Modular retro console Polymega to receive N64 support

polymega-em05-ultra-module-with-controller.large.jpg

Polymega is a retro emulation device that supports a number of older game systems, from the NES to the original PlayStation. The base unit comes with a disc drive that allows you to run games from disc-based consoles, such as the Sega Saturn, while "element modules" can be purchased separately and attached to the console to run cartridges. Currently there are modules to support the NES, SNES, Sega Genesis, and TurboGrafx-16. However, the company behind Polymega, Playmaji, recently announced an N64 module will be added to the lineup soon.

In an interview with Nintendo Life, Playmaji CEO & Co-Founder Bryan Bernal said that the N64 has been their most requested module, since there are very few options to legally play N64 games. While he can't guarantee perfect compatibility with all N64 games, he can promise "it will be at a minimum above 90% working great to near perfect." All Polymega modules also come with a controller based on the controller for the console it's based on, and this one is being developed by Retro-Bit, the company behind the Tribute64. Although, it won't be a perfect recreation. It adopts the look of a more traditional game controller and, as Bernal points out in his Nintendo Life interview, it has a 'SELECT' button, which N64 controllers never did, but this design will help give the controller more compatibility with other games and systems.

The new module is expected to release sometime in 2022, and will cost $80.

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Kwyjor

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Plastic and metal should not rot, if they are someone has discovered new species of bacteria and fungus
I have some vague understanding that flash memory can lose its charge over time, or something?

Regardless, there do seem to be consistent reports of Pokemon ORAS and Persona Q carts failing.
 

SG854

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I can even minimally understand why some people would go for those FPGA machines, but this?
What's the point? Using your (fated to fail) carts?
FPGA's like the Mister is super simple hooking up to a CRT. Using a PC to a CRT sometimes is a pain to set up and don't function right all the time. And input lag is just instantaneous on the FPGA without much configuration. No need to mess with run a ahead on an individual game by game basis.

Between a FPGA and PC Emulators the average person would be hard pressed to tell the difference in accuracy and image quality.
 

Sophie-bear

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Wouldn't be too sure about them having a long lifespan regardless, some 3ds carts are already rotting afaik
There's a lot of nuance, confusion, and missing context in this.

I have to assume you're talking about the ORAS thing which seems to already have been basically narrowed down to a bad production run of the carts and not typical degradation. Otherwise, myself and many others who bought the game(s) at release would probably be encountering the problem as well.

Also, consider that much older 3DS games aren't having the issue for, like, anyone.

Rotting is not the right word anyway. Failing is a better word.

And doomed to fail regardless. Nature spares nothing. Eventually it will stop working.
Digital data being copied to newer storage devices is "eternal", as long as it's properly backed up.
Only as eternal as the newer storage devices the data is copied to. Preservation is a tough game. You better be backing up that data to a ton of (decentralized) sources if you don't want a risk of failure and loss.
 
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CeeDee

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N64 FPGA is near-impossible to achieve with current FPGAs due to sheer complexity, we won't see an N64 FPGA clone for some time, if ever. Not that simple.

On a side note, I'm playing original N64 hardware but with a flashcart, HDMI upscaler and third party controller? And it's still cheaper than some overpriced emulation machine.
Absolutely, it's tough to pull those FPGA boxes off - exactly what makes them so impressive. This thing just runs MAME. Now that's what I call LAME.
 
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xwatchmanx

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Do the modules contain chips to help with compatibility or are they simply for cartridge and peripheral slots?

If it's a glorified cart reader that's a bit pricy

Curious what this thing is packing - is it like android emulation?

Edit: answered my own questions

The system uses Intel chips and a custom Linux distro with open source emulators. The modules are simply to allow carts and controllers to plug in - no additional chips. This is software emulation.

The emulators used are: Mednafen, Mesen, Kega Fusion, and MAME with additional bug fixes, CD BIOS development, and replaced YM2610 for Neo Geo CD from Playmaji.

And here is the hardware specs:
Processor: Intel Coffee Lake S Series Processor
Memory: 2GB DDR4 RAM
Connectivity: Realtek RTL8822BE Wi-Fi / Bluetooth Combo Module, HDMI 2.0, Gigabit Ethernet, 2x USB 2.0, Polymega Expansion Bus
On-board Storage: 32GB eMMC Flash Memory
Expansion Storage: M.2 2280 SSD up to 2tb, Micro SDXC (MEMORY Port on back)
Optical Drive: 8X CD/DVD Slot-in Optical Disc Drive

Price is $450 and $80 for each additional module (but the modules do come with a controller). A bit steep for essentially a Linux box you could build yourself. Nice if you have a big cart collection. The system doesn't allow use of roms in any way.
Yeahhhhhh considering all these facts, the price is just insane.

I also really have to wonder how big the market is for someone nostalgic enough to want to use original carts and controllers, but not real hardware. That feels like a weirdo middle ground that I find hard to imagine anyone standing in.
 

Marc_78065

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Why can´t we have this type of stick on the original N64 controller?
Without the Z button position it doesn´t feel like N64, but the N64 stick isn´t that good.
Authenticity, I'd say.

For example, did you know you can replace the thumb sticks of a DualShock 3 with an Xbox One thumb sticks? That's pretty cool.

Opening up a controller and cleaning or swapping stuff isn't for everyone, but with patience and precision it gets done.
 

CeeDee

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It really is a weird move that they're going for a blatantly aftermarket controller for a device that seems to want to go for that 'high quality authenticity' vibe - "better" or not, that kind of controller is not authentic to the original experience at all. It doesn't even look like it'd be more enjoyable to use, or yknow, good. It kinda just looks like it's designed for people too dense to wrap their heads around the whole "you don't need three hands to use the controller" thing.
 

Marc_78065

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It doesn't even look like it'd be more enjoyable to use
It does look to be more comfortable to use and enjoy than the original with three handles. Of course, this is a personal choice.

Nintendo's no stranger to releasing "weird" controllers, remember the Wii U controller layout with both analog sticks on the top? Great for FPS/TPS games, I guess.

41dwqbWAydL.jpg


Kinda feel nostalgic though I'd not want to use that again.
 
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CeeDee

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It does look to be more comfortable to use and enjoy than the original with three handles. Of course, this is a personal choice.

Nintendo's no stranger to releasing "weird" controllers, remember the Wii U controller layout with both analog sticks on the top? Great for FPS/TPS games, I guess.

41dwqbWAydL.jpg


Kinda feel nostalgic though I'd not want to use that again.
I could understand why some folks might instinctually prefer a controller without three handles, but that isn't what was originally intended, and that just feels like a weird move for the type of console that otherwise tries to aim for a more 'authentic' presentation. The original N64 controller really isn't that bad once you get the hang of it, and I think it's a bit unfair to just go "oh, forget the original, the third party alternatives are better anyways" to it.
I'd liken it to the GameCube controller - it's different and unusual compared to a modern controller, sure, but it's the best way to play certain games. That's something most can agree on, right? Same goes for the N64 controller, as abnormal as it is.
 

urbanman2004

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I'll have to pass on this due to its price and my use case. Just recently built me a mini SBC in a case using a NVIDIA Jetson Nano w/ a modded version of Ubuntu installed consisting of an "Emulation Station overlay" which can run N64 quite nicely :D.
 
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