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I was going to preorder until I saw fpga, not in any of the consoles. Cmon...release date April 1st? wtf

 

I'll pass.

 

Waiting on Analogues next outing? Hope to hear something soon?

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Part of me has to agree. On the other hand, considering a couple of industry vets started Playmaji and the Retroblox project, and they likely have some wisdom revolving around PR and having their backs against a wall, I think they are afraid of starting a social media dumpster fire by blocking anyone who isn't an obvious and clear cut troll. Not to say they may change their minds on that later on if tweets like mine prove popular and controversial enough to actively turn people off of the device, but I will credit Bryan (or whomever is actually running the Polymega twitter) in having enough patience to respond to half of my publicly displayed criticisms and attempting to ignore the other half.

 

Speaking of: not a lot happened today on Polymega's twitter as of note, aside from more people responding to them more critically.

 

I had one guy respond to my RetroAchievements mention, basically having the same schoolyard rules understanding of open source copyright law as most other people seem to have, as well as mentioning Hyperkin and Cyberfreak's f### ups using such OSS in their products. I explained GPL v2 and above's licenses allowing for commercial use so long as you adhere to the terms, and told them that Hyperkin and Cyberfreak got into trouble because they ignored those and other OSS licenses. Since that person hasn't tried correcting anything I've said, I think my replies satisfied them.

 

Polymega's preorder amount has gone up to $385,578 as of 11 PM EST tonight, keep it up and they may see $400k by Friday.

Correct me if I'm wrong (please, I'm considering using something similar in a project), but RetroAchievements requires Retroarch, which is GPL v3, on non-Windows platforms. Which means if they use it they have to leave the hardware open so that end-users can load their own customized copy of Retroarch onto the system. Now that shouldn't be a problem normally, but if they're locking down the system because they're serious about enforcing the encrypted ROM backups and store downloads, then that's going to be incompatible with GPL v3.

 

Otherwise I totally get where you're coming from, I've seen a ton of people and companies confuse GPL with non-commercial usage. But I get the feeling in this case they really can't, unless they're willing to back down on enforcing encrypted ROMs. I'm ignoring the liklihood that it'll get hacked anyway, that doesn't make it GPL v3 compliant afaik. I'd guess it's one of the reasons they're going with Mednafen, since it tends (depending on the core iirc) to be GPL v2 which is more permissive on closed systems.

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LOL at lagless controller support. Sorry, but they make it seem like it will be on the level of an FPGA system in terms of lag. Nope there will still be input lag and most likely at least 1 - 2 frames on average compared to something like a Super NT.

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2017: "We want to provide better accuracy than software emulation allows."

 

2018: "I wouldn't assume software emulation is less accurate."

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Nobody's mentioned (and I didn't notice until now) that they don't offer a Saturn-style controller. The packed-in Bluetooth one is a Playstation-style unit with four face buttons. That's fine for non-Sega systems and the Dreamcast, but that doesn't feel right at all for the Saturn (or Sega CD, but at least there's an add-on).

Edited by derFunkenstein
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The Saturn thing really feels like a last-minute addition to the marketing push. I'm guessing they knew that the changes would not change we well, so they threw a distraction out. Doesn't hurt that the Saturn is one of the biggest requested features for the system. Odd, though, that they managed to "add" Saturn support at the last minute, but couldn't finish the fpga support for NES, Genesis, SNES, and TG that was supposedly "done" last year.

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Odd, though, that they managed to "add" Saturn support at the last minute, but couldn't finish the fpga support for NES, Genesis, SNES, and TG that was supposedly "done" last year.

 

Not so odd when, as Cacophony and DurradonXylles pointed out, the company lost its CTO and co-founder in July.

 

He was their only really-experienced software developer, and was the guy behind all of their hyped and patented tech, including the "Hybrid Emulation".

 

Bryan, the co-founder that's still there, was a Producer in the game industry, not a Developer. Don't look to him for any deep technical capability.

 

 

So, the CTO leaves, and either his "Hybrid Emulation" tech didn't work the way that they'd hoped, or it was an only-partially-documented mess that their new software developer didn't want to use (it could be either, or a mix of both), and suddenly there is a complete change-of-course, a jettisoning of the old tech, and the project becomes X86-based with licensed emulators and simple controller-port-to-what-is-probably-USB readers in each module.

 

The only thing that they seem to be holding tight to is the dream to fund Bryan's retirement by creating an empire that takes a slice of the revenue of licensing and then selling/renting old games in their online store.

 

 

On top of the software side, it really doesn't look like they are going to get enough pre-order money to have any leverage or quality-control over whatever Chinese low-bidder hardware manufacturer they go to, and almost certainly not enough to afford to get high-quality case-molds made to match their renders and their Rube Goldberg scheme of pluggable modules.

