Image: Damien McFerran / Time Extension

Polymega manufacturer Playmaji has admitted that the production of its all-in-one retro system has been reduced to a crawl due to lead time issues on key components.

In a statement on Twitter, the official Polymega account said: "Unfortunately we're still experiencing long lead times which is hindering the manufacture of our base units." When quizzed on the current level of production, the account replied: "These severe lead times are for any production at all. 50 units a month would actually be fantastic at this point. We're at the mercy of our manufacturer not being able to mass-produce units. We may get some very small batches in the meantime but nothing concrete."

This issue only seems to seriously impact the base unit, with the Element Modules and controllers being easier to produce. "Modules aren't suffering as bad as the base units due to their components being more readily available," the official account adds. "I imagine we'll have more modules and controllers soonish. Certainly much earlier than the base units."

As for the Polymega light gun, it seems that falls somewhere in the middle when it comes to production. "We're trying to get our build of materials sorted to be in line with what components are more readily available, so there is time spent up front to get that in order," says the Polymega account. "But once production starts I think it will be much smoother than the base units."

As you can imagine, the reaction has been rather downbeat from customers who have been waiting years for their pre-ordered systems. "We've been told that things will get better next year but no one knows exactly when," the official Polymega Twitter has stated. "We're all crossing our fingers for some relief here."

Polymega's road to market has been a torturous one. It was first announced way back in 2017, and pre-orders opened in 2018. The release date then slipped to 2020, but the console's production has been plagued by issues in Myanmar, where units are being assembled, as well as the COVID-19 pandemic, which has slowed down distribution and impacted Playmaji's ability to source components. Even now, there are people who have pre-ordered the machine many months ago and still don't have any real idea when it will arrive. To make matters worse, lines of communication have broken down more than once between Playmaji and its customer base.

It's a shame, because the console itself is a wonderful device, as we noted in our review of the beta version of the hardware, "there's nothing else quite like this machine on the market – and It looks set to become a highly desirable piece of hardware for retro fans. We're not afraid to admit we're utterly in love and can't wait to see where this system goes next."

[source twitter.com]