iCade Mobile brings physical buttons to iPhone / iPod Touch

I have a crappy non-smartphone with a broken screen. Suffice it to say I couldn't play mobile games even if I wanted to. But if I did own an iPhone and wanted to play some games, I think the whole touchscreen thing would put me off.

ION Audio, responsible for the iPad iCade looks to bring button support to the rest of Apple's devices. The original iCade was known for providing iPad owners with a small arcade cabinet setup. Now, the company is working on something slightly similar for the iPhone and iPod Touch.

Dubbed the iCade Mobile and on display at CES, this add-on features a D-pad, four face buttons, and four shoulder buttons. The device can be used with the iPhone positioned vertically or horizontally. It looks pretty neat, and it seems to have a lot of potential.

The iCade Mobile will be available this year for $79.99. No exact date has been announced as of this writing. Here's hoping some developers really back this thing and release software that's compatible with it. At 80 bucks, it's a hard sell for the casual fan. But if enough solid iPhone games support it, it's likely to get picked up by more people.