All-in-one retro system Polymega has taken its sweet time to get to market, but the system is expected to launch in July this year, so the wait is almost over.
To ensure maximum compatibility the company behind the console announced a beta program a short time ago, giving those who had already pre-ordered the system the chance to get their hands on it earlier than planned and help test the hardware. We're now seeing footage of those beta consoles hitting YouTube as buyers put their new consoles through their paces, and while there are still some minor issues to fix, the results are pretty impressive.
As you can see from the video below, Sega Saturn emulation – regarded by some as the Holy Grail of retro gaming emulation – is excellent. There are a few known problems here and there, such as issues with the floor texture in Virtua Fighter Remix, but on the whole performance is very, very good. Neo Geo CD emulation is also decent, with load times – the biggest problem with the NGCD – being eliminated entirely.
The Polymega also runs NES, SNES, Genesis / Mega Drive, PC Engine / TG-16 and Mega CD games as well, and launches on July 6th. It can be pre-ordered in North America using the link below.
This article was originally published by nintendolife.com on Thu 30th April, 2020.
Why does the Polymega get so many articles on a Nintendo website??
Cost too much, no thanks.
$400..... you know I think I’ll pass!
I already have a modded PS1 to play any game and the only other thing I want is to find a decent Saturn that can also be modded. I see no desire for such a product though I congratulate them on what they have accomplished especially with Saturn emulation though I assume it’s existing software they’re using?
If they ever add N64 and it works well, then I'm in.
Man, I was actually kind of getting interested about this product as I was reading the article, and then I saw the price. Yeah, I'll just buy a Retron 5...
I’ll be watching this thing’s official launch with great interest. Sounds like a dream box to me.
I would love one of these but the price!! I have a Retron 5 and a Retro Trio plus so might have to give it a miss.
Over $700 to be able to play all the games. Hard pass!
@Deanster101 it doesn't stop there. You need to purchase the modules for playing catridges of NES, SNES etc separately. Same for the controllers... I think if you want an overall satisfying experience, it will be closer to 600-800$
I don't know you wouldn't just use the original consoles and use something like an open source scan converter or a framemiester. A big part of playing the original physical games is the enjoyment of sticking the game in the original console, using the original controller etc. I would just emulate rather than use one of these.
just saw the price holy moly
@OldMcGroin Because it's an all-in-one system that plays old Nintendo games?
Pricing for this in Europe is.... bold. Given that the world is entering the next great depression, and there's a new Xbox and Playstation on the horizon, they may struggle to find customers.
Dreamcast support and that thing would be worth the price.
At the price it's definitely for proper collectors only.
Especially considering a Raspberry Pi running RetroPie and a compatible controller can do pretty much the same thing for a fraction of the price.
@mazzel that’s crazy, I see the point in the lure of decent CD emulation but it’s crazy expensive on its own and expecting people to pay for extra modules kind of suggests to me they’re desperate to try and make money on this thing after a long drawn out development!
$400 for the base CD unit plus $80 for every cartridge based expansion. It doesn't support Everdrives, only original games, so the only people I see that appealing to are hardcore retro game fans who likely already have the original hardware. This is a good idea and likely would appeal to people if it was half the price but as it stands I'm predicting this is going to flop hard. Your money would be better spent getting original hardware and a good upscaler. It'd be more expensive in the end but it's more fun and rewarding.
It's weird to think that this overpriced emulator probably took way longer to develop than a modern console.
I was gonna treat myself, but the shipping to Canada for the base unit and one module was absurdly high and seemingly random, so I held off.
Can see myself getting one eventually, perhaps from a Canadian supplier in the future. Just looks like a great way to manage and play my retro collection.
It's just a PC with emulators, right?
NVIDIA Shield TV costs half the price of this and can do far more.
So it's a PC in a box that emulates old consoles?
"Ohhhh but but its gonna be crap, its vaporware, its a con"
I always knew this would be good.
@OldMcGroin It plays Nintendo games?
Don't see the issue with the price when you look at the systems it emulates, the quality it appears to do it with, the fact it offer an easy connection to modern televisions and the future expansion possibilities.
If there are still going to release FPGA versions of the add ons as well I think I'm definitely in
None of it will be FPGA anymore, it's all emulation
@OldMcGroin It plays NES and SNES games.
It's too bad that individual modules cannot work by themselves. I would of gladly paid a little more for them. I was just interested in the TG16 module but I have to also buy the base + an insulting shipping price which, after conversion makes it 500$ CAD. I might as well just buy an OG TG16.
