In what is perhaps the coolest controller concept seen for the iPad to date, blogger and hardware modder Paul Richards has hacked an original NES controller to work with the iPad . The controller hooks up to the iPad using Apple’s camera connection kit, and works with any iCade compatible game on the App Store.
This may not be the most sophisticated NES controller concept for iOS devices (we reported on a pretty awesome one just a few days ago), it does make excellent use of old NES controllers, and is still extremely cool.
Curiously, Richards claims that the hack was actually developed by accident in the process of modifying an old Commodore 64 keyboard to work with the iPad, accidentally struck a key while playing with the iMAME emulator on his device, and thereby discovered that the iPad would accept game controls through USB.
He then quickly patched together another USB keyboard using Arduino, and subbed his NES gamepad in place of an actually keyboard matrix. He then concealed the wires with a custom LEGO case, and presto! NES controller for the iPad!
The controller should be able to control any iCade-compatible title, including Atari’s Greatest Hits app, Pac Man and PacMan for iPad, Temple Run, Super Mega Worm, and other games. A full list of compatible titles can be found here.
Seriously cool stuff. Excellent work, Paul!