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CES 2012: Play arcade games on your iPad -- with a joystick

January 10, 2012 |  6:09 am

It's all fun and games for one company at this year's Consumer Electronics Show.

Seattle's Discovery Bay Games wanted to combine the modern iPad with the old-school arcade experience to give gamers the best of both worlds. The end result: Atari Arcade, a $60 console featuring a joystick and four push buttons that connects with an iPad or iPad 2, enabling users to play classic games such as Centipede, Pong and Asteroids using the tablet as a screen but the console as the controls. 

"I think what people were missing was that real tactile experience of having the joystick and the buttons, because on the touchscreen you kind of lose the feeling," Discovery Bay Games spokeswoman Natalie Dent said. The tech and gaming company was giving demos of the device Monday at Digital Experience, a consumer electronics media event held in Las Vegas the night before the official opening of CES. 

Created through a partnership with Apple and Atari, the Atari Arcade was released at Target, Toys R Us and Apple stores during the holiday season last year and was a bestseller for Discovery Bay Games, Dent said. 

Consumers who buy the device have to download the Atari Greatest Hits app to their tablets to play the games; $9.99 gets you 99 classic arcade games.

Discovery Bay Games also released two other iPad-compatible devices, which the company calls "appcessories" on its website, over the holidays: the Duo Pop, a set of remote "poppers" (they look a bit like asthma inhalers) that operate as wireless game buzzers; and Duo Plink, a device geared toward younger children that sits on top of an iPad and acts as a scoring machine.

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-- Andrea Chang in Las Vegas

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