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Of course ... instead of waiting for @polymegaHQ to come up with some random list of BS and flim-flam, PolyMega's customers could just go on over to the Mednafen forum and read the current bug list for the Saturn emulator that PolyMega uses ... which was updated 3 days ago.

 

Then they could wonder why-on-earth they paid PolyMega hundreds of dollars for the same Saturn emulator that is used in the free RetroArch.

 

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On 9/17/2019 at 6:41 PM, elmer said:

Of course ... instead of waiting for @polymegaHQ to come up with some random list of BS and flim-flam, PolyMega's customers could just go on over to the Mednafen forum and read the current bug list for the Saturn emulator that PolyMega uses ... which was updated 3 days ago.

 

Then they could wonder why-on-earth they paid PolyMega hundreds of dollars for the same Saturn emulator that is used in the free RetroArch.

 

I thought the version they were using was not directly mednafen but a special build of it that may not get ported back to mainline ... but maybe I imagined it, I am getting old and with this retro-companies stitching BS over the years it is getting harder to keeping track of it all.

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10 hours ago, phoenixdownita said:

I thought the version they were using was not directly mednafen but a special build of it that may not get ported back to mainline ... but maybe I imagined it, I am getting old and with this retro-companies stitching BS over the years it is getting harder to keeping track of it all.

Whatever damned deity exists or doesn't exist I don't care about versions and this and that and who's using what emulator for what project. Don't waste time with minutia and shit like that. Don't get wrapped up in the politics of software so to speak.

 

Emulation today is advanced and prevalent enough that there is something for everyone. Just get the version that works best and have fun!

Edited by Keatah
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At this point, they've already traded out the better tech for the easy solution.  Arguing over software emulator builds is like trying to decide if Mr. Pibb is better than Dr. Thunder.  

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On 9/22/2019 at 9:23 PM, phoenixdownita said:

I thought the version they were using was not directly mednafen but a special build of it that may not get ported back to mainline.

 

My understanding (and I could be wrong) is that PolyMega licensed a couple of the same "emulation-cores" that are used in Mednafen, such as Rypheca's personally-written Saturn emulation (which she is free to license however she wishes).

 

The resulting PolyMega Saturn emulation will undoubtedly contain some PolyMega-proprietary interfaces and code that will never be ported back to Mednafen ... but it seems unbelievably unlikely that any of the actually-important bug fixes in the shared-core of the Saturn emulation won't make it back into Mednafen.  There is just no reason to believe that Rypheca would ever agree to terms like those.  She has the power in this business relationship-of-convenience, and PolyMega needs her Saturn emulator (to provide a selling-point for their silly console) far more than she needs their money and promises.  She has put too much work into creating Mednafen for her to hamstring it in order to appease this team of barely-competent would-be-entrepreneurs.

 

I think that the best indication of whether there is continuing improvement in Mednafen's Saturn emulation, is to just look at the bug log on Mednafen's forum.

 

 

On 9/23/2019 at 7:36 AM, Keatah said:

Whatever damned deity exists or doesn't exist I don't care about versions and this and that and who's using what emulator for what project. Don't waste time with minutia and shit like that. Don't get wrapped up in the politics of software so to speak.

 

Emulation today is advanced and prevalent enough that there is something for everyone. Just get the version that works best and have fun!

 

Sorry, but you can't just argue both sides of the argument in that way.  How can someone "just get the version that works best" and simultaneously "don't care about versions and this and that and who's using what emulator"?

 

If you're going to use an emulator, then it is important to know which basic emulator you're using ... their quality-level, bugs and support are not identical, especially when it comes to "cutting-edge" emulation like the Saturn.  That is not because the Saturn is an amazingly-powerful machine, it's more because the Saturn is a terrible design of multiple thrown-together bits of hardware with lots of undocumented and unpredictable interactions with each-other, that various games relied upon either explicitly, or by accident (i.e. a bug).

 

It's the same with FPGA cores ... sure, they offer the prospect of much more faithful recreations of the actual processing in the original consoles, together with low-power usage, but an FPGA-based recreation isn't magic, it is still a piece of software that is the product of a person/team of humans.

 

I personally trust the quality of kevtris's work and his fanatical attention-to-detail, far more than I trust the people who are developing the MiST/MiSTer cores.

 

In the same way, I trust Mednafen's software-emulation of some of its supported consoles (but not all), more than I trust other projects.

 

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unknown.png

 

Good morning, everyone. 