 

And that ignores their switch to an Intel processor with a 35W thermal spec that is going to totally overheat in their little case that was designed for a 6W Rockchip RK3288.

 

 

This does not (IMHO) look good.

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Not so odd when, as Cacophony and DurradonXylles pointed out, the company lost its CTO and co-founder in July.

 

He was their only really-experienced software developer, and was the guy behind all of their hyped and patented tech, including the "Hybrid Emulation".

 

Bryan, the co-founder that's still there, was a Producer in the game industry, not a Developer. Don't look to him for any deep technical capability.

 

 

So, the CTO leaves, and either his "Hybrid Emulation" tech didn't work the way that they'd hoped, or it was an only-partially-documented mess that their new software developer didn't want to use (it could be either, or a mix of both), and suddenly there is a complete change-of-course, a jettisoning of the old tech, and the project becomes X86-based with licensed emulators and simple controller-port-to-what-is-probably-USB readers in each module.

 

The only thing that they seem to be holding tight to is the dream to fund Bryan's retirement by creating an empire that takes a slice of the revenue of licensing and then selling/renting old games in their online store.

 

 

On top of the software side, it really doesn't look like they are going to get enough pre-order money to have any leverage or quality-control over whatever Chinese low-bidder hardware manufacturer they go to, and almost certainly not enough to afford to get high-quality case-molds made to match their renders and their Rube Goldberg scheme of pluggable modules.

 

And that ignores their switch to an Intel processor with a 35W thermal spec that is going to totally overheat in their little case that was designed for a 6W Rockchip RK3288.

 

 

This does not (IMHO) look good.

 

I 100% agree with everything you're saying, but do we have any firm sources connecting the dots between the old CTO leaving and the switch to all-software emulation? Granted, the timeline matches perfectly, but it would be beneficial to have a firm cause-and-effect lined up.

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I 100% agree with everything you're saying, but do we have any firm sources connecting the dots between the old CTO leaving and the switch to all-software emulation? Granted, the timeline matches perfectly, but it would be beneficial to have a firm cause-and-effect lined up.

 

The conspiracy theorist in me looked at it the other way around. This guy was saying it was done, so the company was saying it was done, too. And then when they found out that it wasn't really all it was cracked up to be they cut him loose and canned all his code.

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The conspiracy theorist in me looked at it the other way around. This guy was saying it was done, so the company was saying it was done, too. And then when they found out that it wasn't really all it was cracked up to be they cut him loose and canned all his code.

 

Either case makes sense, and we do have a distinct lack of evidence to prove either theory. So until we can get any solid proof the only thing that can be surmised is that Christensen's departure caused changes to how Playmaji was operating, as well as the Polymega hardware and how it was showcased.

 

Regardless, while we can theorize all day long about the behind-the-scenes guff, the focus is still on Bryan Bernal and his company's lack of transparency and seeking to use this site as a mouthpiece to advertise his console as godslabrat's DMs have shown. These are the two most damning things about this entire venture and are causing them the most trouble with PR.

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A close friend of the former CTO of Playmanji who left a couple months back, posted this on Discord and wanted someone to share this information here.

"Well, anyone who sees this, please feel free to post it.


I'm close friends of the family with the old CTO of Playmaji.
There appears to be some speculation about his role that has caused him a lot of undue problems related to now being doxxed and stalked in my presence, which is NOT ok.
He's probably going to be very upset with me but I've been lurking in the Atari Age forums (took me forever to find this discord server) for a while now. There seems to be a lot of unfounded, and unfair speculation regarding his role at the company.

The most egregious being the assertion that he was behind the hybrid emulation, which is patently false. He joined the company just slightly before they went from being Retroblox to Polymega. The company had been around for a year or more and had already submitted a first draft of the hybrid emulation patent, without Eric's involvement, as he was not there. Hybrid emulation was the brainchild of a developer by the name of Rob Wyatt. He helped design the original Xbox and had been the CTO of the company before leaving on bad terms. When Eric joined it was his understanding that Retroblox (at the time) was going to be emulation based and modular. I remember him talking to me about hybrid emulation and us not thinking much about it because he is not a hardware engineer, nor am I.
The company had hired several Hardware Engineers over the course of the Eric's tenure, all which failed one way or another at delivering the technology that Bryan wanted. I remember Eric expressing depression at the fact that this seemed like an untenable problem, but he kept with it because his role was to build a Linux infrastructure and do all of the platform work.
He ended up leaving because he was working 18 hour days with a promise that Bryan had made to deliver a whole suite of in-house emulators which fell squarely on Eric to produce, despite him constantly describing what a difficult task that would be. He ended up finishing a couple emulators but ultimately left because he felt he was up against a wall and not able to be heard about the realistic expectations.

