Not content with waiting for this to eventually happen and not satisfied with the look and functionality of the cardboard iPad arcade I decided to begin my own iPad arcade project. I am cannibalizing a Hori Wii fightstick for the controls and using an iPad dock and an AVI-out cable for multimedia. I chose the Wii fightstick for several reasons. The first being that it has a square gate. (For those unfamiliar with arcade sticks and their idiosyncrasies, there are several types of gates in different shapes. The most common being octagon or eight-way in America, square gates are actually prevalent in Japan. There is a lot of subjectivity in what type of gate is best. I personally prefer square gates because the tactile sensation provided by square gates is more pronounced.) The second reason I liked it is because the Wii remote already has support built into many emulators on the iPad. The third was that the logistics were simple because the arcade stick drew power directly and only from the Wii remote, I don't need to worry about wiring in a power supply. Just hook it up to the Wii-mote and I'm good to go. No messing with the iPad dock and worrying about killing my iPad. Best of all, it's easier than ardino and much cheaper, too. The worst that could happen is I fry a fight-stick or a Wii-mote or both. Right now, though the emulators support the Wii remote, they do not support any controller add-ons. So my plan is simply solder on some wires to the existing leads of the arcade buttons while still having the fightstick plugged into the Wii remote through the extension port. The effect of this will be basically as if I were pressing the same button on a Wii remote and classic controller at the same time, but since existing software does not recognize the classic controller, that input should be ignored *fingers crossed*. The great thing about this design is if classic controller support comes later(which I'm sure it will), all I have to do to enable it in the arcade machine is snip the wires that I soldered between the Wii-mote and the Hori stick. I should be finished with the entire machine by this upcoming weekend. I'll be sure to post a walk-through on how you can build your own soon. In the meantime, here's some pics to tide you over
Things that I hope will be included in the final machine are maintaining full compatability with Wii consoles (i.e. I can still use my fightstick on my actual Wii), a working coin-slot (I imagine I'll have to build a small circuit to operate a transistor, which will allow power to pass to the stick after a quarter has been inserted for a limited time.) I am also trying to build it basically to one-sixth scale of a real arcade machine, so it's going to be roughly two foot tall by one foot wide. I am learning a lot about wood-working tools on this project but really I just can't wait to play with it.