In 2013 a friend and I decided to build something unique:
Basically Chris Downing a friend and fellow modder showed me a project he had been working on for over a year. It was a Retro System controller that had a built-in screen. He wanted to take it to Kickstarter and wanted to know what I thought of it. I liked it but just thought it needed to be modernized to bring it to the next level where it could succeed.
We then spent the next 4-5 months working on getting a prototype and a plan together. After lot’s of hard work we were successful and we have our very first High Definition Wireless Video Gaming Controller, the CrossPlane.
We put it on Kickstarter but decided to pull it after realizing that Sony and Microsoft would probably sue us if we built it.
“The Cross Plane” started out with a simple idea that home gaming and entertainment needed a bit of a “refresh” from the norm.
Not only is The Cross Plane unique in the fact it’s the first gaming specific WVI, but the freedom it offers to gamers and entertainment enthusiasts of all kinds is really unmatched.
Gamers can now experience their entertainment set-up in a much more personal and intimate fashion as now you can take the fun wherever you want to be in your home.
No more waiting for a TV to free up or having to sit through another episode of some terrible TV series that your wife or roommate loves.
The Cross Plane is the first Wireless Video Interface designed specifically with the modern gamer in mind. Utilizing a universal control interface and wireless HDMI technology, The Cross Plane brings all your home entertainment devices to you, on your time and where you want to be in your home.
With a unique controller exchange, jumping from console based systems like the Xbox 360 to the OUYA is as simple as taking out a game cartridge and putting in a new one.
But that’s just scratching the surface of what The Cross Plane is!
Though we are excited about The Cross Plane’s ability to jump from gaming console to gaming console, what we’re really excited about is the Cross Plane’s PC compatibility and the freedom it will allow users to break away from their computer desk.
For the first time, PC users will have to opportunity to “Cut the cord” and take the full power of their machine anywhere in house. That means “Steam” can go with you to the couch or Crysis 3 can actually be played on a handheld.
Users can also play their favorite current Emulators for Retro consoles including PS2, GameCube, N64, Sega, the list goes on and on. So plainly put, your computer’s entire gaming library can be brought to you on The Cross Plane.
Where we see this going is becoming a “hand-in-hand” companion to all your Modern HD Home Entertainment devices, but right now keeping the sole focus on what it is, a Wireless A/V Gaming Controller.
The expandability potential with future development is huge and we’re really excited to continue our R&D to make this the best gaming peripheral out there!
And it doesn’t stop at just video games! If you don’t play video games, there is still a spot for The Cross Plane in your home because it can also be your new movie hub for your Blu-Ray player or if you have the Netflix or Hulu apps on your PC or Console, you can stream directly to The Cross Plane.
We wanted to keep this as basic as we could. A new product for modern hardware doesn’t mean that the project had to complicated and buried in the burdens of firmware or Wi-Fi. We wanted to create an experience that was not only equal to that of the original play style, but goes far beyond the limits that we’ve all lived with for so long.
PART 1: The Handheld Controller
This is where all the action takes place and is the “heart” of the system. The button layouts were carefully considered and based around what most console gamers would be used to. This layout went through many changes via 3D Printed case tests to make sure it felt comfortable and natural in your hands given the body style is flat out different from any controller (except the Wii U) on the market.
PART 2: The Control Paks
If the handheld is the “heart”, this is “brain” of the system. At this current stage, what makes this system so versatile is the fact that instead of having to buy a whole new unit that was specially designed for a particular system (say Xbox), we’ve made it so all you have to do is swap out the controller pak to the system controller you wish to play!
We did this for two reasons:
1 – From a consumer cost standpoint, it makes much more sense for people to only have to buy a single Handset and then upgrade it to whichever systems they have and/or want. This made sense from a production standpoint as well. You can have as many or as few control paks as you want, depending on what systems you plan to use it with.
