We've been keeping our eyes on the Polymega for what feels like forever; the console aims to be the only retro gaming device you'll need, offering support for a wide range of systems, including NES, SNES, Mega Drive, Neo Geo CD and even Sony PlayStation.
The project has hit a few delays over the past few years, but beta units are now out in the wild and performance is impressive; a second beta phase was due to happen recently but a production issue outside of the control of the Polymega team has delayed things. The second batch of beta units is expected to ship next week, so if you enrolled in that programme, you might be getting an email soon.
The delay of the second beta phase – and the recent production hiccup – means that the Polymega team has now pencilled in November 15th, 2020 as the proposed launch date for the base unit and the four announced modules – which means it will be around a year late (it was supposed to be with us for the 2019 holiday season, or thereabouts). However, it has been stated that this date could potentially come forward.
It has also been revealed that support Famicom carts could be on the table:
Have you pre-ordered the Polymega? Or are you still on the fence regarding this system? Let us know with a comment.
This article was originally published by nintendolife.com on Tue 7th July, 2020.
I have read about that but still have some questions.
You can play your cartridge games directly or it downloads them from the Internet like the Xbox One?
If it plays them directly it would be awesome!
@Zuljaras You can run the carts / CDs from the physical media or you can choose to download them to the hard drive, which means you don't need the cart / CD to play it again in the future.
I admit it, I haven't read anything about it, so here goes the dumb question:
If it plays carts from other consoles, couldn't they end in a legal dispute with Nintendo, Sony and Sega?
It can do ps1? Wild.
Wonder if/when we'll ever see a gamecube player.
@Bobb Emulation is perfectly legal, so there's no issue here - the BIOS for each system is the thing that is protected by trademarks, but I believe they've created their own BIOS files for each supported system.
I probably won’t get this, because I’m not a big fan of old games. But hey, to each his own. The design of it is awesome though 😎
@Damo Ok ... that is awesome!
Yay 2020 is officially the year when vaporware such as the Atari VCS, Intellivision Amico, Play Date, Smach Z, and Polymega will hopefully be release. Maybe Covid-19 did some good after all. Still waiting for Analogue to update on their vaporware, the Analogue Pocket.
I LOVE the idea of this console but I hate the price. Honestly, every piece of hardware/software I own, I also emulate on my PC. So for me, the problem is already solved. I love the sleek look of the device, and I love that it can transfer data to the console itself, but emulation is so strong these days that for collectors like me, it feels kinda moot. If I wanted to emulate everything I owned through Polymega, I would have to put down over $700 to get all the right modules. This is clearly not for me, but I hope someone gets use out of it.
@Zuljaras There's even talk of the console having its own Virtual Console-style online store where publishers and developers could make their old games available:
So bizarre that this and the Atari VCS are both planning on releasing at the same time as the PS5/XSeX. Obviously a bit different markets but these things are going to get so drowned out by all the next generation coverage. Doesn't seem wise at all but I hope those that are looking forward to it enjoy whenever it (potentially) releases.
I'm a bit confused about the "elements", part of me read it as you have to pay to be able to use one of the systems and another suggest you get a bunch of games for a system.
That price though.
And another few years a new console let will have this and more!
@Damo Thanks, Damo. The more you know, as they say 😂
@eltomo Each element comes pre-loaded with some games.
Man that's f*cking cool as sh-t! But holy god [email protected] blistery balls of fire that is F*CKING EXPENSIVE!
@retro_player_77 lumping Analogue in with the likes of the Atari VCS et al. is sacrilege IMHO. Analogue has a great track record.
@commentlife They still haven't update us on anything about the handheld ever since the day they announced it which was last year. I sign up on their mailing list so the least they could had done was sent me updates on how the product is doing. The fact that there's still no updates on the Pocket let me to believe that at this time the hardware is heading towards vaporware territory. Hopefully they update soon.
@eltomo The "elements" are only for cartridge-based systems. When you buy a starter pack, you'll get the base unit, which plays ALL supported CD-based consoles right out of the box, such as Sega CD, TurboGrafx-CD, Neo Geo CD, Sega Saturn & PSX. (15 CD-based systems in total are compatible, according to their website)
Each additional element you buy plays cartridge games from one console, and they can be switched out. Each element comes with five pre-loaded games from the relevant system.
The base unit also comes with built-in games, over a dozen in total.
More about how it works, and what you'll get can be found on the home page of their website:
Their FAQ page might also help to clear up any leftover questions:
It's still standard X86 based emulation so I have no interest ever since they ditched the FPGA.
