Ion may be known to many Rock Band fans as the makers of the Ion Rocker Drum Set. The last few years it appears Ion has been transitioning their creations to be more Apple product based. At their booth this year, it seems they’re still pushing towards that direction, but also trying to develop more ways to interact with your music. They had a few things that have been released already floating around, such as the All-Star Guitar that turns your iPad into a guitar. Surrounding those were Ion’s own wireless amps that provided loud, booming sound to the portion of the hall they were stationed. At another table, two people were having a conversation over the Karaoke 2 Go microphone that will be available in the next few months or so. For my visit and the site’s focus however, I opted to take a look at All-Star Dance.
While taking a mini tour around the Ion booth, my first and only real stop was at a little station up against the wall. This is where All-Star Dance was setup. An iPad was setup on a stand that’s included in the box and held it at shoulder height. Although I didn’t attempt it, the stand height is most likely adjustable. Sitting below the stand was a Ion’s take on a plastic Dance Dance Revolution mat. When I squeezed the pad, I felt a bit of foam padding. The amount wasn’t as much or as thick as that found in higher quality DDR pads, but enough to where it didn’t simply feel like a plastic mat. Towards the top of the mat is no cord sticking out running to the console/device. That’s because this pad is purely Bluetooth based.
I asked if this was a shoes off deal and was told yes. So after I unleashed my sweaty, aching feet that had been walking around the show floor for awhile now, I hopped onto the pad, ready for some DDR action. While jumping up and down, I noticed I wasn’t slipping quite as much as I remember on a regular plastic mat, but there was still slippage nonetheless. Although it could be the fact that I’m extremely rusty, I found my steps weren’t all in time. There was also the wireless interference across the entirety of Las Vegas I was contending with I assume.
After I hopped off, I was told the pad could play DDR as well as Stepmania, so if you have a preference there are both options available. Although not officially supported, because this is a Bluetooth based, it could probably be used on Android devices. A solid release date hasn’t been announced, but I was told it will be released sometime in Spring.