Polymega – the all-in-one retro console capable of playing a wide range of cartridge and CD-based classic systems – has certainly taken its time coming to market. It was originally announced way back in 2017, and pre-orders opened in September 2018.
However, a series of delays have impacted the production of the console since then, leaving many disappointed – and that's not even mentioning the issue Walmart which saw customers having their orders cancelled when the relationship between the retailer and Playmaji, the maker of Polymega, broke down.
However, after three years of waiting, the Polymega is finally making its way into the hands of those who ordered it all that time ago. Playmaji has issued a statement on its official site marking the fact that today, September 12th, is the official launch day of the console, and that units are en route to consumers as we speak.
Playmaji CEO Bryan Bernal had this to say:
Despite the challenging shipping environment presented by the COVID-19 pandemic starting last year, and other factors beyond our control at our Myanmar assembly facility in 2021, our team is excited to finally reach this critical release milestone, and further, we're beyond grateful to our thousands of customers who stuck with us and believed in the vision of POLYMEGA® and what it could mean to the future of the video games industry.
We're now ready to move forward to the next phase of this project including the launch of our digital games store for Holiday 2021, and a sharp increase in production and availability of POLYMEGA® systems for 2022 and beyond.
Interestingly, the company is also talking about a future 'Element Module' announcement. Given that we already have Element Modules for the Mega Drive / Genesis, NES, SNES / Super Famicom and PC Engine / TG16, it's tempting to speculate about what could be announced next. Game Boy? Atari Jaguar? N64? Neo Geo AES / MVS?
You'll no doubt be seeing a few photos on social media this week, as well as initial impressions, but over in Japan, the console is already firmly ensconced under the televisions of many gamers due to the fact that Polymega's Japanese distributor made deliveries on Sunday the 11th of September.
Interestingly, it looks like some Polymega consoles have made their way into Japanese retail outlets, selling for 48,000 Yen ($435):
We reviewed the beta version of the Polymega last year and concluded that the machine was "set to become a highly desirable piece of hardware for retro fans".
Let us know if you've pre-ordered the system and have had a notification about when yours will be arriving by posting a comment below.
This article was originally published by nintendolife.com on Mon 13th September, 2021.
$435 was too expensive in my opinion.
I already have PS2 machines to play my PS1 games with way cheaper price.
That's really cool but i don't have any old games to put on it. Yeah the price seems really steep when you think how much a PS5 Digital costs.
Looks like a wallet
I do want this, but it's just too expensive. Xbox series S is much cheaper and could do for a emulation station for now
Good for the people who have been waiting so long. I like to play with original game hardware, but at that price (add-ons too) and being software emulation I'll definitely stick with MiSTer.
This is really BAD
I can't see this being popular with retro gamers as whenever the Polymega is mentioned on social media, it is downvoted to oblivion.
Love the idea and look of the console, but I doubt it will ever get a UK release. So i won't be getting ripped off from some seller in the states charging even more plus the postage, no thanks!!
@UltimateOtaku91 Tbh I did a double take and after looking at it a second time I 100% agree with you!
It is an overpriced Retron 5 that reads CDs, except that you need to pay a retron-5-worth value in order to make this thing read cartridges.
You get better emulation boxes on ali express for way cheaper, and you don't even need to scratch (or even have) an expansive CD game.
@abdias Oh really? Polymega has arcuate, full speed Saturn emulation. Good luck finding that on a cheap knock off Android box from Aliexpress stuffed to the gills with stolen games.
I never pre-ordered, but I am very interested in this, I have a retro collection of many systems and games, most of which are boxed up due to lack of space.
This would be very convenient
Waste of money
I believe most people opted for a refund
I panic pre-ordered back in April last year. My Saturn is on its last legs so basically bought this as a replacement for that, but with some added bonus of megadrive and ps1.
Hoping it lives up to my expectations - I'm super excited at the moment.
Also have high hopes that the digital store will be great, but think it's unlikely the big publishers will sign up
Admittedly this is the main draw for me.
If this is hacked to install games off the internet, it might be worth the money.
There are a dozen better devices that do the same thing already.
@KillerBOB I suppose, for that money, you could get an old laptop to emulate stuff.
@ramu-chan good luck finding Dreamcast, PS2 and PSP compatibility on Polymega, variously "cheap knok off box" from AliExpress can do it but Polymega don't.
Wake up people, this $430 thing can't even play gameboy, yes the monochrome gameboy, it can't. It is less than a retrofreak out of the box. Less than a Retron 5. Less than a pi4. Costing more than a PS5.
Let’s see how thing does in a year.
@abdias You're not comparing like for like. Polymega is offering extremely accurate emulation with 1ms of lag. It's the Analogue of the software emulation world.
