About this project
PRESENTS!!! - 4-Play (The 4 player USB adapter)
Successes, Bliss-Box has reached its goal and we are proud to announce 4-play is a go! We are now supplying the product to multiple resellers. The goal of the discounted KS item was not reached (75k) but we have a deal for those that pledged. The Kickstarter had two goals when launched, to secure a solution for purchases in high volume and a low cost version of the 4-play. The answer came in the way of KS exposure instead of the funding goal. Bliss-Box wanted to let the community and fans have a first shot at a limited addition, low-cost, once in a life time opportunity. So, if you backed this project, we will still honor that price. If it was not for the overwhelming exposure we would not have succeeded and we are very thankful. So, backers! Look forward to the early bird notifications via updates.
For everyone else, please stop by http://www.bliss-box.net/Bliss-Box/KS.php for the latest news moving forward. We have 5 or 10 resellers placing orders and hope to make it out by Christmas. Bliss-Box has teamed up with gamin’ Guys to make things go smoothly.
Special thanks to:
Addam Evens: With us from the beginning.
Martin Iturbide: Twitter exposure.
Paul Ross: Media.
Scott Meredith: Facebook exposure.
Neil Dee and gamin’ Guys
Emulation Paradise: Face Book contest.
The Beta team Backers
Projects that made this possible
The 4-Play is a universal console-to-USB controller adapter with 4 ports allowing up to 4 players to play at the same time with almost any controller of their choosing (see compatibility List). It uses low cost adapter cables which allow a variety of console controllers to plug into the 4-Play's universal HDMI style controller port. This allows the 4-Play to support a wide variety of controllers on each port.
See it in action here.Demo provided by RacketBoy.
Demoed by Lon Seidman
Lon shows it working on the Ouya
The 4-Play eliminates the need in buying USB adapters for each console port. These USB adapters can be had cheaply but still add up the cost quickly. Some of these adapter required drivers and none of them map the buttons in the same way and have inconsistent issues. The 4-Play solves this problem by allowing the player to buy one adapter and a number of low cost cables for each controller port. In addition it is 4 adapter in one, a cost savings you can not beat.
This KS is based on the Bliss-Box project that has been around since 2007. See the The History of Bliss-Box and Risks and challenges for more on what Bliss-Box is. This is not a new product out of no-where. Its part of one of the best (if not the best) USB adapter projects around.
With the 4-Play almost any console controller (see compatibility list) in the history of gaming can now be used on Windows, OSX, Linux, Raspberry Pi, Android, and even the PS3! In fact, the 4-Play does not require the installation of software drivers by the user. It's a plug-and-play device right out of the box. Any operating system that is USB aware and can support USB hubs will work with the 4-Play along with its features.
The 4-Play already supports these 17 controller ports:
- Virtual Boy
- Nintendo 64
- Wii Remote Expansion Port (Nunchuck, Classic Controller, etc.)
- PlayStation (1 and 2)
- DB9 (Sega Master System, Sega Genesis, Atari 2600, etc.)
- Sega Saturn
- Sega Dreamcast
- DH15 (Atari 5200, Neo Geo, etc.)
- Atari Jaguar
- TurboGrafx-16 Full
- TurboGrafx-16 Mini
- Apple Pippin
More controllers can easily be added to the 4-Play's repertoire. All that's needed is a firmware update which can easily be applied from your PC via the 4-Play's USB port. The number of controllers that the 4-Play could theoretically support is practically limitless. See the Feature List section for a more exhaustive list of what this amazing device is capable of. If a new cable is required it can be made and available to purchase moving forward.
The 4-Play comes ready to use. No extra assembly is required. Simply connect the controller into its corresponding adapter cable, plug the cable into the 4-Play, and then plug the 4-Play in to the computer via USB. There is a upgrade/reset button for each port and an optional external power. All the logic is in in the box with an internal usb hub, the patch cables are just simple Pass-through cables.
You can now use almost any controller ever made on your computer, tablet, Raspberry Pi, or PS3. Old games can be played on emulators the way you remember them: with their original controller. You can even use old school controllers with their excellent D-pads on modern games which require very precise input. Now your multi-emulator arcade machine can support as many controllers as it does game consoles, and all from one simple device.
API in action. (This is a D.I.Y version of the Bliss-Box) using the 4-play code.
