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  1. #1
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    Bliss-box: one adapter for all controllers

    I'm too limited to show all links and content but its cools news, nice little device.










    4-PLAY is here!
    (AKA Bliss-Box)



    Biss-Box hit an all time high in the beginning of 2014. It was either abandon the project or take the next step forward. Bliss-box had 2 main complaints; price and looks. It was a project developed out of a garage as a hobby. Like so many other garage projects its now too big for one garage. Bliss-Box has teemed up with Mike from etonnet.com to bring to the world a 4 player version of the bliss box that fits in the palm of your hand. This is only the beginning but all beginnings have to start somewhere.




    4-Play is a $600 value down to ~$75. Its a professionally built to last and allows up to 4 players at once. Bliss-box and 4-Play are backward compatible but don't share the same design look. To summarize; Bliss-box is a way to connect just about any console controller to usb. A few goals are set and few left to achieve. The project will remain driver-less, will be upgradable via firmware, will support everything a controller has to offer in the best way possible. The last remaining functionality will be the use of memory cards. Bliss-box has already found a way to write to the Dreamcast LCD and is working on a method to communicate with emulators. 4-Play is essentially 4 Bliss-Boxes in one. Take a look at some of the features below.

    Features:


    Auto Pause - Most controllers have an auto pause when the controller is unplugged. When you are in the middle of a game and your friend, wife, pet or otherwise clueless partner trips over your cord resulting in NO GAME CONTROL, the game will pause

    Auto Pause Detection - In addition to auto pause, you can switch controllers on the fly. When you unplug, for example a Saturn controller you can then choose any detectable controller and plug it in. The 4-Play will auto detect this controller and resume functionality. Very few controllers are not detectable. For example the Atari and Intellivision are not, were most others are.

    Global button mapping -All buttons are laid out the same to match common set ups. For example the snes y, b, x, a, are mapped like the neo-geo a, b, c, d, So that when you switch from one to the next you use the controller in the same manner. Both left most buttons (snes:Y or neo:A) are mapped to the emulator the same. Obviously some choices had to be made. See this spreadsheet for details.

    Force Feedback - Vibration (rumble) is supported with no drivers required. The following controllers support rumble; DreamCast, Nintendo 64, Playstation 1,2, and Game Cube.

    UDLR mode - This mode will map all Up,Down,Left,Right buttons to the corresponding analog movements. So that you can switch to digital in the game and back out at any time. To do this you press shoulder left, shoulder right and the pause button all at once. To exit, press the same. NOTE: do not press the analog stick on the n64 when you do this. The n64 uses this combo for calibration. As long as itís left centered, you're ok.

    Auto Detect - No switches needed. 4-Play will detect the controller.

    Out of the Box ready. Nothing else is needed. No drivers, no wiring, or setups. Plug in the controller to the cable, cable to the 4-Play and you are done.

    Upgrades - The chip is designed to be upgraded via an upgrade file. You can downgrade ot upgrade at anytime. In some cases, special firmware version may be released.

    Full emulation - Each controller is fully emulated unless otherwise stated. For example psx2 pressure sensitive buttons are programmable.
    FFB API WRAPPER - The 4-play will allow programers to communicate with it via a FFB API wrapper. Allowing to send data to the controller and retrieve information. This will allow this such as; writing to an LCD/memcard, detecting what controller is plugged in, check the pause state(unplugged controller), software controlled resetting, and many options to follow.


    Special points of interest

    The GC code does support wavebirds, mini pads, and most GC accessories!
    DC LCD displays are working
    One of the highest adapters compatibility adapters around.
    Built on a reliable usb backbone
    Derived from Raphael's projects at raphnet.
    Over 7 years in circulation.

  2. #2
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    A DC usb adapter that write to cards.

    pic here bliss-box.net/Bliss-Box/images/lcd.jpg
    Well here it is, the first usb adapter that lets the emulator authors get and write to cards. Like all good news there is a catch, it lacks funding. See KS above.

    Hand made units are available via main page and do support the API to communicate with the DC controller. If you wish to experiment with this stop by the forums or see contact info on the main site.
    Last edited by ulao; December 10th, 2014 at 12:57. Reason: Links enbedded.

  3. #3
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    $150,000 USD, not going to happen. And the API seems horribly hackish.