 

In all seriousness, hello. It's a bit quiet here, and I haven't posted on this thread in what, six months plus? Looks like Polymega has a big, new update around the corner, and finally figured out the Intel shortage; so it appears we'll have more to discuss in the near future. My previous overenthusiastic nature has calmed down, and I'm no longer the same endlessly jaded cynic I was before (my jaded cynicism only goes as far as Albuquerque now), and assuming they actually have figured out the CPU shortage I honestly have no reason to believe they won't fulfill preorders. However, I still retain the vast majority of my criticisms outside of, "Will they ship, or are they taking us for a ride," especially in the cases of their claims of accuracy and a number of the more pointless features that they're planning for the console (such as that "purist mode" where you have the game running without shaders or emulation adjustment options and a badge certifying/proving you accomplished a thing in a game; I still will never understand the point of it). So I guess we'll have to stay tuned for that.

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This is so funny and ironic all at the same time. Even embarrassing for the protagonists. Today we have hundreds of microprocessors to choose from, and thousands of mainboard + cpu combinations. And they are ready-made. So the "Intel situation" is a lame excuse.

 

But in the 1970's - 1980's we didn't have anything like that. There were 3 or 4 practical processors to choose from, and they were expensive. Engineers understood what they were doing and worked with discrete components. Development kits weren't even nearly as comprehensive as they are today. And there was NO INTERNET either. And yet many successful consoles came out of that era just fine. Some were even legendary with a proud heritage eminently recognizable today. AND SOMEHOW THEY WERE DESIGNED AND BUILT IN 1-2 YEAR'S TIME.

 

So why do retrogamers get all hot and bothered with the likes of ataribox and polymega and other unmentioned go-nowhere projects? And are the leaders of these projects like ultra-dumb or something where they keep running in circles never getting anything released?

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1 hour ago, Keatah said:

This is so funny and ironic all at the same time. Even embarrassing for the protagonists. Today we have hundreds of microprocessors to choose from, and thousands of mainboard + cpu combinations. And they are ready-made. So the "Intel situation" is a lame excuse.

 

But in the 1970's - 1980's we didn't have anything like that. There were 3 or 4 practical processors to choose from, and they were expensive. Engineers understood what they were doing and worked with discrete components. Development kits weren't even nearly as comprehensive as they are today. And there was NO INTERNET either. And yet many successful consoles came out of that era just fine. Some were even legendary with a proud heritage eminently recognizable today. AND SOMEHOW THEY WERE DESIGNED AND BUILT IN 1-2 YEAR'S TIME.

 

So why do retrogamers get all hot and bothered with the likes of ataribox and polymega and other unmentioned go-nowhere projects? And are the leaders of these projects like ultra-dumb or something where they keep running in circles never getting anything released?

The problem is they vastly underestimate how difficult it really is, and figure they can just pay someone to do the work for them and they'll sit back and count the money as it rolls in.  Polymega only got what, 600 grand or something?  That sounds like a lot, but when you need to make all those plastic molds, and have a large monthly burn rate (salaries, building rent, etc) it goes fast.  Then they have to have some money left to actually make the product.

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1 hour ago, Keatah said:

This is so funny and ironic all at the same time. Even embarrassing for the protagonists. Today we have hundreds of microprocessors to choose from, and thousands of mainboard + cpu combinations. And they are ready-made. So the "Intel situation" is a lame excuse.

 

But in the 1970's - 1980's we didn't have anything like that. There were 3 or 4 practical processors to choose from, and they were expensive. Engineers understood what they were doing and worked with discrete components. Development kits weren't even nearly as comprehensive as they are today. And there was NO INTERNET either. And yet many successful consoles came out of that era just fine. Some were even legendary with a proud heritage eminently recognizable today. AND SOMEHOW THEY WERE DESIGNED AND BUILT IN 1-2 YEAR'S TIME.

 

So why do retrogamers get all hot and bothered with the likes of ataribox and polymega and other unmentioned go-nowhere projects? And are the leaders of these projects like ultra-dumb or something where they keep running in circles never getting anything released?

Considering they chose a specific processor from a certain Intel processor family that isn't consumer-grade, and the motherboard was designed to only take 35w CPUS, even going as far as having a working prototype (something not even Atari has right now with their TacoBox), redesigning it at this stage would take far too much time and money. More and more people are growing understandably impatient with them, and they probably don't want to open for another round of preorders yet for fear of being called a Ponzi scheme. They were stuck between a rock and a hard place, and had to wait on Intel to finally tell them that they can order more CPUs again.

13 minutes ago, kevtris said:

The problem is they vastly underestimate how difficult it really is, and figure they can just pay someone to do the work for them and they'll sit back and count the money as it rolls in.  Polymega only got what, 600 grand or something?  That sounds like a lot, but when you need to make all those plastic molds, and have a large monthly burn rate (salaries, building rent, etc) it goes fast.  Then they have to have some money left to actually make the product.

