A couple highlights (as in milk squirting out my nose trying to contain my laughter):
"people who want a 60fps UI"- yeah, because the game selection screen is the part everyone wants optimized
"this is a 14-layer PCB"- because that's the magic number to make it a legitimate product? Bryan is clearly not an engineer but a "big idea guy" a la Mike Kennedy.
He actually name drops Playmaji's FORMER CTO (so the guy had no involvement in the current SFF PC version) and BRAGS he's now the CTO at Atari. Bringing up the guy responsible for the "new" Atari VCS DUMPSTER FIRE is supposed to impress us?
... I am just happy Steve Snake's Kega Fusion got some loving from the man himself .... that alone is awesome in my book.
Other than that until they ship my money stays in my wallet.
[unless they have an exclusive agreement I don't see why other interested parties won't be able to do the exact same .... especially if they delay too long]
EDIT: managed to look at their video about VirtuaRacing and it looks nice .... so now it's time to ship this thing, no more talking if you have your ducks in a row as it seems let the people speak with their wallets, no more pre-ordering just ship it!!!
I hope the people who are licensing their emulators to these guys were smart enough to be paid upfront and didn't fall for the "We can't pay you now, but we'll give you a percent of each unit sold*. Well, after the first batch ships out...". Of course, by licensing some (all?) of their emulators, it just gives them more potential excuses to delay. "Due to licensing disputes, we have to delay shipment until we can write our own emulator inhouse...". I mean, they're already using an Intel chip shortage as an excuse even though their software isn't done. And of course nothing is preventing them from showing us a stack of hundreds of finished Polymega cases and motherboards just anxiously waiting for those precious Intel CPUs to arrive...
Random question. Since I'll soon have a Mega SG in my hands AND I have 3D TV, I was wondering if it was possible to add a "3D Mode" option for Master System games. I know the Sega glasses won't work without an analog output, but I would think it might be possible to take the SMS field-based 3D and turn it into a mode usable by "modern" 3D displays. I don't know if the Mega SG supports 1.4 HDMI, but even if it just did simple Over-Under or Side-by-Side mode over 1.3, that would be fantastic (even if it did require manually selecting the 3D format).
I do find it funny how they think their videos of a single box playing some games totally exonerates them. If anybody on this forum had eight months and over half a million dollars, they could make a box that does what they've shown. Even Mike Kennedy (with a couple of days and maybe $50 worth of parts) was able to fool people with his SNES-in-a-Jag for a little while. He was only caught because he couldn't resist gloating by posting videos that accidentally showed the back of the box. Even if you had no technical skills, you could figure out how to make such a box they've shown from watching Youtube videos. Playing NeoGeo CDs? I can do that with an 17 year-old OG Xbox that anybody can buy for $30 at a thrift store. Anybody can install Mednafen on an Intel PC and play Saturn games. Making a PC interface for cartridges? Tons of videos doing that for fun or as a learning exercise (or disproving faked Atari 2600 records) with RPi kits. Check out Element14 and Ben Heck videos.
Now if you had $500,000 and eight months (at least), could you have a (slightly) custom PC motherboard and enclosure made that you could have a production run of a few thousand? Possibly, although given that this company of ever-shifting employees has never produced anything remotely equivalent, it's much less likely. GPD does this sort of thing with relative success, but Kickstarter is littered with failures similar to just the hardware of what Playmaji is promising. The fact they are opening up for another round of pre-orders before shipping actual hardware makes me think they simply don't have the money to actually manufacture the hardware.
Now, given $500,000 and eight months and the tiny group at Playmaji (with seemingly more ex-engineers and marketing people than employed engineers) capable of producing 10+ (or 30 in Polymega math) LEGAL emulators on their own? If they had said they were licensing all their emulators, I would say they were being more realistic and possibly had a chance at success. They licensed the Saturn emulator, but do you think without resorting to using open-source emulators they can write 10+ systems including some which require a clone HLE BIOS? Pretty much impossible (unless right next to the "Core Store" there is an "HLE BIOS Store" on that same street with the old Chinese shop that won't sell you Gizmo because "Mogwais require great responsibility"). So maybe they can ship their box with just Saturn emulation, but the Playstation and PC Engine will be stuck in permanent "coming soon" mode. They might be softening their customers up for that reality with their admission that PSX emulation is only at "90%" right now. The emulation for the Playstation, Saturn, and PC Engine will definitely get scrutinized by the lawyers of the respective companies so they can't risk going the open-source route and using a real BIOS. As for the cartridge systems, it wouldn't surprise me if they tried to release with open-source emulators they didn't properly license (like the Retron 5 allegedly did).