- Full Emulation - A huge variety of controllers are fully supported out of the box. Even more complex features like the PS2's pressure sensitive buttons are already implemented. For a very detailed list of what is currently supported, see our full Compatibility List. This list is periodically updated and added to as we gain more insight from our beta testers and continue to work on the firmware.
- Multiplatform - Use your 4-Play on almost any modern operating system. The 4-Play works on Windows, OSX, Linux, Raspberry Pi, Android, and the PS3.
- Out of the Box Ready - The 4-Play needs no software drivers to be installed by the user. Simply plug the 4-Play in and set your emulator or game to use the 4-Play's controller inputs.
- Auto Pause - When a controller is unplugged, the 4-Play automatically presses the start button, pausing the game where possible.
- Auto Pause Detection (Hot Swapping) - The auto pause detection feature makes it easy to switch between controllers mid-game. The 4-Play will auto pause your game while you switch, and you can continue playing when you're ready. The 4-Play automatically detects the new controller.
- Global Button Mapping - The 4-Play's internal button mapping is set up so that buttons on different controllers match each other's layout as exactly as possible. This makes Hot Swapping easier and more intuitive. Of course you can remap the inputs any way you like in your game or emulator. Here are the details on our global mappings.
- Force Feedback - Controller rumble works on a wide variety of controllers. The currently supported force feedback controllers are the Nintendo 64, GameCube, PlayStation 1, PlayStation 2, and Dreamcast. Note: To improve this feature we recommend you plug the power adapter into the 4-Play. This adapter is included in the Mega Set, but is sold separately for other sets since it is not required to use the 4-Play.
- UDLR Mode (D-Pad Only Mode) - This puts the 4-Play into a D-Pad only mode which allows the player to use the D-Pad to play a game which requires the analog stick. To activate this mode simply hold Left Shoulder, Right Shoulder, and (Pause or Start) Button. This causes the 4-Play to interpret the D-Pad inputs to their corresponding analog stick inputs. You can switch this mode off with the same button combo. This allows you to hot swap to non-analog controllers while playing an analog game. This mode is also controller port specific, so Player 1 on the 4-Play can use this mode while other players are in whatever mode they choose.
- Upgrades - The 4-Play can be easily updated via USB with a firmware file which can be downloaded from our website. This allows new features and controllers to be added via a simple firmware upgrade. Each 4-Play controller port has its own firmware chip so multiple firmware versions can be used if desired.
- Developer API - The 4-Play will have an API with which emulator developers can communicate directly with the 4-Play and swap data back and forth. This will allow developers to natively support some of the more advanced features of the 4-Play. For example, developers could use this API to see exactly which controllers are currently connected to the 4-Play for display on the screen or automatic custom remapping. They could natively support saving to the controller's memory card, and even write images to the Dreamcast controller's LCD screen. Support for the GameCube's Gameboy Advanced Link could be added. The possibilities are endless.
The Kickstarter reward version of the 4-Play will have a special translucent purple case for that nice, old-school look reminiscent of the Gameboy Color. We're calling it the "Torizo Edition" in reference to the notorious enemy in the old SNES classic, Super Metroid.
The 4-Play's design is already complete and our beta testers are helping with the final development of the firmware as we speak. The last remaining barrier in getting the 4-Play to the player is the manufacturing cost. We have found a fabricator to manufacture the 4-Play, but to get the final cost of the product to a reasonable figure the manufacturer requires a large order. Large orders are expensive and Bliss-Box doesn't have the cash to place such a large order on its own. This is why we need your help! Bliss-Box is so close to bringing this awesome product to the market, and crowd funding seems like the perfect solution for a small startup like Bliss-Box.
The future goals based on the funding out come will allow Bliss-Box to release a single player version of the 4-Play. In addition to all the amazing features of the 4-Play, the Single-Play will add support for all versions of the Xbox (Original, 360, and One). 4-play can not do this because none of the Xboxes support USB hubs. Other options to look forward to are; in-drive bay options, better options for arcade cabs, and device add-ons like Zapper gun filter for use with LCD and Plasma displays, multi-consol adapters.
If you've chosen a reward tier which requires you to choose which adapters you want you'll be prompted to fill out a survey. At this time please specify which adapters you'd like to receive. If you do not fill out the survey you will get Sega adapters by default. When filling out the survey, please use the exact naming scheme below (without the description after the dash of course) so that we can handle your request properly:
- Wii extension
- TurboGrafx-16 Full - This is the common port.