Exactly. Imagine how much it would cost in redesigning the board to take a different power rated CPU from the same family of processors: they would need different capacitors, different power regulators, half of the board's components would likely need to be replaced outright. If they had to change the nm size of the CPU altogether, it might cost them less to design new board from scratch with how much they'd have to redesign and replace.

 

As for that last sentence: most retro gamers don't really give a shit about devices like the AtacoBox or the Polymega, they usually have original consoles, emulation, plug-n-plays, or something along the lines of Analogue's clone console offerings. Atari's [yet to see the light of day] device is made for optimistic suckers who put too much trust into a brand that's remembered from the era of same pop culture when Happy Days was on TV thinking they're seeing a respected company rise from the ashes even though it's not even owned or operated by the same people anymore. The Polymega, on the other hand, is made for a specific kind of person who isn't as savvy or experienced as retro collectors, nor as pragmatic as emulation gamers, but have more money than they do sense and want something that looks and feels premium. Remember, they have a purist mode that disables all emulation and video tweaks, and adds a badge on the screen to show your friends that you beat Contra with only the three lives they give because such alien concepts as live streams, unbroken video recording, and basic human trust don't exist in the world of Playmaji (yes I'm still harping on that, it's still so silly to me).

Edited by DurradonXylles
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14 hours ago, kevtris said:

The problem is they vastly underestimate how difficult it really is, and figure they can just pay someone to do the work for them and they'll sit back and count the money as it rolls in.  Polymega only got what, 600 grand or something?  That sounds like a lot, but when you need to make all those plastic molds, and have a large monthly burn rate (salaries, building rent, etc) it goes fast.  Then they have to have some money left to actually make the product.

FWIW, it sounds like there was some private funding too:

https://techcrunch.com/2018/06/13/playmaji-is-looking-to-bring-its-retro-gaming-modular-console-to-market/

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28 minutes ago, cacophony said:

An unsubstantiated rumor put the angel investor figure at 2 million.  If true, their total cash at hand would have been $2.6 million, which is still not much... even less when you kill almost two years hyping fake prototypes and radically reboot your project once, if not twice.  

 

Playmaji can’t have that much left over, and they don’t have the customer base to assure anyone that money is due to roll back in.

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15 hours ago, godslabrat said:

An unsubstantiated rumor put the angel investor figure at 2 million.  If true, their total cash at hand would have been $2.6 million, which is still not much... even less when you kill almost two years hyping fake prototypes and radically reboot your project once, if not twice.  

 

Playmaji can’t have that much left over, and they don’t have the customer base to assure anyone that money is due to roll back in.

Yeah, and those investors are going to want some return on that investment.  If it's like most of these projects, they have some say in what happens if they don't turn a profit in X time. 

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Haven’t heard much from these guys lately, but it seems the faithful are growing weary.  That response, though... I think Polymega is debuffing is all.  Have your balls been blown off yet?

 

9AEDE8EE-3490-4E13-B63E-F26B90BDF398.jpeg

Edited by godslabrat
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With apologies to William Goldman (and Mandy Patinkin) ...

 

"Soon"?  They keep using that word.  I do not think it means what they think it means.  🤔

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5 hours ago, godslabrat said:

 

Haven’t heard much from these guys lately, but it seems the faithful are growing weary.  That response, though... I think Polymega is debuffing is all.  Have your balls been blown off yet?

  

9AEDE8EE-3490-4E13-B63E-F26B90BDF398.jpeg

I find this one even more illuminating

2019-10-25_16-25-28.png.ef638219d3381c6f630623057c4d2599.png

 

 

So much for "they're totally done.  We're just waiting for Intel chips".  I and others have pointed out that the Intel processor they said they were going to use is readily available from multiple online sites.  Some Polymega apologists (or employees) tried many impotent defenses like "Maybe they're using a different chip now" or "That's not how chip production works!  Those chips online aren't bulk chips, they're retail".  Neither is a very good excuse.  If they switched chips in April (when they took the exact chip off their FAQ), they're morons because 1) if the chip is pin compatible, they could always use the one that is now readily available  2) If it's not pin compatible, the whole "everything is done, we're just waiting for chips" was a total lie.  Also, no chip manufacturer will fill retail orders before bulk orders.  The chips for bulk orders are identical, but require extra testing and packaging.  You can fit dozens of bulk order chips in a box that is needed for a retail package.  Profit margins on bulk orders are way more even with the higher individual sale price for retail SKUs.   And if any of these excuses were real, shouldn't this "new, more transparent" Playmaji we were promised in January have communicated it to their loyal followers?  They certainly have enough bandwidth to post screenshots of games that in theory will someday run on their console and take vapid polls like "Which Nintendo Power do you think had the best cover?".  They are not "working night and day" and have tons of time (waiting for The Great Pumpkin to bring Intel chips) so they could at least spend time crafting a new, more plausible excuse.

