The new coco controller isn’t your average iOS gamepad

The physical game controller space for iOS is still up for grabs. There are some nice options already on the market, sure. But none of them have really managed to stand out, or pull ahead of the pack.

That’s why we continue to see new iOS controllers pop up all the time — it’s still anyone’s game. And as you’ve probably already gleaned from the title, we’ve got another one to show you.

The coco controller, by Milkshake Labs, is a new gamepad for iOS devices (and a few Android handsets). On the surface, it looks like your average controller. But it’s definitely not…

Where as other gamepads we’ve seen connect to devices via bluetooth, the coco connects through the headphone jack. Not only does this mean that the controller doesn’t require batteries, but this also supposedly makes it easier for developers to add game support.

And that’s the key to success in this space: developer support. No one is going to want a gamepad for their iPhone or iPod touch that doesn’t work with a majority of their games. At the moment, Milkshake Labs says it only has around 30 games on board, but it’s hoping to have hundreds by launch time.

But developer support isn’t the coco controller’s only hurdle. The team has a lofty Kickstarter goal of $175,000 to meet in the next 29 days to become a reality, and it’s only around $8,000 right now. If you’re interested in helping, a pledge as low as $35 reserves you your own controller.

So what do we think of the coco? As we’ve said with a dozen other Kickstarter projects, it looks promising. It’s inexpensive, doesn’t require batteries, and it appears to be very well designed. Now all it needs is backing from the developer community, and oh yeah, about 170 grand.

What are your thoughts on the coco?