Guitar Hero co-creator secures $6 million for Android controller

Charles Huang and new company Green Throttle Games raise $6 million in early stage funding for development of Atlas game controller, Arena app.

Guitar Hero franchise co-creator Charles Huang and his new company Green Throttle Games have raised $6 million in early stage funding to create an Android-powered controller and development ecosystem. The funding is led by venture capital groups Trinity Ventures and DCM.

As part of the deal, Trinity Ventures general partner Ajay Chopra will join the board of directors at Green Throttle Games. The funds provided to the studio will be used to develop internal games, support external development, and "advance software services."

Green Throttle Games' Atlas controller transforms smartphones users already own into a gaming console. Players will attach their phone to a television through a standard MHL adapter and use the wireless Atlas controller to play games. Development kits are available to preorder today beginning at $45, with shipments expected to begin going out December 12.

In addition to the Atlas controller, Green Throttle Games is also at work on an Arena app that will highlight games developed internally, as well as those from other independent developers and publishers. Developers attached to the project thus far include nWay, Free Range Games, Mercenary, and Monstrous.

"We believe a large percentage of consumers will use their phones or tablets to play games on a TV, and mobile-to-TV gaming could quickly grow to surpass the console market," Huang said in a statement. "By building a straightforward way to enjoy mobile games together with your friends, we hope to revolutionize how mobile games are played."

In addition to Huang, Green Throttle Games was founded by Pal Pre development Matt Crowley and Handspring and Palm Treo designer Karl Townsend.

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Discussion

65 comments
anonymousicko
anonymousicko

what's the point? they're not even real games

MusicHoover
MusicHoover

This seems like a good idea, however it can already be done with the PS3's sixaxis controller and a rooted android phone with the proper app. I have been playing Dead Space, NOVA 3, Dead Trigger, and countless emulators on my HDTV for awhile now using this method and the MHL to HDMI adapter for my Galaxy S3. I think that most people interested in this kinda of thing could figure out how to do it without really buying any new products.

itchyflop
itchyflop

its a good idea however mobile games are still not up to the console standards. I can see the potential, it could be fun and a great social experience anywhere. 

cozmcrae
cozmcrae

I only checked out this story because I really wanted a game pad for my phone as I hate touchscreens but this phone to tv idea is quite cool. I don't know if it will catch on but it would be epic to be able to carry one of these pocket projectors and this control pad with you so you could have proper console gaming in your pocket although I remember not using my psp that often on the go because of how bulky it was so I am skeptical of this whole thing.

bakasora
bakasora

6 million is not enough to create a solid product..

soulfulDAGGER
soulfulDAGGER

And you can bet, somewhere, Apple has a patent for it already.

d33pak001
d33pak001

The reason you have games on ur smartphones is playing them on the go not on  a couch with ur friends(thats where coonsoles come in).

So why would a consumer buy this product is really above me!!

augmira
augmira

I forget, what's an OUYA for again? ....... This was one of the sweetest perks of owing a PSP. I can't believe it's only coming to the mobile market now. If Google gets its act together and makes this work without fragmentation, they might be onto something. Now, if only they could get it to work with wireless XBOX or PS3 controllers...

FarQall
FarQall

Yes i agree that consoles are best for gaming on a tv using a controller but the benefit for this new idea is cheap gaming on a big screen. Its not for a hardcore gamer but being able to play free or 99c games might be a great option for some people or most likely kids.

UnwantedSpam
UnwantedSpam

Or you can get a Vita and/or 3DS for an infinitely better on the go gaming experience. Or you can, you know, play an actual console or PC with actually good games.

cheamo
cheamo

I'm having trouble seeing the point.

Cwagmire21
Cwagmire21

The main perk of mobile gaming is that you can play on the go. Why then would you add two peripherals that limit mobility? Sure, I can take my phone anywhere, but lugging around my TV and controller too? If I want to game on a TV, then I'll play my console/PC.

IanNottinghamX
IanNottinghamX

This is a clever idea,however theres some major issues with this....1.Mobile games on ios and android were NOT made to be on a Tv screen they were made to be on a cellphone or on a tablet. 2. The games were made to be played on the device it was intended to be on so the functions just dont match to the functions of a  touchscreen tablet or cellphone. 3. Unless this idea is supported by the actual game makers you will be stuck with a peripheral for your phone that has little to no game availability because the developers see no market in this device based on the fact that it splinters their own marketshare when it comes to the Apple and Android games.

