The A press count is how it is in order to separate P1 and P2, since P1 doesn't have to hold A entering the course, but P2 does.
3 of P1's A presses are for dialogue; the third A press was also held to make use of quicker strats in the next section.
The point of this is that coins result in a textbox after each level (unless you grind 9999 of them), and the coin at the first drill dig is currently unavoidable 0xA, and can't be lost by dying as there's no checkpoint on GS1's planet.
However, P2 can hold the coin for the entire level, making this coinless and saving a menuing A press.
This does require P2 to be holding A, though (hence the 0.5xA). When you first connect P2, you get a brief guide in a single textbox that requires you to press A, so this A press is the one that can be held.
So this is pointless at the moment, as you're just trading 1 A press for another. But if there are other levels that P2 can make coinless - or can even help save a gameplay A press - they can hold this same A press to save presses overall.
Hopefully more 2 player tech can be found. Out of curiosity is it possible to despawn 2 player while he is holding a coin. (Essentially killing the coin)
Feel free to make funny jokes about the title, but please also read the description.
that luma was a hero
I beat the whole game in 2 A presses. I was P2, so the 1000+ P1 A presses don't count