It's one thing to show a one-off prototype, it's quite another to mass-produce and ship a finished, legal product. See the Vega+ for how that usually goes even when the makers eventually do ship *something*.
The reporter at Nintendolife evidently has a decade of experience under his belt, and yet just regurgitated yesterday's "tweetstorm." Flashbacks to Kennedy giving places his "press releases" and them just being copied verbatim to Kotaku and the like.
The headline is misleading because it says "From GDC" but there initial article was all just from the Twitter posts from yesterday.
Well I WAS just at GDC looking for these guys. I thought it was odd in their "tweetstorm" they didn't bother to say WHERE at GDC they were going to be. GDC is quite large and is spread across three multi-story buildings. It can take hours to go to every booth. Also, I thought it was REALLY odd they were going just for Friday. This is the last day of the show and most people who aren't exhibitors either skip Friday or leave after the morning in order to catch a flight home. The exhibition booths also close early on Friday because they have to clean-up.
I knew Playmaji weren't exhibitors because no one buys exhibitor space for one day. I figured they might be slumming in some other booths and walked around. I even went to the NESMaker booth and talked to the guys there around 1:00PM (which is two hours before they were closing up). I asked if they had seen or knew where the Polymega guys were. They too wanted to know that. "They were supposed to come by." I asked if they had seen the thing work, and they said they hadn't. The exact quote was :"I just want to make a game here, flash it, and see if the *blank* thing can actually play it." From the tone, they were getting skeptical of the whole thing as well.
Once I got back to where I was staying and checked Twitter, I see they posted some videos from an "offsite location". Looks like a hotel room or something. From what the NESMaker guys said, they were supposed to attend and come by the booth, so communication is an ongoing issue with these guys.
And frankly, that HUGE box they are showing could have anything inside it. There literally could be an Intel NUC and an external CD-ROM drive in that enclosure running the Seedi software. We don't have video (yet) of the box itself booting up to see if it's just running Windows and any number of existing Saturn emulators. We don't know if it is really playing off discs or is simply using the disc to identify the game and then using a disc image (on that fancy NVME SSD). The interface offers the option to load a save state after it identifies the game, so I'm not sure what their videos prove. Is this supposed to be their "99% compatible HLEBIOS"? I actually brought a case full of Saturn and PS1 discs to test on the off chance they were there (not surprised they weren't), so I could try a random game they didn't already have and see if it required dumping first and how it handled a cold boot.
Not for nothing, but when I typed "Intel 14nm" on Google, it immediately showed "intel 14nm shortage" as the first suggestion, got these two articles as the top two results, one of which is only ten days old.
But here's the thing, by their own admission the software isn't done. "90%" on PS1 emulation? People have had PS1 emulation with legal, HLEBIOSes since the 90s with Virtual Playstation and Bleem. Plus the very recent chip shortage is something that only would have affected them once they were already late with the hardware. The console was supposed to be shipping on April 1st, so manufacturing of the boards would have happened months ago. Assuming absolutely everything they've said is true (that's a big assumption) they've known since January (at least) they weren't going to make their ship date. But they waited until the week before to say anything, just like how they waited until to the day before preorders to quietly drop "HYBRID EMULATION!"- the main selling point of their console. No. I take that back. They did break their silence a week earlier to trash-talk Analogue- whose latest console is shipping right now AND ahead of schedule. So giving updates to paying customers is less important than taking potshots at a reputable competitor. Nice priorities.
Anybody want to see if their "custom" PC board is actually an existing PCB with their name label stuck on it?
Also, if they are "just waiting for chips", they would have finished engineering samples of the final board that they could put in a clear case and play while someone records them with an iPhone. Better yet, send one of these engineering samples to an independent third-party reviewer. Or better, better yet- why didn't they bring this wonder box to GDC so that technically-savvy press people could see it and poke at it (or did the Atari VCS folks warn them not to do that?)?
Again, they don't have time to simply take a real disc (just one of the "99%" of games that works perfectly with their HLE BIOS), put it in their "finished" hardware, power it on, and play it. But they do have time to setup glamour shots complete with 90s porn lighting of random closeups of the case and components that don't even come standard (I know what an NVME SSD looks like, thank you very much). Someone at Playmaji needs to take a course on time management.
Edit: They are now claiming they will be at GDC tomorrow. This will be interesting. Of course, if they don't stick a real disc and instead do the "load-from-game-state" thing again, it's going to be telling.
So next week, after constantly trash-talking Analogue, we can expect the Polymega "it looks like we aren't going to make our April 1st ship date but only because we are making the system so much awesomer" announcement. Meanwhile Analogue is shipping the "small idea" system ahead of schedule. The karma and irony are so delicious.