2 – Keeping the paks isolated from each other provided much less interference and issues between the analog & digital layouts that some controllers operate on. In this procedure though we ended up down a development path that found us creating a generic interface which in the future will allow us to explore even more options like tactile Smart Phone controls or TV Remote Controls! The possibilities are really just starting to scratch the surface.
PART 3: The HDMI Transmitter
This would be the “spine” of handheld if it weren’t for the fact it’s wireless. So we’ll call it a “telepathic” channel of sorts? Eh, regardless, it’s actually a lot simpler than that as this is merely a modified Wireless HDMI transmitter/receiver.
This in its own right is pretty cool because in general it was designed to take HD video & audio off a laptop or gaming device and send it to a TV. We’ve simply re-routed the receiver and made it internal, while the transmitter can now be plugged into any of your gaming/video devices that have an HDMI Output.
This function alone will take your PC gaming experiences to new heights as you will no longer be bound to the desk and keyboard and because the wireless connections are separate and direct (i.e. no digital to analog conversion delay or bandwidth limitations), the performance will be identical to that of your PC’s abilities.
Pretty cool huh?!
Using an optional HDMI switch box, you will also be able to plug in up to 4 HDMI sources to the transmitter as well as a direct pass through so whatever you’re playing on the Handset can also show up on the TV! In the future we hope to integrate an official switch box to the handheld so swapping channels could be done right from the unit and not require a separate remote for it.
Demo Of The System Playing Xbox 360 & Answering Some Common Questions
These are subject to change but for what we have at the moment, the prototype specs are as follows:
Case Dimensions: 1.5″ T(38.1mm) x 5.5″ H(140mm) x 9.5″ W(241mm)
Weight: 1lb 6oz (.61kg)
Display Size & Resolution: 7″ Widescreen 1280 x 800 (720p)
Battery Life: Approx 4 hours
Audio: 2 – 25mm Mylar Speakers in Stereo and 3.5mm Headphone Jack
HDMI Transmission Range: Approx 20′ Line of Sight.
Control Pak Transmission Range:
Xbox 360: Approx 30′ Line of Sight
PS3: Approx 100′ Line of Sight
*IMPORTANT* The Cross Plane Requires HDMI Output To Stream. Older Versions of the Xbox 360 without HDMI are not compatible.
These are the baseline specs and minimum standards we’ll be working from. With the success of this KickStarter, our main focus will be to upgrade Battery Life and HDMI Transmission Range as those are the two most critical features of the system.
Chris Downing comes from a background in Business and Industrial Sales & Procurement. With a degree Business Management from Plymouth State University in Plymouth, NH and years of industrial and manufacturing sales experience, Chris is well connected to bring this project to an industrial level.
Being an avid gamer all his life, Chris got into electronics and a hobby called “Console Modding” or more specifically “Portablizing” over 5 years ago. The “Portablizing” concept was simple, yet very challenging in practice. The idea was to take a Retro gaming console and turn it into its own portable rendition, with its own power and screen. The hobby itself was a massive learning experience that not only opened his eyes to a whole new world of gaming possibilities, but also sent him down a new direction of innovation and design.
Now, with the Cross Plane Prototype complete, Chris is ready to get to work on a commercial ready version, fine-tuning and perfecting the design and it’s functionality.
Jonathan Jandran (Wild) got into electronics early in his life. In his teen years he installed and repaired Car Audio equipment for himself, family and friends. Later in life he developed an interest in DIY screen projectors.
Jonathan built one of the first 1080p DIY projectors ever made in 2005. He then used that electronics and technology knowledge from DIY projector building to help him become one of the most recognized names in Console Modding, specifically, Portables. Jonathan has built well over 20 portable consoles in his 7 year “Modding” career, many of which have become YouTube hits, sending his projects around the world and becoming the inspiration to many new console Modders each year.
With his wide range of electronics knowledge, 22+ years of business ownership and experience gained throughout the years of a DIY hobbyist, Jonathan has stepped into the world of professional gaming hardware design & development and helped bring the idea of the Cross Plane to life.