Awesome Controller lets you play retro video game systems with modern wireless controllers.
Awesome Controller lets you play retro video game systems with modern wireless controllers. Read more
About this project
Awesome Controller lets you use your Wii and PS3 controllers to play your classic game consoles. Ditch your tangled mess of old, broken controllers, but keep all of your favorite old systems and games. Breathe new life in to your NES, SNES, N64 (and more!) with Awesome Controller.
How does Awesome Controller work?
Getting up and running with Awesome Controller is a snap.
Awesome Controller plugs directly in to your favorite console's controller port via a special dongle. From there, just wirelessly sync your Wii or PS3 controllers to your Awesome Controller and you're ready to dodge red shells and blast bad guys.
Who are you?
We're five gamer dudes in Indianapolis, Indiana. Kyle (our fearless leader) decided he was tired of his "nearly-wireless living room" and convinced the rest of us to spend nights and weekends building Awesome Controller. Our four software engineer + one electrical engineer team won a Startup Weekend event by demoing Super Mario Brothers played with a Wiimote from across a packed room. It's not fair that we're the only kids on the block playing Mario Kart 64 with Wiimotes, so we launched this Kickstarter to bring equality to the retro gaming universe.
Tell me about the prototype.
The prototype is running on an Arduino board and is hooked together with wires. We have a USB host shield that has a USB Bluetooth dongle, hacked together with some code to make everything basically work together.
The prototype works pretty well with Wireless Wii and Wii Classic Controllers. We still have to do some work on the PS3 wireless and getting multiple controllers simultaneously connecting.
The hardware is capable of supporting additional systems, and if we hit higher funding goals, we'll certainly add more support. Even better, because we're an open platform, some badass on Reddit could give you Atari support for free.
So why do a Kickstarter?
We are trying to raise $15,000 to prove that more than just the five of us want an Awesome Controller. That's the level where a production run won't be too expensive for you, and won't lose money for us. When we tell our friends, they tell us they'd love one, so we're hoping you're just a friend we haven't yet met.
The money will cover shipping, manufacturing, and parts, with some left over for previous expenses and future development. Some of the money raised will go toward FCC certification/verification.
We have a ton of ideas for cool enhancements, and the more interest we see, the more of those cool things we can build.
How many Awesome Controllers do I need?
One Awesome Controller can connect to two Wii/PS3 controllers simultaneously. That means you probably only need one, unless you want to play 4-player N64.
What are dongles?
Dongles are the system-specific removable plugs that connect your Awesome Controller directly to the console. Each console has a slightly different controller port, so these dongles allow you to buy just one Awesome Controller, and switch dongles to play a different system. If you have multiple console systems you'd like to play, you'll want to pick up a dongle for each.
How will this be implemented?
We've identified parts suppliers and manfacturers, and figured out the costs of various batch sizes. The Hackers Tier will be assembled by hand, and we'll work to assemble the other tier rewards.
Awesome Controller's future
Awesome Controller is a completely open platform, with the source code and schematics on github. Members of our community are absolutely encouraged to add console support, add features, and generally do all of the awesome stuff that happens when folks collaborate. We've added the Hacker's Tier specifically to encourage tinkering from anyone who is familiar with the popular Arduino open hardware platform.
How can I help?
Spread the word! Know any retro gamers? We'd really appreciate if you sent them our way.
If you're a developer, we'd love feedback, suggestions, or (even better) pull requests.
Risks and challenges
If our project is successfully funded, we will spend our time and effort on bluetooth coding, the case design for the product, testing, and adding support for additional controllers and consoles.
The current prototype works pretty well with Wireless Wii and Wii Classic Controllers. We still have to do some work on the PS3 wireless and getting multiple controllers (of any type) simultaneously connecting.
Our prototype currently works for the NES, SNES, and N64 systems, but only one at a time. To switch to a different console, we currently have to recompile the software. For product release, we need the device to auto-detect which system is connected and function appropriately. We've already begun to build our code in a way that makes this possible, but we need time and effort to finish this task.
The case design for the Awesome Controller currently exists only in our mind's eye. We need to create an actual design that can be sent off and manufactured.
Awesome Controller carries risks like any other engineering project. Some design flaws can delay product releases by months. Since this is a hardware product, having things work right before shipping is of utmost importance.
If we have time and resources, we would love to add support for more classic game systems. So far we only support Nintendo systems, but this is not out of one-sided fanboyism. We'd like to support Sega, Atari, Playstation, etc. as well.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
Support this project
- (30 days)