I think after E3 he was so burnt out from the push to get that out the door that he couldn't do it anymore.
It deeply angers me some of the speculation that gets tossed his direction without any data to back it. So, here I am, and I'm sure he's going to be pissed ."
Edited by SegaSnatcher
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No one cares about your internal drama, Retroblox. What we do care about is overpromsing, underdelivering and treating questions like they're somehow bad. Screw your marketing buzzword horseshit.

 

There's no shame in biting off more than you can chew.

 

There is real, actual shame in trying to take money from people without a tangible, working product in place.

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And it just goes to show you you CANNOT develop an emulator instantly on-demand. It takes years of time, and years of crowdtesting & feedback in order to get the fine details just right.

 

And the developer has to work on it in a sporadic fashion to allow time for the creative thought necessary to solve the unique problems and deal with the intricacies. You don't just drop a series of paychecks and get an emulator in return. Doesn't work that way.

 

Many emulators out there, right now, are living proof this is how things work. To think otherwise is blind ignorance. But it's comical to watch them try and then inevitably backtrack.

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A close friend of the former CTO of Playmanji who left a couple months back, posted this on Discord and wanted someone to share this information here.

 

"Well, anyone who sees this, please feel free to post it.

I'm close friends of the family with the old CTO of Playmaji.

There appears to be some speculation about his role that has caused him a lot of undue problems related to now being doxxed and stalked in my presence, which is NOT ok.
He's probably going to be very upset with me but I've been lurking in the Atari Age forums (took me forever to find this discord server) for a while now. There seems to be a lot of unfounded, and unfair speculation regarding his role at the company.

The most egregious being the assertion that he was behind the hybrid emulation, which is patently false. He joined the company just slightly before they went from being Retroblox to Polymega. The company had been around for a year or more and had already submitted a first draft of the hybrid emulation patent, without Eric's involvement, as he was not there. Hybrid emulation was the brainchild of a developer by the name of Rob Wyatt. He helped design the original Xbox and had been the CTO of the company before leaving on bad terms. When Eric joined it was his understanding that Retroblox (at the time) was going to be emulation based and modular. I remember him talking to me about hybrid emulation and us not thinking much about it because he is not a hardware engineer, nor am I.

The company had hired several Hardware Engineers over the course of the Eric's tenure, all which failed one way or another at delivering the technology that Bryan wanted. I remember Eric expressing depression at the fact that this seemed like an untenable problem, but he kept with it because his role was to build a Linux infrastructure and do all of the platform work.
He ended up leaving because he was working 18 hour days with a promise that Bryan had made to deliver a whole suite of in-house emulators which fell squarely on Eric to produce, despite him constantly describing what a difficult task that would be. He ended up finishing a couple emulators but ultimately left because he felt he was up against a wall and not able to be heard about the realistic expectations.

I think after E3 he was so burnt out from the push to get that out the door that he couldn't do it anymore.

It deeply angers me some of the speculation that gets tossed his direction without any data to back it. So, here I am, and I'm sure he's going to be pissed ."

 

 

Emphasis mine.

 

So... I'm reading this as "Bryan wanted this hybrid thing, which he personally had no idea how to make, and kept shuffling in hardware guys, all of whom told him it couldn't be done. Meanwhile, Bryan was promising the sun and moon any chance he could."

 

Where am I wrong, here?

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No one cares about your internal drama, Retroblox. What we do care about is overpromsing, underdelivering and treating questions like they're somehow bad. Screw your marketing buzzword horseshit.

 

There's no shame in biting off more than you can chew.

 

There is real, actual shame in trying to take money from people without a tangible, working product in place.

 

And that is why retail still matters today. All the distracting drama is kept behind closed doors. And only (mostly) real working products make it to the shelves.

 

That is the cool experience we want. To walk into a store and see something new. Or to view a respected/established e-tailer announcing something new that we can order that very minute. All this posturing and pandering is fatiguing and soiling the hobby. Brings out the worst in people.

Edited by Keatah
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A close friend of the former CTO of Playmanji who left a couple months back, posted this on Discord and wanted someone to share this information here.

 

"Well, anyone who sees this, please feel free to post it.

I'm close friends of the family with the old CTO of Playmaji.

There appears to be some speculation about his role that has caused him a lot of undue problems related to now being doxxed and stalked in my presence, which is NOT ok.
He's probably going to be very upset with me but I've been lurking in the Atari Age forums (took me forever to find this discord server) for a while now. There seems to be a lot of unfounded, and unfair speculation regarding his role at the company.