 

And if they're JUST NOW getting production samples, they weren't just waiting on Intel chips this whole time unless the person writing their Twitter feed has no clue what "production samples" means or they're hoping people following their Twitter don't know what it means.   Meanwhile, people keep asking if it will be ready by Thanksgiving.  Don't have the heart to tell them that if they just now got production samples AND they finished all their testing AND they found no issues with their last revision AND they had all the chips bought, delivered, and ready AND they pushed the button right now on the production pipeline, the Polymega isn't coming out this year.

Edited by atm94404
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"Soon" is always relative. My attitude about "soon" with these projects is the same as when my parents said "soon" when I was young. Don't hold your breath.

 

This is a slower burning dumpster fire, and we don't have a food joke to go along with it. I haven't payed much attention to their social media accounts, but I suspect they don't have the same kind of pigeons that Atacobox has.

 

While I didn't know better at the time, I saw a video with Bob from retro rgb in some sort of Q&A panel with someone else about Mister, and it is easy enough to follow to know why the original concept put forth by the Polymega team was impossible. Sorry.. I don't have a link.

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1 hour ago, atm94404 said:

I find this one even more illuminating

2019-10-25_16-25-28.png.ef638219d3381c6f630623057c4d2599.png

 

 

So much for "they're totally done.  We're just waiting for Intel chips".  I and others have pointed out that the Intel processor they said they were going to use is readily available from multiple online sites.  Some Polymega apologists (or employees) tried many impotent defenses like "Maybe they're using a different chip now" or "That's not how chip production works!  Those chips online aren't bulk chips, they're retail".  Neither is a very good excuse.  If they switched chips in April (when they took the exact chip off their FAQ), they're morons because 1) if the chip is pin compatible, they could always use the one that is now readily available  2) If it's not pin compatible, the whole "everything is done, we're just waiting for chips" was a total lie.  Also, no chip manufacturer will fill retail orders before bulk orders.  The chips for bulk orders are identical, but require extra testing and packaging.  You can fit dozens of bulk order chips in a box that is needed for a retail package.  Profit margins on bulk orders are way more even with the higher individual sale price for retail SKUs.   And if any of these excuses were real, shouldn't this "new, more transparent" Playmaji we were promised in January have communicated it to their loyal followers?  They certainly have enough bandwidth to post screenshots of games that in theory will someday run on their console and take vapid polls like "Which Nintendo Power do you think had the best cover?".  They are not "working night and day" and have tons of time (waiting for The Great Pumpkin to bring Intel chips) so they could at least spend time crafting a new, more plausible excuse.

 

And if they're JUST NOW getting production samples, they weren't just waiting on Intel chips this whole time unless the person writing their Twitter feed has no clue what "production samples" means or they're hoping people following their Twitter don't know what it means.   Meanwhile, people keep asking if it will be ready by Thanksgiving.  Don't have the heart to tell them that if they just now got production samples AND they finished all their testing AND they found no issues with their last revision AND they had all the chips bought, delivered, and ready AND they pushed the button right now on the production pipeline, the Polymega isn't coming out this year.

Conveniently enough, they silently took down their video from last summer showing the original "hybrid emulation" boards in production. While they can claim that the video is out of date, which is true, it seems strange that they wouldn't just keep it up with a disclaimer stating that the contents of the video are mostly outdated if they are still using the same facility for the current boards. They still have videos from over two years ago showing the menu interface and Neo Geo CDZ BIOS loading (they still haven't said anything about the NGCD using HLE BIOS, and likely never will because all of the focus needs to be on the miraculous 95-99% Saturn and PS HLE compatibility for their promotional purposes), yet the manufacturing facility where their boards are apparently made doesn't have a video up about it anymore.

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2 hours ago, DurradonXylles said:

Conveniently enough, they silently took down their video from last summer showing the original "hybrid emulation" boards in production. While they can claim that the video is out of date, which is true, it seems strange that they wouldn't just keep it up with a disclaimer stating that the contents of the video are mostly outdated if they are still using the same facility for the current boards. They still have videos from over two years ago showing the menu interface and Neo Geo CDZ BIOS loading (they still haven't said anything about the NGCD using HLE BIOS, and likely never will because all of the focus needs to be on the miraculous 95-99% Saturn and PS HLE compatibility for their promotional purposes), yet the manufacturing facility where their boards are apparently made doesn't have a video up about it anymore.