 

Overall these guys are going to face the same problems that Ouya WILL face when they launch. If they instead went full throttle with an open source system with its own games and not this sketchy message that "oooo your phone games are gonna work on this" most people will be like "well then ill just play this on my phone then thank you bye!"

AyatollaofRnR
AyatollaofRnR

Or you could just play an actual console game.

BryanParksSuper
BryanParksSuper

Microsoft controller ripoff. I see Microshit sueing big time. I Only game with Playstation I'm just saying.

okassar
okassar

Who are these people trying to kid? I keep hearing "tablets will replace consoles" "mobile to tv will replace consoles" "casual is the way to go now"

 

No matter how many times they say that, it will not become reality. Why? Because of the obvious fact that the games they talk about aren't real games. Many times they can be made by some guy in his mom's basement and be thrown onto the Apple store. Real games tend to be made by a team of hundreds of talented designers, programmers, writers, project managers, testers, etc... committed to making for an immersive story, competitive multiplayer, and solid technical performance. Real games need real systems. Until cloud gaming becomes reliable and everyone has high speed internet, that's not going to change. Millions of people like me will continue to buy consoles. That's that.  

ssj2los
ssj2los

Jeez why couldn't I have created this before him...... I would have Kickstarted it.

ItsJoeMama
ItsJoeMama

What's the point of playing phone games on the TV, when you can just play real games on the TV.

Android games are portable games, nothing more.

SciFiCat
SciFiCat

Why on Earth would I want to play cheap phone games on a TV? If someone already is that interested in gaming, chances are this person will own a PC and/or game console for that.  I already plug my PC to a HDTV for gaming and Steam's Big Screen made it even easier.  And the closest thing to this concept is OUYA which at least has a set base hardware which is an advantage because not all Android phones perform the same. 

shinspikes
shinspikes

I want that controller, dpad looks horrible though.

sykopat99
sykopat99

Don't get me wrong, playing on a mobile device can be a great way to pass the time when you are stuck on a bus, train, plane etc, but the whole point of that is that it's a mobile solution you can take with you anywhere.

 

For the price of a powerful smartphone today you can you can buy several game consoles who will do a much better job and if you really wanted a powerful Android games platform the Ouya is a far better choice.

 

Now if this gamepad had a interchangeable docking stations that let you attach your Android, iOS or Windows Phone on the top and play with a proper gamepad it would have been a much greater idea.

 

Just my 2c though.

Tekcor
Tekcor

Oh look, it has exactly the same layout as the Xbox controller. C'mon, at least add 2 more face buttons or something. This is lazy, uninspired design at its finest.

shureshot24
shureshot24

Eh... I have been looking for something other than a Wii mote to hook up to my tablet, so as long as this thing does not need to be rooted to work I would buy it. But I would never hook my tablet up to a TV that's just stupid and pointless.

muppen
muppen

Phone games on a TV? No thanks. I hardly spend the amount of time playing games on my phone to warrant a controller for them.

cheetah_TM
cheetah_TM

It's a great idea for people who don't necessarily have a PC. You can use your android device to play emulators. It'd also be great if more indie games such as Cave Story, Bastion, Mark of the Ninja got ported to android. The devices are certainly powerful enough to run such games. Also, phones and tablets are much more portable, so you can carry it to your friends'/relatives' houses. I'd work really well if there was Steam for Android. Since they're testing on Linux, Android may not be too far off.

baxwam
baxwam

If apple made controllers for Ipad I ll buy in a heart beat 

GEVDARG
GEVDARG

@d33pak001

I agree.  The true benefit is to developers who want to avoid high overhead and dealing with video game publishers as gatekeeper.  Maybe he should've just hooked up with the Ouya guys.

 

GEVDARG
GEVDARG

 @d33pak001

I agree.  The true benefit is to developers who want to avoid high overhead and dealing with video game publishers as gatekeeper.  Maybe he should've just hooked up with the Ouya guys.

fillup0
fillup0

 @d33pak001 I think it's the next step for console personally, when mobile devices become just as powerful as consoles, what will be the point of consoles anymore? Smartphones are portable and can plugged into your television.

