.

There’s been a lot of talk lately about the Android-based game console Ouya, which recently achieved its Kickstarter goal in a matter of hours. So we thought we’d highlight another Kickstarter-funded project that will turn your iOS device into a TV-based game console. It’s called the GameDock, and it looks pretty promising.

The GameDock is similar to the various models of the iCade in that it allows you to use physical controls to play compatible iOS games. In fact, it even uses the same Bluetooth standard, so all iCade-compatible games will work with the GameDock. However, the GameDock can do two things that the iCade can’t: it lets you play on a TV using an HDMI cable, and it allows you to connect two physical controllers to your iOS device. (However, the game has to be specifically programmed to take advantage of this feature).

They’ve also made an app that lets you launch games using the controllers, which is always good since getting up is for chumps. If you don’t have a TV handy, you can also use the GameDock to play games on the screen of your iOS device, but note that in order to plug into the GameDock your device has to be in portrait mode, so landscape gaming is best left to the TV unless you want a serious crick in your neck. Also, rumor has it that this year’s iteration of the iPhone will have a smaller dock connector, meaning this version of the GameDock might not work with future iOS devices.

Another potential drawback is that the GameDock’s controllers are modeled after NES controllers, which means they only have two action buttons instead of iCade’s eight action buttons. Obviously, that limits the number of games that are well suited for the GameDock.

At the time of this writing, they’ve received over half of their $50,000 Kickstarter goal, and there’s still a month to go. If you want to secure a GameDock for yourself, you’ll have to go to the Kickstarter page and pledge at least $125. That’s $25 more than it takes to secure an Ouya, but the GameDock comes out at the end of this year, while the first Ouyas ship in March. Also, a number of good games already support the iCade protocol (see our top picks here), whereas no games have been officially announced for the Ouya yet.

Do you plan to help fund either the GameDock or the Ouya? Let us know why or why not in the comments section below.

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