The most egregious being the assertion that he was behind the hybrid emulation, which is patently false. He joined the company just slightly before they went from being Retroblox to Polymega. The company had been around for a year or more and had already submitted a first draft of the hybrid emulation patent, without Eric's involvement, as he was not there. Hybrid emulation was the brainchild of a developer by the name of Rob Wyatt. He helped design the original Xbox and had been the CTO of the company before leaving on bad terms. When Eric joined it was his understanding that Retroblox (at the time) was going to be emulation based and modular. I remember him talking to me about hybrid emulation and us not thinking much about it because he is not a hardware engineer, nor am I.

The company had hired several Hardware Engineers over the course of the Eric's tenure, all which failed one way or another at delivering the technology that Bryan wanted. I remember Eric expressing depression at the fact that this seemed like an untenable problem, but he kept with it because his role was to build a Linux infrastructure and do all of the platform work.
He ended up leaving because he was working 18 hour days with a promise that Bryan had made to deliver a whole suite of in-house emulators which fell squarely on Eric to produce, despite him constantly describing what a difficult task that would be. He ended up finishing a couple emulators but ultimately left because he felt he was up against a wall and not able to be heard about the realistic expectations.

I think after E3 he was so burnt out from the push to get that out the door that he couldn't do it anymore.

It deeply angers me some of the speculation that gets tossed his direction without any data to back it. So, here I am, and I'm sure he's going to be pissed ."

 

GTFO. The AtariBox guy?

I'd love some independent confirmation of this anonymous tip.

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Emphasis mine.

 

So... I'm reading this as "Bryan wanted this hybrid thing, which he personally had no idea how to make, and kept shuffling in hardware guys, all of whom told him it couldn't be done. Meanwhile, Bryan was promising the sun and moon any chance he could."

 

Where am I wrong, here?

Bryan doing an incredibly bad Steve Jobs impersonation.

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GTFO. The AtariBox guy?

I'd love some independent confirmation of this anonymous tip.

 

Indeed. Citation needed. But if true, the only thing missing is a Jaguar shell.

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GTFO. The AtariBox guy?

I'd love some independent confirmation of this anonymous tip.

Find the patent for Hybrid Emulation online and you'll see his name.

 

Edit: Found the patent.

 

https://patentscope.wipo.int/search/docservicepdf_pct/id00000040926304/PAMPH/WO2018013735.pdf?psAuth=gaA4c3AkHycWpHK6fJhLbl60QH0B53L3wKbfMx5jHv0

Edited by SegaSnatcher
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I think everyone should go back and read the first post of this thread. It's always refreshing. And the posts always mention "industry veterans".

 

So much for industry veterans.. Am I understanding it right, this Bryan Bernal hired and fired engineers because they couldn't make hybrid emulation work?

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Am I understanding it right, this Bryan Bernal hired and fired engineers because they couldn't make hybrid emulation work?

 

That's my interpretation.

 

As I've said before, this whole saga appears to be a performance art re-enactment of the Coleco Chameleon. It's literally the same story with different faces.

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Also, here's a quote from Bryan himself when Retroblox/Polymega was initially announced.

 

"After getting my setup dialed and enjoying it for a while (without being totally satisfied), I started talking to some friends from the gaming industry about an idea to create a nice FPGA PC-Engine / TurboGrafx-16 (the system I wanted to play most on my HD monitor), and I got in contact with Rob Wyatt, who is one of the top minds around when it comes to video game tech. He was into the idea, so we started working on it. After a few months of research, we discovered the emulation method (which we now informally call "Hybrid Emulation") that would have the potential to benefit quite a lot of different retro gaming fans who were struggling with the same issues we were.
Seeing its potential, we decided to modify the industrial and mechanical design of our yet-to-be named system to be modular, with the intent of supporting a broad range of classic consoles (not just the 3-5 most popular ones). By doing so, it gave rise to the idea of RetroBlox and what you see today."

Source: http://www.nintendolife.com/news/2017/02/exclusive_getting_under_the_hood_of_polymega_the_clone_console_to_rule_them_all
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Emphasis mine.

 

So... I'm reading this as "Bryan wanted this hybrid thing, which he personally had no idea how to make, and kept shuffling in hardware guys, all of whom told him it couldn't be done. Meanwhile, Bryan was promising the sun and moon any chance he could."

 

Where am I wrong, here?

That also sounds completely plausible. Not the first time a manager wanted the impossible and was willing to treat humans as objects

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Find the patent for Hybrid Emulation online and you'll see his name.

 

Edit: Found the patent.

 

https://patentscope.wipo.int/search/docservicepdf_pct/id00000040926304/PAMPH/WO2018013735.pdf?psAuth=gaA4c3AkHycWpHK6fJhLbl60QH0B53L3wKbfMx5jHv0

 

Hm, I'm satisfied now.

 

Makes me wonder if AtariBox is less a console and more of a long con to make themselves into a full time patent troll.

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