Already got a Raspberry Pi so I'll pass.
It sounds like a solid system but the price is out of step with the current economic situation.
Can anyone explain why this would be better than emulation on a PC? For instance, why wouldn't I just buy a disc drive and make ISOs on my computer? I don't know too much about emulation, but from what I understand it's possible to emulate all of these consoles on PC.
It's not better.
You guys are kinda late the ballgame with this one. He posted that video days ago.
Like I've said before, I like the idea of the system, but it doesn't support the retro consoles I'd like to see. Once it has N64, Game Boy, GBA and Gamecube support, then we can talk. PS2 is a start though.
Why do you keep covering this scam?
@Heavyarms55 Those are already supported by PC emulators. You can get your own USB to cart connector even, so you are using the real carts. Why pay for this?
@StevenG It's not a scam. It's a company putting it all together in one neat and tidy package, with custom done software and updates supported. All a person needs to do is buy it and plug it in and they can shelve their old consoles. No messing with ripping games to your PC or buying sketch USB adapters. No special software, no emulator downloads from suspicious host sites, none of that.
This isn't the product for the all in hard core emulator fan, this is for the casual gamer with a closet full of old games they'd love to revisit on a modern TV.
It ain't the best thing ever, but it's not a scam either. At least no as far as I can tell. I've watching NL and MVG for years now, and though they can make mistakes, I don't think either would knowingly push a scam.
@DinnerAndWine did they not say there might be fpga versions of modules in future?
@Heavyarms55 I don't think this is in any way aimed at the casual gamer. That is not a casual price and your average casual gamer doesn't have a horde of retro games sitting there waiting to be played.
Its targeted to console enthusiasts who want a convenient all in one option and the possibility to connect up to modern display.
@Morph And I might grow a third arm. Who knows.
@Heavyarms55 Sketch adapters? You think this thing has anything else inbedded in a chunk of plastic? Why would there be suspicious sites to isntall emulators? apt-get install nameofemulator.
That is how they are probably doing it too, reselling existing opensource software.
This company already did a bait and switch, from FPGAs to software emulator. You think they can really be trusted after that?
The console was originally going to feature FPGA technology when it was announced, but later on they said they were not longer going to do that and were switching to emulation.
It's not so much a question of whether it's a scam or not (it exists in the base form, so far), it's whether or not it's a worthwhile product. And that is still debatable until it's been released and people who aren't receiving free demo units are able to try it.
@MaxlRoseGNR Exactly this. It needs Dreamcast support out of the box, I feel this would be reflected in the thoughts of those still releasing Dreamcast games since year by year more machines either die or the drives are replaced for SD card solutions.
From what I have heard, the Dreamcast had a special laser to read their discs, so the standard laser in the Polymega wouldn't be able to play them.
@DinnerAndWine I believe this is indeed true, which is a real shame.
@FragRed As far as I can tell they programmed their own BIOS for each core, so even if they piggy backed on an open source emulator this is still legit.
People complaining about price while still wanting to use original games(not roms) should know. A framemeister is 400ish, retrotink 120. Or an ossc sub 200. That doesnt include scart or rgb cables. Retro gaming on og hardware and games gets really pricey. I see no problem with the price of this machine considering theres a deep rabbit hole for digital to analog converters plus cables that can get really expensive.
@Jokerwolf you can even put patches onto an sd card and itll install it. Fanstranslations, etc
Wow, there's a lot of clueless, prejudiced people in this thread.
I was kinda hoping that this news would finally shut all these Vaporware or "this is a scam" people up, but sadly enough, I guess I was wrong...
Let's sum up some facts for all you people that have no idea why this is not something you should whine or complain about, but something you should actually be interested in, if you're into retro gaming:
Yes, they started out programming on FPGA's, but ultimately, that would have made the units even MORE expensive than they are now, so they switched to software-based. But they have already gone above and beyond (such as by reprogramming/refining individual BIOS files and cores) to assure that their emulation of all the various systems is the best it can be, even when compared to other solutions. And if anything, the Saturn emulation is a perfect example of that.
Why is this better than a Retron or a RetroPie or emulation on a PC? Because this is dedicated, customized emulation. It may not be FPGA anymore, but it's still focused on aiming for the highest quality, and games are played from the original media, so the system does NOT support ROMS or flash cartridges/Everdrives.
