High end all-in-one retro gaming console company Playmaji has teased the latest add-on for its Polymega machine, which will add support for another classic piece of gaming hardware: the Nintendo 64.
An image posted to twitter shows the control board that’ll fill part of the innards of an upcoming ‘module’ for the Polymega. It features four round controller ports, which is a dead giveaway that it’s either Nintendo 64 or GameCube - but text on the board reveals it to be ‘Element Module EM05 Ultra’, which lines up with the previously-announced name of the company’s planned N64 module.
While the module was revealed late last year, the image shows that engineering is actually now underway on the module, showing us something a little more tangible than renders or mock-ups of a finished box. The controller board is, in theory, one of the later things they’d be working on - so that’s exciting.
If you’re unfamiliar with the Polymega, it’s a premium retro revival console that lets you use your original CDs and cartridges - but it has a twist. A Polymega consists of a base unit with a CD drive that can play CD-based titles from a variety of classic machines including PS1, Saturn, and Sega CD, but you can then purchase separate modules that click into the machine to enable the use of software from other machines.
A ‘Power Module’ takes NES carts, for instance, while a ‘Mega Module’ does the same for Mega Drive/Genesis. The upcoming ‘Ultra Module’ will do the same for the Nintendo 64. While this isn’t laser-accurate emulation as you might find on FGPA machines like those by Analogue, the swappable, plug-and-play nature of the Polymega is unique and useful.
In addition, Polymega has designed some pretty lovely-looking system-accurate controllers that ship with each module, and have a light gun that uses the excellent Sinden Light Gun technology.
The only downside, perhaps, is the difficulty in getting a machine. The replies to Polymega’s N64 tease are littered with people asking where their orders are, from people who have been waiting a couple of months to one who has been waiting since 2020. I can also personally speak to this - I’ve been waiting on a Deluxe bundle of a Polymega and all modules released so far since March of last year, with no delivery in sight.
“Does this mean we will be able to preorder this module soon and have it arrive by the second half of 2025? Sarcastic but excited,” one fan quipped in reply.
“Too bad I haven't gotten my modules I paid for two years ago or the light guns really want to continue to support the company but it's getting harder,” another said.
Supply issues are strangling all hardware manufacturers right now, big and small - but Polymega is catching a bit of flack for hyping up their next thing while many wait on existing orders for the old things. The fact that the lucky few that have got their hands on a Polymega boast of its quality and ease doesn’t really help. The Polymega is a cool concept, and I look forward to finally testing one - but these boasts are definitely as tonally deaf as they are exciting, given how many fans are waiting having already handed over money.
And yet, I’m certainly still ready to order this. Part of the problem, right here.