Check Out This Awesome NES Controller Concept For The iPhone



If you’re an iOS gamer, there’s no better accessory for your iPhone than a game controller that allows you to use physical controls within your favorite games. And there’s no better game controller than this one, inspired by the retro gamepad from the Nintendo Entertainment System.

It was created by Fabio Basile, a designer based in the U.K., who hates the virtual joypads presented in most iOS games. It comes in two parts, one of which connects to the 30-pin dock connector in the bottom of your device, and the other into its headphone jack at the top end.

Before you get too excited, however, remember this is just a concept at this point. Though Basile is working to get it made. In a post on his Dribbble page, he toys with the idea of starting up a Kickstarter project:

My ideal iPhone accessory!
I hate digital buttons, this will be an immediate buy! Should we start a funding round on Kickstarter? :)

While that would be awesome, and almost a guaranteed success, unfortunately Kickstarter is only available to those in the U.S. Basile also admits that he knows nothing about hardware design, or the iOS framework.

According to iDownloadBlog, however, Basile is seeking alternative help with his idea, and is determined to make it a reality.

What do you think of this concept?

  • MacHead84


  • Lewis Gentle

    Immediate buy is correct this would be a great ios accessory

  • Chris McCabe

    If he’s considering Kickstarter, he absolutely should give it a go. This would go over really, really well. Things like this get funded well within the timeframe, and generally garner a ton more than originally asked for.

    easily could be KS project of the year.

  • Ryan Kennedy

    I’d buy it

  • prof_peabody

    As usual, the person “designing” these things is someone who wants to use it to play what are essentially illegal games.  Unless they want to licence the port from Apple and licence the software and rights from the game company, then the only way these things work is on jail broken devices.  

    That’s why these button controllers always fail.  They are aimed (at best!) at a tiny market of people who rip off old-school games and run them on emulators on jail broken devices.  This market is waaay too small (and basically full of thieves anyway) to support the project.  

    It’s the equivalent of coming up with a winning new design for a crack pipe and expecting to make money off that.  

  • hanna

    @google-4ac41e51af58cab7ed3ab3d0f410ce85:disqus ………Would you like to work from home? Read more here: and you will find out how to get a nice income every month.

  • MacHead84

    Ummm this is a concept not a jailbreakers add on. You know to demonstrate an idea. To illustrate where future innovation could go…

  • Noah Albro

    Take my money!

  • Thomas Christensen

    Nintendo should make this. Sell it. And then move their entire GameBoy catalog to iOS and Andriod. 

  • Mystakill

    Nintendo would be all over this due to the styling.  I’d suggest some different colors, flip the button placement, and add two more buttons on the right in a cross configuration ala PS and Xbox.

    Licensing issues aside, if this adheres to the iCade “standard”, gets licensing approval from Apple, and is offered at a *reasonable cost* (i.e. ~$40 or less), I see no reason why this wouldn’t sell like hotcakes.

  • shaun earsom


  • Mike Rathjen

    Your first sentence is pretty insulting and demonstrative of the fact that you hate jailbreaking with such a passion that you don’t recognize that a tremendous number of NON-jailbreakers would frankly love something like this to work with all our legal games.

    For example, there are more than 130 games available on Apple’s app store that support the iCade, and I can’t wait to try them out when the iCade mobile is released.

  • Fabio Basile

    Hey guys, thanks for taking the time and commenting on my idea! Amazing response so far!
    I have currently begun talking to various companies for building the first prototype board. I am actively looking for electrical engineers and product designers willing to give me a helping hand. Once we have a working unit I will be starting a Kickstarted funding round, feel free to follow / contact me on Twitter (!/fffabs) :)

  • niph0

    Could you please elaborate what makes you think that this hypothetical “they” should license a port (of what is not clear) from Apple and also pay rights to a game company?

    Are you sure you know what you’re talking about? 

    Ever heard of retro gaming, pixel graphics and the tons of LEGAL games on the App Store that would be a joy to play with a controller like this? Ever heard of pushing a segment of a market through the introduction of a dedicated device?

    Come on.

  • Paul Lloyd Johnson

    It’s such a shame that Nintendo doesn’t admit defeat and go the route of Sega. Let’s forget about the GameBoy, Our iPhones could easily cope with SNES  and N64 games too!

  • Javi Magana

    omg this is the best thing to possibly happen to the iPhone, only after its own invention :)

  • dbowen7

    This is an incredible concept! I just wish we had the opportunity to play NES games on the iPhone. Nintendo hates the idea… but its nearly inevitable.

  • Eric Stone

    Ben Heck already made one of these!  Watch the latest Ben Heck Show on to see his version.  He used the guts of an iCade and his had 6 buttons!

  • TokyoSpark

    While this idea is naively charming, there already is a fully-functional and ready to buy physical game controller for iPhone, it’s called the iControlpad. Available here at
    It doesn’t have the retro NES styling, but it is far more versatile, working with almost any smartphone. I don’t have any stake in this product, but have followed it’s development out of curiousity.

  • SevanGrim

    love it. Shoulder pads too please!

  • Phill Pafford

    Sign me up! If Nintendo had half a brain they would market hardware like this and games for iOS

  • Al

    I used to think the same, until I learned the sales numbers for the Nintendo DS and Wii. Absolutely astonishingly large. Many times more than even the XBOX 360. Nintendo may be down a bit, but they are far from out.

  • Al

    If this were a product for sale rather than just a cool concept, I’d be reaching for my credit card right now!

  • Oliver Marco Dawson