About this project
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"I would love to do more gaming on my Sony PlayStation Vita, but there just aren’t enough games I’m interested in. And I’d love to do more gaming on my iPhone or Android handsets, but I still long for physical controls despite years of having gotten used to touch. PhoneJoy’s new Play controller, which opened for pre-orders on Kickstarter today, is a blend of both those worlds and is extra impressive for being platform agnostic." - Techcrunch
"With the Play controller PhoneJoy Solutions intends to help the mobile gaming arena break from the usual slew of touch games and open it up to more complex titles." - Geek.com
"The latest accessory from PhoneJoy takes everything great about theirprevious wireless gamepad for Android and combines it with a simple, intuitive mounting system to create a handheld console experience using any smartphone." - Phandroid
"When closed, PhoneJoy Play just looks like an average gaming controller, but the real magic starts when you pull apart its two halves and place your device between them." - Android Authority
Although we have nearly reached our goal, we think with your help and additional funds we can make this Kickstarter even more awesome!
Our PhoneJoy app is currently only optimised for phones, and although it will work for tablets it surely won't look as nicely as it won't make use of the additional space a tablet offers. With additional funds we will take the extra time and create a a tablet sized layout for Android and iPads that will allow you to browse PhoneJoy compatible games comfortably on a tablet.
Currently it is the case that for most phones attached to the PLAY, their charging and/or audio port will get blocked. Many of you have voiced that they still would like to use these when they play games on their phones. We have listened and thought long about the best possible solution for this without jeopardising the overall project delivery. As highlighted in update #8, we want to introduce custom-made L-shaped charging cables and a 3.5mm audio adapter that are optimised for use with the PhoneJoy PLAY. Needless to say, these come at an extra cost because they will be custom-made and new tooling will be required to make these, which is why we can currently offer them as an add-on for an extra $5. However, should we reach $100k we will have enough extra funds to include one audio adapter and one charging cable of your choice (microUSB/30pin) with each PLAY.
We have highlighted that there are certain third-party apps such as Blutrol and USB/BT JoyStick Center 6 that allow touch input emulation, which in turns allows greater compatibility with nearly any game. However, these apps often come at an additional cost to the user. Our plan is to make our own touch emulation apps on iOS and Android. However making these takes considerable time and funds, which is why till now we had to rely on third parties to offer these. By reaching $150k we will have enough funds to make this kind of app ourselves, and offer it as a free add-on to all PhoneJoy customers.
-FROM GAMERS FOR GAMERS-
Tired of touch screen controls? Well so are we and with the PhoneJoy™ Play we got just the solution for you . The PhoneJoy™ Play controller is a wireless gamepad that allows you to to clamp smartphones of all sizes running iOS or Android right into the gamepad turning your phone into a portable console for great gaming on the go.
But it doesn't just stop there, the Play can also be used as a great standalone controller that fits perfectly into your hands. The controller can be used either on PCs running Mac OS X, Windows or Linux or by connecting your phone/tablet to your HDTV or projector.
-CONSOLE GAMING ANYWHERE YOU WANT-
In a nutshell, PhoneJoy™ Play is the perfect all-around game controller for your household allowing for endless possibilites. The sky's the limit!
Modern smartphones and tablets have made touch controls mainstream. We don't say this has been wrong. Touch controls are great for a number of games that require dragging, swiping and drawing such as Angry Birds, Infinity Blade, Flight Control, Jelly Defense and Draw Something! Menus are easily accessible with touch controls, too. So, yes touch controls hold their advantages.
But they also come with a number of drawbacks that have hindered a whole lot of games to truly shine. We think these type of games mainly include 3D action and shooter games, but also platformers, sport games and also to some extend racing games. Why?
Touch controls have a number of drawbacks...
- take up screen real estate
- lack of proper physical feedback
- are often not very well optimized for tablet sizes
- sometimes fail to register button presses
- many games position touch buttons at different, often unfamiliar locations
- only allow for two thumbs to be used simultaneously
- precision and reaction speed not up to par with game controls
- can easily lead to sore thumbs after prolonged games sessions (we have been there!)
"We believe the future of mobile gaming is going to be awesome!"
