It's been a fun week; check out our update for why we ended early.
coco controller update
IGN: the Coco Controller is a planned smartphone case to convert your mobile device into a real handheld game controller
CNET: The Coco Controller could be the most attractive and reasonably priced way of leaving your slippery-fingered smart phone gaming woes behind
Techcrunch: the Coco is quite clever and could finally crack iPhone gaming out of its casual gaming ghetto
MTV Multiplayer: a price on par with just about any other case you'd find at the Apple Store
iDB: It’s inexpensive, doesn’t require batteries, and it appears to be very well designed.
Wired! Venture Beat! design boom! BuzzFeed! Gigaom!
tl;dr: What makes coco unique
- Powered and communicates through audio jack so no battery, charging, or syncing. All of which bluetooth requires.
- Most affordable gaming case - price of normal case in Apple Store.
- Super simple design: not clunky
- Pocket friendly
- Analog stick/D-pad combo makes almost any game playable on it.
- Many compatible games prior to having any users; will have 100s by the time this is in your hands.
- Android and iOS support!
- Community inspired: we're going to listen to you for final design influences, including adding a possible second analog stick.
Current Game Count: 38 & adding more everyday
Current Game Count: 38 | We're super excited to already be working with a wide range of studios who are looking to amp up their games with coco. We are also in serious talks with several of the largest game studios and hope to have many of their portfolio games on by ship.
We now support the Samsung Galaxy SIII! Since coco goes through the audio jack, it was pretty easy to add support. Check below for more details.
- Coco comes in four sizes: Samsung Galaxy SIII, iPhone 4/4S, latest iPod Touch, and the upcoming iPhone 5. We realize you may be upgrading your device over the coming months, so we're letting you wait until November to specify which case you want. By then, the new iPhone will be out and you can decide what device you will be using for the next few years!
coco controller – Let’s Level Up Mobile Gaming
coco is a phone case that turns your mobile phone into a true handheld gaming platform. Smart phones have put everything in the palm of your hand – your social network, your contacts, your calendars – but they have not yet provided the immersive gaming experience we see on other platforms because there are no physical buttons. There are good handheld gaming consoles on the market, but it just doesn’t make sense to buy them when you already have a phone that's capable. coco can make gaming on your phone a console level experience for the price of a typical iPhone case.
We've kept things simple: step 1) put phone into coco and step 2) play one of our many compatible games with it. Coco works through the audio jack and does not need a battery. But most importantly, coco has the gaming developer community behind it. By the time you get coco in your hands, there will be hundreds--hopefully thousands--of awesome games you can play with it.
Real Games Need Real Buttons
We’ve grown up playing games with real, tactile buttons, but with the recent trend towards touch only interfaces, many games are less precise and, in turn, less engaging. We don’t blame them for fitting the hardware, but we think we can save them from the perils of virtual controls and free up screen real estate for more gaming.
coco has all of the physical buttons you’re used to, including both an analog stick and a directional pad. By having an analog stick as well as the d-pad, we make sure that you can play any game with the case – not just arcade games. And we've put special thought into the analog stick/d-pad combo. The analog stick is low profile, but provides great control and is comfortable to use. The directional pad is capable of 8 directions, but we've learned from past commercial controllers and it's also super responsive when you only need 4. You can play pretty much any game in the app store that requires joysticks with this control scheme.
We realize this is probably the most critical part of the whole case, so we'd love to have a dialogue with you, the community, on what you want (see stretch goals below).
The gaming community has been overwhelmingly supportive of coco. The number one thing we hear from developers is that past controllers have been too pricey yet lack an ergonomic control scheme and build quality. When we share with them our designs (audio jack, no battery, button layout, highest quality buttons), they're already impressed. When they hear the price, they're ecstatic.
Beginning a dialogue with a developer, coordinating with them, and forging a path towards support of a typical SDK is usually both arduous and time consuming. So, to have over 30 hand-selected games already signed up before we even make the controller available to customers is a testament to where coco is going. Right now, we're talking with a ton of other studios and with a successful KS campaign, we hope to have hundreds – if not thousands – of more games by the time coco ships. That is why your support is so critical beyond just a "pre-order": you are sending a message to game developers that you are ready for mobile gaming to evolve.
