Gaming on iOS has advanced to the point where Apple is now mentioned in the same breath as Nintendo, Sony, and Microsoft. While the vast majority of iOS games are casual fare, the bar is gradually being raised with console-esque titles like Grand Theft Auto III
, Infinity Blade 2
, and Dead Space
. Yet there still exists that pesky requirement of using the touchscreen. Several manufacturers are releasing controller accessories
, but what if you want more of a DIY flair? Look no further than Beck Heck
. The master of modding has released a new video, showing how to turn an iPhone or iPod touch into a portable gaming system that (sort of) rivals the 3DS or PS Vita
How does Heck work his magic? He started by buying an iCade; it’s a control accessory for iPhone and iPad that is designed to look like an old arcade cabinet from the 80s
. He then ripped it apart and learned its dirty secrets (the iCade connects as a Bluetooth keyboard, and its buttons are mapped as keyboard buttons). Heck then stole the iCade’s circuit board and transplanted it in a new case. After an attempt to create the buttons with a 3D printer
, Heck opted for the more accurate method of using a laser cutter. This man has quite the workshop.
Heck’s actual controller is a minimalistic accessory that plugs into both sides of the iPhone
. On one side it plugs into the charging/docking port, and on the other side it plugs into the iPhone’s headphone jack. While the device connects via Bluetooth, connecting it to the dock port uses the iPhone to power the controller. Connecting to the headphone jack is merely for physical stabilization.
As with most of Ben Heck’s work, the end result is a drool-worthy work of homebrew art. The only drawback is that the controller is only compatible with iCade games (a relatively limited library at this point).