If you're happy with frame skipping, lag, horrible UIs and zero support then you're free to bug a pirate box from Aliexpress. Heck but two or three of them, they're cheap enough.
Fantastic - these emulation consoles, FPGA or otherwise are a great new way for people to experience these classic games on a flat panel via HDMI.
As good as original hardware + CRT? Not on your nellie. Funny to think that we're trying to match 1990s hardware and are still not even close.
@mattmanvsuperman Well said - Analogue's FPGA implementation is streets ahead of this.
@KillerBOB go on name 12 that do the same thing
MiSTer, a PC, a hacked Switch, hacked Xbox One, Xbox Series S/X in developer mode, a RaspberryPi4, a hacked Wii-U, a hacked Wii, Odroid, NVidia Shield, Batocera mini PC...damn, I can only name 11 😓
You may as well get the much superior MiSTer for that price.
@ramu-chan they never advertised cycle accuracy and low response time.
By the way, 1ms is BS. No classic console delivery such low input delay on a CRT. The usb overhead itself has much more than 1 frame (1 frame is more than 16ms). So I would love to see the source of that info. Both infos, the 1 ms latency and the cycle accurate emulation.
Add in Dreamcast support and this will be MY ultimate Sega retro console!!!
@KillerBOB so they all allow you to take your original games and dump them? At best the ones with a disc drive may allow you to do that and even then we're only talking disc based games which completely ignores the element modules.
The Saturn emulation looks better then anything I've ever seen before on any of those platforms.
@KillerBOB @mattmanvsuperman @ramu-chan @abdias
(Apologies for tagging so many of you, just wanted to address the points raised in one post)
Bob at RetroRGB tested the lag and it was around 2-2.5 frames using a wired USB controller, which is in the same ballpark as micro-consoles like the SNES Classic and Mega Drive Mini. Using one of the element module controller ports rather than USB (these accept original controllers) the latency is even less. While it's not going to match the Mister when it comes to lag, it's such a small amount of latency that you'll really struggle to notice.
While Mister keeps being raised as a rival to this, it's really not. Mister can't do Saturn or PlayStation (yet) and doesn't offer the massive database of games.
I think it's this element that people are missing here; if you want an emulation box that just plays ROMs then you have plenty of other options. The thing which makes Polymega stand out (and one of the many things that you're paying for when you drop down all that cash) is the HUGE pre-populated database of 1000s of games. That includes cover artwork, menu art, screenshots, descriptions, release date info, dev / publisher info, etc, etc.
I dread to think how long it has taken for Playmaji to create this database (the menu icons are all bespoke designs rather than lifted directly from the cover), and it's one of the aspects I love the most. You load up your game, it matches it to the database and then you install it. And it's there; it's not some filename, but a properly curated part of your digital collection - a bit like downloading games to your Switch. And you can then use that game to find other games released in the same year or by the same dev or in the same genre and tag them in your 'wishlist'. Polymega is aimed at collectors rather than people who are happy to just download ROMs off the internet.
I've been following and reporting on the Polymega situation for long enough now to realise those who are critical of it often don't fully understand the appeal of the platform, and why it's unique when compared to other options on the market. And, for the record, I've got original hardware, a Mister, both of Analogue's 16-bit FPGA consoles and many other means of playing retro games – but the Polymega has been the platform I've used most over the past 12 months (including Switch, PS5 and Series X). It's simply the most convenient way of accessing my retro collection all in one place (I sadly don't have a lot of room at home so can't have all of my machines connected at once).
2 to 2.5 frames of lag makes sense. It is 32ms to 40ms. This info us believable. What people were spreading here in this comment section is that Polymega delivery 1ms of lag with cycle accuracy. This us straight up a lie.
Other points you raised, if the original controllers is managed through usb protocol, no lag will be reduced.
(Just one more thing, pre populated database with cover exist for a decade on Chinese consoles)
@abdias The originals controllers use the ports on the element modules, not USB, so lag is definitely reduced.
And no offence, but I've used some of these Chinese consoles you mentioned, the databases are hilariously inaccurate and full of mistakes. Polymega is on a totally different level to that.
@frogopus It compares very favourably to LaunchBox. The team behind the Polymega have been matching the database to carts and disc production runs, that's how accurate it is. Whenever a new production variant is discovered, it gets reported (by the beta testers originally, but now by a wider selection as the console is now available) and gets added to the database, which is updated every time there's a firmware update. Having said that, out of over 300 games I've installed, I've had less than 5 which have failed to be detected by the database (and 3 of those are now recognised since the last update).
This is certainly the best option ATM for disc-based emulation, IMO.
Tap here to load 34 comments
Leave A Comment
Hold on there, you need to login to post a comment...