Developers haven't been able to translate console games to mobile platforms very well precisely for these reasons. We have seen a lot of them try, but they just don't measure up to their true potential. And that's why we came up with the idea to create a gamepad that is both compact and versatile enough to finally allow mobile games to be played at their fullest. We believe the future of mobile gaming is going to be awesome. Today's modern smartphones and tablets already come with horsepower that nearly equals that of current-gen consoles. So why limit yourself to Angry Birds when games like Crysis or Halo 4 could become reality on your phone?
The Play merges the best from both worlds: fantastic gameplay as well as great portability. You get all the buttons you need for console games together with the ergonomics you will want for prolonged gaming sessions, and all that at a size that fits right in to your pocket!
- Closed mode: 102 mm (w) * 87mm (h) * 37 mm (d)
- Fully extended: 255 mm (w) * 87 mm (h) * 37 mm (d)
- Weight: about 250g
- Docks to smartphones of all sizes up to 153mm width and 14mm thickness
- Bluetooth 3.0
- Wireless range of up to 30 ft
- Battery power of more than 20 hours
- 14 programmable buttons
- 2 pressure sensitive analog sticks
- 3 LED indicators.
- Supports iOS, Android, Windows, Mac OS X and Linux
- Four modes: HID Gamepad, HID Keyboard, iCade, Mouse Emulation
- Supported by more than 300 games on Android & iOS
PhoneJoy™ controllers make use of Bluetooth to connect to devices.
For Android (requires version 2.1+) all you need to do is to turn on your PhoneJoy™ and activate Bluetooth on your device, then launch the PhoneJoy™ app, which will then direct you through the necessary steps of pairing your controller with your Android device.
For iOS it's even more simple. All you need to do is to turn on your Play and activate the iCade mode. After you have done that, you only need to pair and connect the controller in the iOS settings and then launch the PhoneJoy™ Game Center to choose and install compatible games.
For use on PCs (Windows, Mac OS X, Linux) the PhoneJoy™ Play can be launched into HID gamepad mode. All games that natively support HID gamepads will also support your Play.
Advanced users on Android can also install the GameKeyboard or USB/BT JoyStick Center in order to emulate touch controls with their PhoneJoy™ controller. On top of that these apps come with a range of other features such as mouse emulation and OnLive support.
Likewise there's a similar solution on iOS for advanced users who own a jailbroken iOS device. With the Blutrol app users can emulate touch controls and play a great number of games that do not natively support controllers on iOS. Please note: Currently, the app does not support the analog sticks of PhoneJoy™ controllers as of yet. This is a feature coming in 2013 according to the developers of Blutrol.
There are already a ton of games compatible games available both on Google Play as well as iTunes. We have tried to compile a list in recent months and we are working hard on adding new games in the coming months.
Android compatible games: www.phonejoy.us/games/
Android Emulators: Android offers a fantastic range of emulators for systems such as Playstation 1, Nintendo 64, Sega Genesis, Gameboy, GBA, GBC, SNES, NES, Atari 2600, MSX, PCEngine and many others. For more details check out our emulators page.
Android (touch emulation) games: Nearly all Android games' touch controls can be emulated through the use of 3rd party apps. Only a few games that make heavily use of swipe actions can only be partly emulated (e.g. Deadspace, Mass Infiltrator, FIFA 2012), because only up to two swipe actions can be emulated.
iOS (iCade) games list: click here
iOS (BluTrol) games list: click here
Backers of LEVEL5/6/7/8/9/10 receive:
- 1x PhoneJoy™ Play (arctic white, jet black or user voted color)
- 1x MicroUSB charging cable
- 1x User manual
- Environmentally friendly retail packaging
LEVEL1 - $1 - DONOR PLEDGE
LEVEL2 - $5 - GENEROUS DONOR
LEVEL3 - $15 - SUPPORTER
Please scroll down to the add-ons section for images of the papertoy and stickers!
LEVEL4 - $30 - EYE CATCHER
Please scroll down to the add-ons section for images of the t-shirts!
LEVEL5 - $50 - (BELATED) CYBER MONDAY BACKER!