A picture of a Samsung 970EVO SSD, what? Now it's a $2000 computer, I guess? Anyway, the responses are gold.
Are we supposed to be impressed that this thing's alleged motherboard has an NVME slot? Seems like a waste/overkill for a machine that is meant to play pre-DVD era games. It'll be sad if they justify the thing being late because of this "upgrade" in performance. I almost hope they try to pass off the motherboard from some existing product as their own. It would be fun to have another crowd-sourced fraud-busting event like the Coleco Chameleon prototypes. Pat and Ian could get another podcast out of it.
Don't think for a moment that they won't throw you under the bus if they are ever in a position to do so, especially if it means satiating their customers' fears and criticisms for another couple of weeks.
Oooh! This could be fun. We did this pretty successfully for the Coleco Chameleon, so now let's play "Guess The Excuse".
1. Going off your sentence above : "The Polymega was completely done and ready to ship, but because of our commitment to the contest, we had to delay shipping in order to include the contest winner's game in the firmware." They could milk this for months. with follow-ups like:
1A. "The software license for games created with NESMaker is incompatible for use with our emulator technology, so we'll have to remove those games from the firmware. This will require creating a whole new firmware and reflashing all the existing boards- which we swear are totally finished and in the loading dock for shipping. This will require we open all the boxes up individually and manually refash. This will take months because we don't have the manpower to do this and because we spent all the money we had (but totally spent it only on development- not vacations in Cancun or Fyre Festival 2 or anything like that) we can't hire additional help."
1B) "After reflashing all the boards, we don't have any money to pay for shipping. We'll have to raise the money. So please buy our new product, the PolySuper64. It's like the PolyMega, but is strictly for cartridges. It contains an morphic adaptive connector slot that will fit any cartridge ever made up to the N64. Pre-order now and the unit will ship on February 31st, 2020."
I mean, is there really anybody still thinking the Polymega is shipping next month? Anyone?
I mean, if it were shipping next month, the consoles would already have been manufactured and in a shipping container on their way to the US for final packaging and distribution. That means Playmaji could have posted pictures of the finished consoles coming off the assembly line (which the manufacturer would have certainly provide to Playmaji in a status email). So we know they haven't been manufactured yet.
But let's say they were about to be manufactured (meaning the unit could ship in late May). That means the final boards and final case components are finished. But if that was true, Playmaji would have posted pictures of these on Twitter because it takes ten seconds to post a picture on Twitter. No matter how busy they are "working round the clock" they still have to use the toilet once in awhile, and SOMEONE could post a pic on Twitter.
Okay, so that means the final boards and cases aren't ready (pushing the Polymega ship date back to July at the absolute earliest). But maybe they are ABOUT to make the final case and boards. Well that means they must have finished their manufacturing samples (before committing to final mass production) on both the revised motherboard and the revised case. Well let's see if there is a picture of either on the Twitter. Darn. No pictures. Well then they haven't started tooling for producing the cases yet. So now we're into October as the earliest.
Well at least they must have a 3D-printed prototype of the new (larger) case or something they give to the manufacturers to begin tooling for an injection-molded case or SOMETHING. Let's check the Twitter again for that picture. Nada. So 2019 is looking pretty iffy now for getting that Polymega. But I'm sure they will have a VERY compelling story before April 1st about why the Polymega will be "a little" late and how it will be even better if we'll all just be a little patient.
Maybe they have a backup plan to ship a NES-on-a-chip...
And if they need a new case to accommodate their new board, I know where they can get some Jaguar shells in all the colors of the rainbow. That should save them hundreds of thousands of dollars, right?
"Progress update" in March... for a console that ships April 1st. Someone needs to call these assholes out.
I wonder if they started to get some chargebacks from people. I mean, anyone Googling "Polymega" would realize that the only traffic about the Polymega for the last several months is negative as people speculate the reasons for the complete silence after "we'll have proof videos posted very soon" months ago. I would say it was clever to use a contest so they could give an update without saying anything at all about the Polymega's (lack of) progress. I would say it was clever except the Vega+ scammers did the same thing:
All those nice, respectable names involved with the contest almost seem like testimonials when placed on the same page as the Polymega. I wonder if the people running the contest did any research into the Polymega when they accepted the "honor" of having its contests winners featured on a "special playlist"? I mean, its not even the top prize as far as the contest holders are concerned. It's sort of in the "and a year's supply of Turtle Wax" grab bag of prizes. Anybody want to clue in the contest holders about whom they've climbed into bed with?