You CAN add cartridge and disc games to the games library of the system, but only your own. And far as I've understood, they want to implement official licensing for any and all titles including digital distribution of these titles, so you'd literally have to hack this system to be able to play illegal ROMs.
And in the case of the Saturn emulation: they've contracted the maker of original (and best) Saturn emulator Yabause, to make a new and more compatible version of his emulator core, including a whole new custom BIOS, exclusively for this system, so you're not going to find better Saturn emulation anywhere.
On a side note: and having a brand new CD-based module that can function as an all-in-one solution to play all your old CD games once the drives in the original consoles break down, doesn't sound to shabby to me either.
A CD unit that's compatible with 15 retro systems out of the box, by the way...
But why would you play off the discs when you can install the games on the Polymega and play them that way? That's what probably most owners will do.
So if that's the case, you aren't using your actual disc anyway, so why not just play an ISO on your computer for free?
This is a weird (and expensive) product that fits in between low end emulation devices, and FPGA options. People who want to play 8 & 16-bit systems aren't going to buy this, and people who are hardcore Saturn fans already own a console or two, and there are also mods for that system that will play iso's from an SD card.
You may be impressed by this, but I don't think sales will be there beyond the initial pre-orders. It tries to do too much at a high price when there are better individual options for all of these things.
@DinnerAndWine Erm... because of the superior emulation? Like I said, this is dedicated emulation, with optimized cores made ONLY for the Polymega, by all the people/developers involved with the device, some of which are the ACTUAL makers of the emulator, like with the Saturn one, so having these people on board, is a BIG plus.
And not every PC is the same, and more often than not, it requires quite a bit of tweaking to get emulation to run as it should, because of that, whereas in this system, where the only purpose IS emulation, it will always run at the best possible setting.
That is also their aim, as mentioned on the website.
As also mentioned, their CD module plays 15 systems straight out of the box, so it's a VERY good option for a backup for whatever CD-based systems you own.
And I never said I was "impressed", but I most definitely AM interested.
If it's not for you, then that's perfectly fine, but don't knock it until you tried it. I don't think that it's fair for people to criticize or ridicule a system that they know practically nothing about, while the people that actually HAVE seen it and have now also tried it out, are all quite enthusiastic, and these people also know that there's many other options out there to play these older games.
So, that really ought to tell you something, and perhaps we should consider the possibility that they're really on to something good here...
I am someone who has all these old consoles and hundreds of games. I have most of them hooked up through a framemeister already. (Sadly except for the NES because it doesn't support RGB without heavy modification and only one website sells the hdmi mod and its always sold out.) The only reason a polymega is a little tempting for me would be to have it hooked up in my living room (as my game room is in the basement) that way I could conveniently play all my games in a second room and wouldn't have to move a console or get a game from the basement.
It's completely reasonable to question if there is a market for this product, I don't know why are taking offense to that notion haha.
The high-end retro gamers I see talk about this on various forums (people who buy/own Framemeisters, Misters, Analogue consoles and other FPGA flashcarts) are almost unanimous in saying they have no intention of buying this.
Either because they already own several options to play these consoles in a superior way (Mega SG, Super NT, RetroUSB AVS, etc), or they use original hardware with upscalers and FPGA options (Terraonion is coming out with a Saturn/Dreamcast ODE soon). These people aren't interested in software emulation at all, just FPGA based things.
So again, we will have to wait and see what happens, but I just don't see this thing becoming successful, especially with all the ill will Polymega garnered over the years of development.
If you want to play NES games in HD, the cheapest method is to get a RetroUSB AVS. The only thing better is the Analogue NT Mini, but that is $500 and currently sold out.
@DinnerAndWine I'm not taking offense to any of that, haha... (not)
I'm just a bit tired of people with zero knowledge about this crying "vaporware" or "scam", while it's anything but. Like I said: if it's not for you, or for any of the other uninterested people, then that's perfectly fine, but don't try to convince other people, who might actually be on the fence, of how "bad" this system is, because the truth is that we simply don't know, and as mentioned, people that DO know are pretty enthusiastic overall. I have yet to hear the first negative hands-on review or first impression.
And with that, I mean from a reputable source, not from any random YouTuber or game forum commenter...
On a side note: we actually agree on the hardcore/high end retro gamers, but many other people, the ones that also buy systems like the Retron 5 and such, might very well be interested in this far more polished product, so like you yourself actually already said, it's a nice mid-range option.