You can check out the great selection of games that have already officially pledged their support here.
Dual Screen Gaming
coco can provide a better mobile gaming experience, but what else? Glad you asked – we’re extremely excited about the prospect of mirroring and even full-fledged dual screen gaming. With an iPhone 4S or the newest iPad and an Apple TV, you can easily play games on your big screen like a traditional living room console. This is certainly possible without coco, but it’s pretty tough to look at a TV and use touch controls at the same time.
We’re also building a coco console app that lets you browse your games and download new ones. coco provides a console level experience, whether you’re on the subway or in your living room, using the technology you already own.
- One multi-axis directional pad
- One analog stick
- Four action buttons
- Two triggers
- No battery
- No Bluetooth pairing
- An audio out jack at the bottom of the case to plug in headphones/speakers
coco is powered and communicates with the device through the standard audio jack. It requires no Bluetooth pairing and no charging – it just works.
We’ve gone through dozens of iterations of how the coco controller will look, feel, and be used. We've had dozens if not hundreds of people test it and give feedback. We've learned from all of the controllers that have come before it. And we've analyzed what current mobile games need and what future ones, made especially for the controller, will.
By doubling as a protective case, the controller feels like part of the phone and is convenient to keep on but easy to take off. By going through the audio jack, we eliminate the need for a battery and make the product easy to use (just slide the phone in!). We can reduce signal latency to ~20ms (complete latency for GTA4 was over 100ms while the lowest latency games like Guitar Hero are ~50ms; though our final latency number is dependent on the game, but coco signal latency is minimal). And while we think we have everything figured out, we don’t claim to have a monopoly on good ideas. Tell us what you think the directional pad should be like, tell us how you plan on using the case, tell us pretty much anything. We’re listening.
But design is only half the equation -- we have to ensure quality during manufacturing, too. That’s why we’re working closely with renowned far-east manufacturing and design firm Dragon Innovation, the company that has assisted Pebble Watch, Maker Bot, and many other similar hardware startups. We’ve already begun sourcing parts in manufacturable quantities to eliminate lead times, and we’ve created a realistic budget and timeline vetted by industry veterans.
As a coco color backer, you will be able to get a coco in "Kickstarter Orange" to commemorate the campaign or the Voter's Choice color. The Voter's Choice color will be determined at the end of the campaign. Each coco color backer will be able to vote on their favorite color from a list and the most popular color will be manufactured. See stretch goals for even more color!
To deliver coco with the best quality parts and its attractive price point, we need the scale that only a Kickstarter campaign can provide. We could go with traditional fundraising, but we want to start a dialogue with you, the user, as soon as we can.
By backing us, you’re also sending a message to game developers that they should not forget about the real gaming experience – one which only tactile buttons, triggers, and joysticks can provide.
We love developers, and we're so happy that we get to work with the community everyday.
To the developer: we know you guys are trying to create the best experience for mobile gamers everywhere. We get it; we're doing the same thing but from the hardware side. We want to help you make your games better. That's why we've created a super lightweight framework; the entire process can take well under an hour. We're willing to work with you in making our SDK as smooth and easy to integrate as possible for your particular game. Check out example code here.
If you’re a developer and interested in making your game coco compatible, please sign up here.
300,000: we will create and offer the two most popular voter's choice colors
500,000: we will add a second analog stick to coco!
We’ve put together a variety of different packages, but the main focus of our campaign is to get coco to mobile gamers. coco will come in white, black, and a voter’s choice color scheme and will fit one particular device body. The iPad extender kit provides a short cable that allows you to plug your coco into the iPad, and use it as an external controller. This functionality will work with any controllers, including the Galaxy S3. The developer packages are designed to help games get ready for coco faster by gaining access to early testing units, though the framework will still be released enough time before launch to get more games on board.
We support Samsung Galaxy S3! To ensure reliability, we added a coin cell battery to the design for the s3 version, since it didn't provide quite as much juice as the iPhone. The battery is more of an insurance policy than anything else, and will last well over 2-3 years of serious gameplay (hours of playtime every day) guaranteed. We will be announcing our Android-compatible game list soon.