Well that board probably never ever did anything useful.  It might've gotten powered on at one point, but it seems it was just for show.  I still am fairly sure they were hoping they could slot that into a DIMM socket of a motherboard and emulate the system RAM, but substitute cartridge data for RAM data.  There being absolutely no IO except the DIMM-like header and some ribbon cables sort of re-enforces this thought to me.  There was no RAM, no flash, no audio, and no video.   Kinda hard to play games without that stuff.

 

I guess it could've been some piece of FPGA hardware for their dev to play on without any actual application to the task at hand,  no way to know.  But as it sits, the board is quite useless without any IO at all.  It's literally an FPGA and the power supplies to run it, with the FPGA IOs broken out to headers and sockets and nothing else.   They would've gotten more mileage out of a commercial FPGA dev board.   Those .1" headers all around the FPGA really choked off the board routing, and no PCB person worth their salt would've ever designed a PCB that way on purpose.  That must've been why it needed 14 layers to route, when it could've been done on 6 without those headers choking the routing paths.  If you needed .1" stuff around the chip for... some reason (hint: you don't)  you can get surface mount connectors that don't need holes through the board.

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13 hours ago, cybercylon said:

This is a slower burning dumpster fire, and we don't have a food joke to go along with it. I haven't payed much attention to their social media accounts, but I suspect they don't have the same kind of pigeons that Atacobox has.

I guess it serves as a good illustration of what happens with a half-baked idea, poorly executed with limited resources, BUT no beloved brand name to fall back on. 

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11 hours ago, kevtris said:

Well that board probably never ever did anything useful.  It might've gotten powered on at one point, but it seems it was just for show.  I still am fairly sure they were hoping they could slot that into a DIMM socket of a motherboard and emulate the system RAM, but substitute cartridge data for RAM data.  There being absolutely no IO except the DIMM-like header and some ribbon cables sort of re-enforces this thought to me.  There was no RAM, no flash, no audio, and no video.   Kinda hard to play games without that stuff.

 

I guess it could've been some piece of FPGA hardware for their dev to play on without any actual application to the task at hand,  no way to know.  But as it sits, the board is quite useless without any IO at all.  It's literally an FPGA and the power supplies to run it, with the FPGA IOs broken out to headers and sockets and nothing else.   They would've gotten more mileage out of a commercial FPGA dev board.   Those .1" headers all around the FPGA really choked off the board routing, and no PCB person worth their salt would've ever designed a PCB that way on purpose.  That must've been why it needed 14 layers to route, when it could've been done on 6 without those headers choking the routing paths.  If you needed .1" stuff around the chip for... some reason (hint: you don't)  you can get surface mount connectors that don't need holes through the board.

I agree with everything, but the point I was making is that they had video proof of their manufacturing facilities, something that would help ease the concerns of customers and critics in the wake of accusations over the Polymega being vaporware and scamming. Now more than ever, everyone's getting understandably restless while Polymega continues to tweet fluff and glowing articles about how great they are. There are only so many times you can say, "Things are on track, don't worry," before people stop believing you and demand answers.

 

For posterity, and a reminder, this was seven months ago:

PolyMegaUpdate1.png PolyMegaUpdate2.png

 

This past week, after stating that they "figured out the chip production with Intel":

PolyMegaUpdate3.png PolyMegaUpdate4.png

 

PolyMegaUpdate5.png PolyMegaUpdate6.png

 

PolyMegaUpdate7.png

 

The fact that they said the hardware was finished over half a year ago, but now it's still being finalized with Playmaji is only receiving production samples now sounds off to say the least. It's certainly possible that did change the exact Intel Coffee Lake processor after it was found out to be a Pentium Gold G5400T only running at 3.10GHz, since the site no longer has its product number listed and only says "Intel Coffee Lake S Series Processor" ("Coffee Lake S" being an updated list that includes all of the Coffee Lake family and similarly specc'd processors), but that only raises more questions over production and the emulation cores optimization. I hope this isn't them chasing a golden goose having to keep changing the hardware when they run into emulation edgecases that cannot be fixed through modification of the code, all so they can can save face and keep claiming the high emulation compatibility.

Edited by DurradonXylles
OCD with my grammar

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Their video of "production" didn't mean much, IMO.  You can send a lot of different places your PCB files and bill of materials and they will assemble it for you.  There's dozens of them in China and even many in the US and around the world for that matter.  What counts isn't video of production, but video of real hardware working, with footage of them showing the guts working, with a cable running to a TV and controllers.

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