In regards to casual gamer vs hardcore collector, aside from the already hefty price tag, if you dont already own a bunch of the games for the base unit, your going to spend a fortune just trying to aquire games. Saturn and Neo Geo CD games arn't cheap. For me, the fact that you have to separatley buy the additional modules feels like a marketing scheme kick to the gut. It all just sounds like it was poorly planned and poorly developed and now they have to jack the price way up to make money. But with that said, they can charge whatever price they want. I just won't buy it. Most average gamers are always going to go for the less expensive option. And there are other options.
As far as the "scam" comments go; IMO its more materialized than the "new" Atari console. Among the retro gaming community MVG and Sarumaru seem to be very well respected so I doubt that they're (and the other select others who got beta units) going to willing push a scam.
Currently (someone feel free to correct me if Im wrong) some have said Rasberry Pi's are really good for NES, SNES, Genesis, GG, NeoGeo, NGP, GB/GBC/GBA but once you get to Saturn, N64, and PS is where the game play is choppy. (However the research that I have done has been up to Pi 3, nothing found on how those systems fared on a Pi 4).
Polymega isn't going to be for everyone. Who it's going to appeal are the following; 1. Those who have these consoles and are looking for that one stop shop to play their collection by just swapping modules. 2. Who dont want to bother searching, dowloading ROMs and emulators 3. Those who dont want to spend the money to upgrade their still working old systems to play on modern TVS which can get pricey
Yes there is the systems by Retron and Analog (to me Analog is better) but right now they're still only limited to cartridge based games (NES, SNES, Genesis). With Retron they're currently in development of a N64 system and Analog is working a handheld for GB, GBC, GBA, NGP, GG and Lynx but supposedly the Analog system might be only available for a limited time. Still no systems that play any of the old disk games (PSX, NGCD, SCD and SS)
Polymega has said on twitter that its possible that portables, N64, Dreamcast could be something they're open to down the road so take that for what you wil.
Its definitely crossed my mind to get an AVS or Analogue NT. But that's gonna throw off the feng shui of my game room. All my consoles are official hardware 1st models. I have no clone consoles and would like to keep it that way. I'm just gonna wait it out until I can HD mod my NES.
$400 for a bunch of emulators that aren't even as good as the free ones? Yeah I will only get this if it's under $200 and had GameCube, Sega Dreamcast, and N64 support.
@FragRed In terms of a Saturn that can play any game, some have turned to replacing the console's disk drive, which can fail with age anyway, with a hard drive, and at that point, you are booting the games digitally, but running them off official hardware, so no emulation issues.
Costs too much.
I can play these systems on my phone with my fc30 pro controller. Except for probably the Saturn.
Even my Android TV media player can play these games.
Even a PS Vita will play most of the older systems
@YANDMAN Software emulation is good? That's some weak trolling.
This is the retro console that I have been waiting for. The Analogue consoles are cool and all but they are expensive in their own right and it's more hardware to deal with.
Give me original hardware any day..
@Damo It’s NOT an all in one -you also have to buy all the modules to be able to play all the various systems 🤷♀️. That will be incredibly expensive, and who knows when/if all the promised modules will be available.
@jcvandan I use an everdrive 3.0 on my Ultra Hdmi modded N64, with AA disabled on my 20" 4:3 1200p monitor it actually looks incredible.
@StevenG Yeah i don't like to go in too hard.
@liveswired I've got an open source scan converter and currently have my Dreamcast hooked up to my 4k tv. It's really excellent playing Tony Hawks 2 on there whilst sat on the sofa with a beer. I'm yet to try any of the 16 bit consoles with it but I've got my eye on a 60hz modded SNES!
You may not like the product but anyone that says scam is probably the same person who has a ton of illegally downloaded roms... Please is it pricey yes but it is also intriguing. I own most of these systems and to be able to have a one stop shop I would easily pay that price if it works the way they say it will. Anything retron is a joke. I have had 3 retron5's none have lasted more than a few play throughs. If they don't put a vulcan death grip on your cartridges they are so cheaply made they burn up the minute they get plugged in. Analog makes an awesome product but they are more than this and then some for one system. That just leaves pc and pi's. Again this system lets me put my original game disc in and save it to the system without having to have a slight background in pc's and shaky emulation. I agree with comments above why hate until we know. I thought the retron5 was a great idea until I got a hold of one.
So after all those complaints it has sold out.
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