MusicHoover
MusicHoover

 @augmira It already does, if you are rooted. And my Galaxy S3 natively supports the sixaxis through USB. I have already been playing emulators and android games through my HDTV and my phone using the sixaxis app on the play store. You gotta be rooted though

accesdenied
accesdenied

 @FarQall I agree my five year old asked me for a smartphone so he can download games, he took my phone and showed me how and what game. wtf happen to playing outside.

accesdenied
accesdenied

 @Cwagmire21 I know people who travel a lot and practically live in hotels. this will be a huge entertainment for them not just for gaming but to use the phone and controller as a player and remote.  this can actually lead to bigger things, if priced and actually is easily portable. it is a tough market with tablets and other products now available.

Ddcooljoe
Ddcooljoe

 @Cwagmire21 Well, obviously you wouldn't carry your TV around. You would play on your phone.  The whole point isn't to make mobile gaming better, it's to create a console experience using a mobile device that almost everyone has.

MusclesJAM
MusclesJAM

 @okassar I wouldn't go as far as saying that they're not 'real' games, but they definitely are not the experiences we are used to getting on our consoles.  

 

As a parallel example, no one would switch over to an electric car full-time if it maxes out at 30mph.  We'll embrace the new technology and gaming-on-the-go when it catches up to our current expectations of core gaming.  Until then, consoles are king.

Epictacosam
Epictacosam

@OniLordAsmodeus make sure its compatible with most games before you buy

WhiteStormy
WhiteStormy

 @SciFiCat Yeah, I don't even play smart phone games on my smart phone.  I play console games via emulators.  It doesn't hurt that I have an Xperia Play either.

Tekcor
Tekcor

Or better yet, do something we haven't seen yet, like having ONLY the thumb sticks on the front, placing all the buttons on the back for your fingers to control. You could even make a twist joint between the two hands that could be used like a throttle, for example.

 

There's room for innovation in this industry. I'm tired of seeing endless clones of the same damn controllers we've had for years. The same controllers that put too much emphasis on your thumbs, and ignore 6 of your 8 fingers.

Epictacosam
Epictacosam

@shureshot24 yep hate having to root just to use a controller.

SirNormanislost
SirNormanislost

 @cheetah_TM

 the new windows8 tablet does have steam support i believe and the $900ish dollar version is quite powerfull so that would work rather well although rather expensive

Razer361
Razer361

 @fillup0  @d33pak001 Because the Console will always be more powerful than the handheld, because as technology advances the first thing that technology gets implemented into is the console, because it will still take some time to shrink said technology to work in a handheld. 

MusclesJAM
MusclesJAM

 @okassar Also, cue a PC fanboy to hop in the conversation to say consoles are shit and his PC is better than the next-gen consoles already.  I don't care.

TrueProphecy22
TrueProphecy22

 @Tekcor We've seen pads with buttons  on the back for your fingers.  My favorite was the gun controller for the original Xbox.  I would have shelled out for a wireless 360 version.

SirNormanislost
SirNormanislost

 @Tekcor

 lol why? theres a reason the PS3, 360 and Wii/WiiU all use the same type of button layout is becuase it works really wel nintendo have tried other things but even nintendo picked it up with the Wii pro controller (and the WiiU pad as well just with a big screen in the middle)

 

i understand your point that they should try something new but tbh if it ain't broke why fix it?

Spartan_418
Spartan_418

 @MusclesJAM  @okassar The PC fanboys are probably right that their machines are more powerful than the next-gen consoles, but they keep acting like they already know precisely what the 720 and PS4 specs will be. Neither has been announced yet.

okassar
okassar

 @MusclesJAM  @okassar

 Ya I don't care either. I like the traditional couch, TV, controller experience and to know that all the games I buy are optimized for the exact specs of my console. I also like not to deal with graphics cards, for now.

 

As for you first comment, I addressed that with my willingness to embrace cloud gaming once it's ready.

Tekcor
Tekcor

 @SirNormanislost Because it is broken. Henry Ford once said "if I had asked my customers what they wanted, they'd have said faster horses." We take these controllers as "good" because they are common, not because they are any good.

 

Think about how much work your thumbs have to do on these controllers. Your thumbs handle movement, looking, and the face buttons. It becomes very difficult to multitask without retarded finger gymnastics.

 

Controllers can be better. The current designs aren't actually very good, they're just common.