Polymega has been in the works for a long time now and it seems the time of release is almost upon us. For those of you who may be wondering what the Polymega is, it is an emulation based clone system that is going to be capable of playing games from NES, SNES, Genesis, SEGA CD, 32X CD, Saturn, PS1, Neo Geo CD, Turbo CD and PC Engine CD. More playable systems may emerge further down the road but this is what the console will be capable of at launch. Polymega will make use of swap-able modules to allow users to switch between supported systems while maintaining a small footprint. The Polymega system itself will run on an Intel Coffee Lake S processor with 4 gigs of RAM making it a very capable emulation machine for the included systems. All emulation and BIOS implementations are being developed in house or properly licensed from their respective companies.
As part of GDC week the team behind Polymega took to Twitter to share even more info about the upcoming system. The first big announcement, that also caught me be surprise, is that the included processor will be able to be upgraded in the future to allow support for more demanding systems down the road.
It has also been revealed that the Polymega will now support NVMe SSD drives to allow for more storage to store your game library. The SD card slot will also remain allowing for 3 TB of storage on a Polymega unit. One of the coolest features of the Polymega to me is that any game you own can be dumped onto the system for easy preservation and play. having the ability to get higher capacity drives instead of costly high capacity SD cards is definitely a plus.
Game compatibility is also progressing nicely with over 90% of all PS1 and Saturn games already playable with more to come! Considering the HLE BIOS implementation the Polymega team is constructing this is quite an achievement unto itself. Any decent desktop emulator still requires a user to supply their own BIOS files for proper compatibility.
SNES emulation is also going to have support for nearly all expansion chips that appeared on the system allowing for near 100% compatibility with the entire SNES library. Unless you have a very obscure game chances are you will be able to play all of your favorites at launch!
Unfortunately not everything is good news as the recent Intel chip shortages has delayed the production of Polymega units by some degree. Thankfully ship dates aren’t to far delayed from their original targets.
If you are at GDC today be sure to check out the Polymega in action! A nbew pre-order window for Polymega will also be opening up this June so if you happened to miss out on the original pre-order campaign, which smashed its original $500k goal, you will still have an opportunity to get on the list prior to launch. The new pre-order campaign will begin in May.
I have been eagerly following the development of Polymega for the last couple of years back when it was still known as Retroblox. Having an all in one top of the line emulation solution for game preservation is very appealing to me. Especially for CD based systems where systems are prone to failing lasers ans disks are susceptible to disk rot. While many purists will bemoan the use of emulation if done correctly it can provide an experience identical to the real thing especially when combined with a real controller. Polymega’s approach is the most in depth and exciting I have ever seen for the concept of the high quality emulation box. I for one can’t wait to get one and throw it up against both the real thing and high quality PC emulation! Check out the official site here and discover why I am so hyped!
Are you as excited about the Polymega as I am? Share your thoughts on the project below!