  4. #4
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    "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."

    Please tell me that this means that it will force hotplugging/afterplugging even if the game doesn't support it normally.

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by shinra358 View Post
    "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."

    Please tell me that this means that it will force hotplugging/afterplugging even if the game doesn't support it normally.
    Sorry that question is not clear enough? hot swapping is done with in the device, the emulator knows nothing of it. If you use a nes controller and then hot swap to a snes, it's the same as far as the emulator/game is concerned. The extra buttons are ignored.

  6. #6
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    Hotplugging = being able to remove the controller during a specific game. When replugged, it will still function normally without having to reset that specific game.
    Afterplugging = being able to plug in the controller after a specific game has already started and the controller still being able to work.

    So what I'm asking is will that autopause feature help with hotplugging and afterplugging even if specific programs don't support it?
    Some games/emulators you can't control anymore once a controller has been removed during gameplay and will have to be restarted. Will this fix that problem?

    AKA will the box act as a placeholder for the hid devices so that windows will think there's something always there even when it's not so that this would be possible?
    Last edited by shinra358; February 12th, 2015 at 03:37.

  7. #7
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    Based on your definitions, Hotplugging seems to include the definition of Afterplugging in it? Just so that we are on the same page here... Hotswap is unplugging the controller and switching it out for another. Yes this operation can take place during a game. Actually when you unplug a controller the pause button is pressed resulting in game pause (where applicable). When you switch to another controller you just hit pause and your back in the game with a new controller.

    Here is the demonstration of it a few years back. ( take out spaces)
    http : // bliss - box . net / Bliss-Bo x/ vids/ auto-detect-pause / auto-detect-pause.html

    For games that you say don't support it, you mean that don't support ripping USB devices out of the computer. I completely know what you mean by that. I wish all emulators would allow that behavior but I understand why they don't. The Bliss-Box(and 4-play) hot swapping does not reset the USB, and the USB stays in. As far as the USB is concerned nothing ever happened. So yes it will work with emulators in both senses. This feature only works with controller that are detectable. For example an attari controller is not, its just a dumb device. Most controller can be detected and will work with hot swapping.

    AKA means "also know as", guessing you meant "for instance" or "for example"? Yes it will.

  8. #8
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    Based on your definitions, Hotplugging seems to include the definition of Afterplugging in it?
    Yes.


    I wish all emulators would allow that behavior but I understand why they don't.

    Why's that? I understand why N64 doesn't because I think that's the only real console that never did it. But what about the others?

    As far as the USB is concerned nothing ever happened. So yes it will work with emulators in both senses.
    Excellent. Any way controllers for PC can utilize this with blissbox (that use usb cords; or bluetooth controllers; controllers with no cords)? Like dualshock 4's or normal PC controllers.

    AKA means "also know as", guessing you meant "for instance" or "for example"?
    ^_^, yes, I was trying to explain the same thing in different ways.


    Will controllers be read as dinput or xinput?

    Edit: Design-wise, any chance for some transparent colored boxes or cords with leds atop of each power which would tell you if a controller is in or not? Or a slimmer 'clip on' bar version that will be able to be 'screw wedged' at the front of your laptop or desk. Vertical slots for more:
    http :// postimg . org/ image/ u1v3g83g3/
    Last edited by shinra358; February 12th, 2015 at 16:16.

  9. #9
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    Why's that?
    Well I hesitate to use the word but it really is sloppy or lazy programming. All you need to do is watch for the condition in the code and prepare for it. Though using the directX or Ximput API is not easy to follow. Most people just don't take the time and do error checking.

    All features are specific to what is plugged in to the Bliss-Box(and 4-play). Other devices can not piggy back on it. Also this is a HID deice. HID by default uses dinput on windows and xinput on linux. There is software to convert one from the other on the net.

  10. #10
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    All features are specific to what is plugged in to the Bliss-Box(and 4-play).
    Ah okay, it would be cool if the box had bluetooth capabilities too so that they would be able to use those features.

    Updated prev post with a pic of other thing.


    I remember this from a while back when you posted it on ngemu. I'm thinking about getting one with a virtualboy cord.


    Last question: I have usb octopus extensions in which you can plug 4 devices into one usb slot. Will I be able to use those with blissbox for pc controllers or are the slots on the box proprietary?

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