@Bobb this falls in line with Retron, and all the Famiclones. There is a time limit on copyrights, so they are able to legally make a console that plays those games. But like, a ps4 is still under that protection, so THAT would be illegal.
@ThanosReXXX thanks! I just thought the console had multiple cartridge slots on the top! But now I think about it, that would just be silly!!
Screw next gen consoles, this is what I want for the holiday season!
@eltomo You're welcome.
@eltomo the Retron 5 has multiple cartridge slots and it works fairly well. It’s not very elegant, but it’s a very convenient system.
@RetroCemetery I was thinking with the disk drive, there wouldn't be much more room for circuits and gizmos if the entire top was cart slots!
I’ll be getting this .
I have been waiting forever for this. Been following it since it was RetroBlox. I just want to dump all of my retro games on it and be done. For someone like me with 20+ SegaCD games that are super rare it is invaluable.
The lack of FPGA is a dealbreaker, especially at that price and with add-ons. I'm not paying a premium for potentially (and likely) flawed emulation, may as well just stick with a raspberry pi or pc.
Bank of polymega, earning interest on your money since 2018.
Find myself playing less and less retro games lately so don't think I'll bother even though it looks really cool but haven't played much of my SNES or Genesis mini.
Still for me the price is a bit too much. While the base unit is great for those with physical CD collections of the systems emulated if you have physical cartridge collections you wish to dump onto the system and use the original controllers it starts getting even more pricey. If they had done one of the elements with two or three cartridge slots and controller ports for those particular systems they would seem like better value. I do get the appeal of the system for those people who don't like downloading roms online from various places and only want to use the what they physically own and having both Sega Saturn and PSone playing from one system is good in that regard. If only it done N64 although that emulsion is still all over the place.
@RetroCemetery It's making a copy of a game you already own (presumably) to this device you would own.
I'm pretty sure if Nintendo tries to sue, they're going to be told it's not different than ripping a music CD to an audio player for personal use.
However the original game copyrights are not going to expire in your lifetime or anyone elses. (as long as Disney is there to protect its mouse)
Will it work on my Sony PVM 800 lines monitor though? If it does and the emulation is a solid as my groovymame set up, then it's a day one purchase for me.
@eltomo that’s a good point! It has the blocks, which are interchangeable, but it gets pretty pricey. I pre-ordered one, but mostly to use as an HD Saturn, which is one of my favorite systems. I will probably continue to use my Retron 5 for the cartridge based games. I don’t have any Turbo Grafx games as of right now, and I feel like the Turbo classic system would have any of the ones I would want to play.
I find this system to be an interesting idea but it doesn't support the systems I would be most interested in. Let's get an N64 element and a Game Boy/GBA element with the ability to dump the roms to the system and then you'll have me sold.
Once they dropped FPGA from the system, they lost my interest. That's a lot of money for what is essentially an emulation machine. The only difference to a Retron 5 is the amount of systems it can emulate and the fact their code was designed from the ground up supposedly..
@Bobb No legal issues with emulation, this console plays your physical cartridges and discs with the right add on.
@Zuljaras You clearly haven't lol...theres even a picture included in this very article with Streets of Rage plugged in!
It has NO FPGA emulation which means it is a NO BUY.
For those uninformed on what that means, please allow me to educate you
FPGA is hardware-based emulation. FPGA is emulation at the chip level which essentially means it is as close to the real thing as possible with out actually being the real thing.
When they originally announced the Polymega, they said it would have FPGA. Later on, they got rid of the plan to use FPGA.
That means that the Polymega that is coming out is SOFTWARE EMULATION. You can get the same quality of emulation on your current computer if it is software emulation.
In other words, they are charging you a premium to play your games on their device that you could have played on the computer you already own.
There is a HUGE difference between FPGA-based emulation and Software-based emulation consoles.
The Polymega is a 100% pass for me.
@Coalescence FPGA is really expensive. Individual systems are like $200 each (as I'm sure you know) and there are only FPGA systems for a few consoles. The opportunity to have high quality emulation and a great user interface to organize everything was attractive enough to me to pre-order it. One HDMI connection for all that *****? Hell yeah. Plays burned CD's too, so I can have a proper way to play all the TG-CD, Neo-Geo CD, and Saturn games I've wanted to try over the years. I never had any of those systems, so even if there were FPGA consoles for them, I wouldn't be able to tell the difference anyways.
how much is it?
I’d like to know how they can keep raising the price and taking pre-order money while pushing the back the release date for 2+ years?
And why do they keep adding features nobody asked for?
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