On the cusp of Polymega re-revealing its self in late April with a tantalising, if short video of a 14-layer PCB being printed, they’ve made an additional announcement about the included controllers. Let’s rewind a bit, though. If you’re not aware of the Polymega (which was once called the “Retroblox”), let’s recap.
Have you ever heard of Pioneers LaserActive? This was a “converged” system from the 1990’s that could play a whole host of different formats (mostly revolving around the TurboGrafx-16, Sega Genesis and their various add-ons) by utilising removable modules. The Polymega operates in the same vein, except it has a focus on what we’d now classify as “retro” and it will support a lot more consoles. The main unit includes a CD drive that will support the PSone, TurboGrafx-CD, Sega CD and Neo Geo CD, while additional modules (here referred to as “Element Modules”) will each be compatible with the Turbografix-16 and Genesis (just like its distant relative, the LaserActive) as well as the SNES.
In their latest announcement, we now know a bit more about the included controllers as well as the snazzy boxes they come in. Replicating the originals, Polymega showed off their SNES, Genesis and T-16 controllers, all of which are wired. That should stop any kind of latency issues, although no information has been given yet on how long the cables will be. Let’s hope we don’t find ourselves in another NES Mini situation.
While they do look quite faithful, the one addition you’ll notice is a menu button that lets you access the Polymega’s menus while playing. Polymega also confirmed on their Facebook page that while there won’t be a dedicated turbo button (the staple of all great after-market gamepads – and some horrid ones) there will instead be a software version that can be activated in the UI.
Each Element Module and controller will also come in a sturdy looking box. This will ensure you have a proper place to store them when they’re not installed. If you’re not digging the gamepads they’re offering, however, these will use the exact same connector as the originals – meaning you can use those with the Polymega too if you’re so inclined. The jury is still out on if they will be any good yet, but one hopes they will be better quality than the bog-standard knock-offs you can find on eBay.
The one question that does remain is if the original PlayStation and Neo Geo CD gamepads will somehow be compatible. No controller ports on the base CD module have been shown yet, although it will be coming with a Bluetooth controller that features two thumbsticks. Hopefully, some sort of adapter will be made at available at launch if there are no dedicated ports.
Regardless, this is the first of a few promised announcements about the system leading up to E3 next week. So, if you’re lucky enough to be going, be sure to check out their display. They’ll be at booth #4100 in the West Hall.