LEVEL6 - $60 - KICKSTARTER SPECIAL
LEVEL7 - $70 - LATECOMER
LEVEL8 - $199 - EARLY ACCESS!
LEVEL9 - $299 - HIPSTER
LEVEL10 - $499 - SPECIAL TREATMENT
With the PhoneJoy Play Genie Edition you can nearly customize anything. Our airbrush artist can airbrush your name, logo or whatever design you wish on your Play. Also the color scheme can be completely chosen by you! Finally, the slider can be greatly modified to your wishes too, you can have the metal plates color-coated or even have them plated with brass, copper, or chrome. And of course you can have all sorts of patterns or designs engraved on them. There are really numerous options and we'll be there to make sure that your wishes come true. :-)
LEVEL11 - $3333 - EXECUTIVE BACKER
We also offer a number of add-ons that not only help us to achieve funding, but also add value to your donation. Seriously, if you want to support us get one of these! :-)
$5 - Custom L-shaped 3.5mm audio adapter / microUSB charging cable / Apple 30-pin charging cable (3ft)
As mentioned in update #8. These specifically for the PhoneJoy PLAY designed adapters will allow you to charge your phone or use wired headphones while you have your phone attached.
Note: Samsung Galaxy Note II won't support these adapters.
$5 - Window Stickers
Get an A4 sheet full of funky, glossy PhoneJoy™ window stickers!
$10 - Papertoy
The PhoneJoy™ papertoy is a DIY toy printed on extra thick (250gsm) paper. The papertoy will not only make a great addition to your living room, but will also show off your pride of being a PhoneJoy backer who made this project happen. It also serves as a great time killer for crafty kids and adult alike! Definitely a must-have!
$15 - PhoneJoy™Play Travel-Case.
Now this one for the useful ones. The PhoneJoy™ Play carry case will help you to securely stash your Play away. Built with a soft, but resistant outer shell that also features two loops for the supplied strap and carabiner that will allow for easy attachment and carrying. But that's not all. Those of you who also like some action on their tablet will be delighted to discover an included custom-made tablet kickstand that easily fits right into the case. Inside of the case there will also be a custom-fit mesh pocket that will allow for storage of your charging cable, earphones, batteries and what not. We will provide more pictures as soon as possible!
Bag will be available in black or white.
$20 - Kickstarter Limited Edition. Want to make your PhoneJoy™ Play reward truly special or are you backing for your loved one? Then add $20 to your pledge to receive the Kickstarter Limited Edition. Your personal message will be engraved on the slider (up to 37 characters). Plus a high quality wooden box that serves not only as great and robust packaging but can also be used as a future storage box for your PhoneJoy™ Play. Comes with an extra kickstand for your phone as well as a signed letter of thanks from the PhoneJoy founders.
$30 - PhoneJoy™ T-Shirt. Want to show the world your love for our products and that you have helped to get this project funded? Then sign up for the PhoneJoy™ t-shirt package that our illustrator Dave Smith has specifically designed for you. You can pick one out of two t-shirts made out of 100% organic cotton fresh from Honduras. All sizes for men/women available. Just like our gamepads, these shirts will be made to last!
$30 - Priority Backer
Feeling impatient? By choosing the priority top-up your pledge will be upgraded to priority status. Instead of shipping your reward(s) first to our warehouse partner in the States or shipping it by regular airmail from Hong Kong (international customers), we will use a 48 hour courier service (such as DHL or FedEx) to your destination right from Hong Kong. This will translate into a time saving of two to three weeks over a regular pledge. Please note: Non-US backers will still need to up $15 for international shipping.
Kickstarter is fantastic. We have backed and observed a number of projects and absolutely love how much the community gets directly involved in the making of some remarkable projects that would have otherwise not turned out as great or even at all. So yes, we are here for some much needed funding to get our project going, but we also hope to get some much needed feedback in order to make a product that is not just wanted by us but also by you - the community! Last but not least, making this project success will also show all developers out there that there is a real market for console gaming on mobile phones and tablets!
We have nearly completed the design and prototyping stage of the electric and mechanical design and just filed an invention patent for our unique EasySlider mechanism. The gamepad is already completely functional and is only short of a few cosmetic changes.