- TurboGrafx-16 Mini - This is the mini port. Check your controller.
- Sega - For all db9 controllers except the vectrex.
- Neo Geo - For all dh15 like connectors.
- Virtual Boy (not picture below but available )
* You may change your selection at any time.
If you like to use a D.Y.I type of solution and have soldering skills, you may be interested in the cables. These cables are fabricated for the 4-Play adapter, but could be used for other projects when paired with the HDMI breakout board pictured below. The HDMI connector offers a small, durable, and convenient interface, and this board is readily available on the internet for a cheap price. When paired with our adapter cables it provides a nice way to connect many different controllers to a device of your own.
Our cables are available in a wide variety of rare, hard to find ports such as the PC-FX, Virtual Boy, and Pippin controllers. The wiring schematics for the cables will be publicly available on our webpage. Check out the cable only rewards if you're interested in using our adapter cables for DIY projects. Remember, these rewards DO NOT include the 4-Play device and only the cables are included. These rewards are for enthusiasts who'd like to use Bliss-Box's cables in their own projects, and we wanted to offer rewards to those who would be interested in that sort of endeavor.
Support will be provided for the 4-Play via our website and on the forums. If the problem is found to be hardware related, the manufacturer will handle your issue and help you get a replacement 4-Play or adapter cable. All firmware issues will be handled by Bliss-Box.
The History of Bliss-Box
Bliss-Box started back in 2007. I was looking all over the market for a product that could adapt all the controllers I wanted, to the PC for use with emulation. I couldn't find anything that did what I wanted and I also didn't want to spend tons of money buying all these adapters separately. There also were many controllers I couldn't find adapters for at all. One day I stumbled onto the work of Raphael at Raphnet and it set me on my journey to create the first working Bliss-Box. I posted about my work online, and soon others were asking me to create custom versions for them. Soon enough the orders for Bliss-Boxes were more than I could handle, so I decided it was time to make a manufactured product to solve this problem for everyone once and for all. The Kickstarter is the final phase of this long journey. The development of the 4-Play has been an ordeal in and of itself. Because I was dead-set on creating the 4-Play without the use of drivers, I met some difficult limitations early on. You see, the 4-Play uses a USB standard called HID (Human Interface Device). The wonderful thing about this standard is that if a system supports USB, it supports HID. This is what gives the 4-Play its incredibly cross-platform support. However, there are some limitations with the standard that I had to grapple with early on. How would I transfer the inputs fast enough on a USB 1.1 interface? How would I support complex operations like memory pack saving which are not supported by HID? Over years of toil I am proud to say that all of these problems have been tackled with and the long hours I've spent writing the code has prevailed. It required some clever tricks, but all the features I had hoped to achieve for the 4-Play have come to fruition. I hope that someday players will be able to enjoy the 4-Play as much as I have enjoyed developing it.
Bliss-Box has so many more projects we want to work on. From the production of the Single-Play to solving the LCD light gun problem, we're determined to continue the forward march of emulation and games preservation as well as enjoy modern games in ways that were impossible before. The success of this Kickstarter would bring Bliss-Box to a future we thought was much further away. We thank all our backers for their help in making this possible.
Check out the project page for Bliss-Box and other projects and people that made the 4-Play possible:
- Main Page for Bliss-Box
- Main Page for Raphael's Projects
- The V-USB Project
- The Production Team
- Press release info.
KS helper links: http://kickingitforward.org
Risks and challenges
In many ways this project is already a success. We have a fully working version of the product which is currently in beta testing to finish the firmware development, and we've found a manufacturer to actually build a batch of 4-Plays for the Kickstarter campaign. Our main obstacle is acquiring the capital to actually place an order from our mass-manufacturer, and to finish designing the final retail version of the 4-Play for store shelves.
Mike Zhao at Etonnet has agreed to help design the final retail version of the 4-Play. Many prototypes have been tested and we're well on our way to finishing that as well. Mike is one of the easiest people I have ever worked with. He has helped us every step of the way and we truly appreciate his efforts.
For many projects it’s about money or popularity. This is not what Bliss-Box is about. We're gamers and our passion has driven us to address this shortcoming in emulation. It has been achieved with great success, and now we hope we can bring it to you with your help.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
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