What is still left open is the completion of the development of the Bluetooth 3.0 module's SPP mode (the PhoneJoy Analog is only using SPP) in order to ensure complete backwards compatibility. This is going to take some more time, but can be updated via a firmware upgrade.
On the software side we have just released in October the PhoneJoy v1.0 app after six months of development. We plan to release an update and an iOS app by January. The SDK may take additional time. All in all, the software part will take us quite some more time, but you can rest assured since it won't delay the delivery of the final product.
We want to be clear about one thing: every cent we earn through this Kickstarter will be spent on the accomplishment of this project and possible stretch goals.
Apart from obtaining the tools required for mass production (e.g. mold) and the necessary certificates/approvals (that are required for the legit sale of the Play), we will obviously require a fair chunk of the funds to deliver your pledges (production costs, shipping, Kickstarter/Amazon transaction fees).
All the remaining funds will be spent on:
- Development of the Software Development Kit for Android/iOS
- Redesign of our website
- Release of basic iOS app
- Further development of Android app
Should we receive more funds we will of course add more items to that list. Trust us, we got a lot of ambitious ideas, but we will need your help to make them a reality!
BACK NOW AND CHANGE MOBILE GAMING FOREVER!
Risks and challenges
In this section we want to list our four most critical challenges. We understand that neither of these challenges will be easy to overcome. However, we have been trying our best to prepare ourselves for these cases. Being a small and young company however, please bear in mind that these challenges exist for us and the accomplishment of this project certainly isn't as easy for us as for a bigger company. But, hey that's why we are here, right? Because we need your support!
Risk/Challenge #1: Timelines can slip
We have waited until a very late stage of our product development and have sunk thousands of dollars of own money in the process into the project before we decided to reach out to the Kickstarter community. We have a working prototype and now need to translate this to manufactured mass scale.
One of our advantages is that our office is very close to our Chinese suppliers based in China. Within three hours we can reach all our suppliers. Operating within the timezone makes collaboration with them extremely easy.
After having worked with them for many months already we believe to have a good understanding of what it needs to get the PhoneJoy Play ready for mass production. However, there can always be unexpected delays. Should we encounter delays that appear critical path to launch, we will communicate this with our supporters. Keeping you informed is crucial to us.
Risk/Challenge #2: Given productions costs and all, will $50,000 be really enough to meet your goal?
Again, as mentioned we have already raised some funds from family and friends. They will cover a good proportion of the costs we are facing. However, it won't be enough, which is why we have come to Kickstarter to get your help! Also, we have nearly reached the end of the product development phase and are aware of the tooling- and bill of material (BOM) costs involved. On top of that we have launched a product before and know the day-to-day costs that come with the continuous sale of a product. So taking all this into account, we should be able to avoid a drastic miscalculation.
In the very worst case, we are willing to go the stretch and take on a long term loan that comes at a considerable interest though. We really want to make this project happen. But we need you to show us that the market is really interested in it!
Risk/Challenge #3: What if one of your chosen suppliers drastically changes their terms/pricing before you deliver the Play?
We have already established a long lasting partnership with a number of our suppliers, and all of them are aware of our intentions and anticipated volume requirements. With those we are about to start a new relationship with we have talked in person on-site and made sure that they meet our quality standards.
Of course, there's always the possibility that we will need to switch suppliers. But thanks to being based just a two hour car drive from hundreds of possible suppliers, this will not be a major issue for us.
Risk/Challenge #4: What if you need to deliver more rewards than you initially had expected?
This is indeed quite a challenge. However not one we are not prepared for. Actually, in southern China most of the world's consumer electronics are made and assembled. Our currently requested amount of one to two thousands parts of each component is in fact very low and just above the minimum level many of our suppliers are willing to start producing at. Should we need to deliver twice or three times as many Plays it should not pose a serious threat to the project timeline. Only production numbers beyond five digits may delay the project delivery times by a few weeks (possibly up to two months in the worst case). On the service side we would need to make new hires of course, but this wouldn't be much of a problem since more pledges also translates into greater funding for us.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
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