Why aren't modules more integrated?

This topic contains 12 replies, has 6 voices, and was last updated by 3 months, 3 weeks ago.

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  • #16795
    Profile photo of Dario
    Dario
    16-bit

    Hi guys, I’m a bit concerned about your approach to modules (having one for Sega, another for PC engine, another for Nintendo). Consoles like the Retro Trio and Retron 5 already do 2/3 of those modules in just a single form factor without additional accessories. What reason (aside from what people could construe as a cash grab) is there to have multiple modules for Nintendo and Sega carts? Would it note make sense to have one module support PC engine / Famicom / Mega Drive / Snes but just limit it to a single region and then sell the pin conversion adapters as an aftermarket product? I know thats three large slots and with the PC engine it can take up a lot of space, so if you guys wanted to stretch it you could have Atari 2600 compatibility (the most widely supported console after all the ones you’re supporting). Noone does Atari 2600 and to get an AV modded Atari is not simple in many parts of the world.

    • This topic was modified 8 months ago by .
    #16799
    Profile photo of Dario
    Dario
    16-bit

    What I meant above by the term ‘stretching it’ was that you could still have two expansion modules (at most) but one of them could have the bonus of having Atari 2600 compatibility in addition to whatever else fits well in the aesthetic design of the unit.

    • This reply was modified 8 months ago by .
    • This reply was modified 8 months ago by .
    #16806

    They are doing Hybrid emulation – so hardware is in the modules that are specific to the systems, for better compatibility/play . Also having modules is aesthetic that you don’t have open cartridge slots staring at you. Also it enhances for future options; When it becomes legal and profitable to do so they could release an N64 modules, for instance.  Lots of good reasons for it.

    #16808
    Profile photo of POLYMEGA
    POLYMEGA
    Admin

    The expectation that multiple systems on one module should be inherent to our design purely because other products have done it in the past, mistakenly assumes that we are working with the exact same tech as those other products, which we are not.

    #16810
    Profile photo of Dario
    Dario
    16-bit

    @Curtis I highly doubt that all the space being used by the Snes module cannot be used in a joint module with the Mega Drive. Besides what do you think that extra hardware does aside from adding costs. There is no definitive preference amongst gamers whether they like seeing three slots filled with carts from different era’s or just one slot but lets just use common sense, how many cartridge based consoles past to present have one slot and how many have three+? The ratio has gotta be at least 90 to 1. As someone who likes things that are original (and functional), three slots are much better than one. Like I said earlier Curtis I’m not against extra modules but first make the most of the ones you have otherwise peoples first impression is that ‘well the other clone consoles can do all my carts for much cheaper so I’ll just buy a polymega for CD and Hu-card games.

    • This reply was modified 8 months ago by .
    #16814
    Profile photo of Dario
    Dario
    16-bit

    @Polymega Not familiar with hardware internals so please forgive my ignorance on this issue, but isn’t the Rockchip SOC in the main unit doing most of the legwork when running carts? What would be inside the modules aside from the controller PCB and pin connectors?

    #16817

    @Dario. Perhaps. The fact that the Polymega is modular rather than multisystem is actually one of the reasons I love it. I find things like the retron with multiple cartridge slots and lots of plugs for controllers fairly ugly myself.  Going by the promotional pictures the machine isn’t all that big – by guessing relationships of size based on that and seeing CDs and cartridges in relation –  My guess is about 5″ back to front, 9″ Wide and 3″ tall (not official (I’m curious to see how close my guesses are)). And a module looks to be about about 3″ back to front – not a lot of space for multiple cartridge slots -looking at the picture in the “press” section of the website for SNES (or the Genesis one on the front page) – looks like the one cartridge is about all it can handle by size . Having the modules stored looks pretty easy.

    @Polymega – I know – I can’t wait until we have more info. Well actually, I will have to, but I am really enthusiastic about what is coming.

    #16822
    Profile photo of POLYMEGA
    POLYMEGA
    Admin

    @Dario – There are a lot of edge cases where special accommodations are made within the module to ensure full compatibility for a particular system. Even though hybrid handles 95% of the games, there are special carts that may not work without unique embedded components. I’m not going to list them out. Also, as Curtis mentioned, the modules are already packed with even just one system on them, so for that reason alone its really not up for further discussion.

    #16824
    Profile photo of Dario
    Dario
    16-bit

    Well if its not up for discussion I guess there’s no point in further discussing it lol. I understand there’s a balance between wanting to provide a premium product at an affordable price and its not an easy road. Good luck, and please remember South Africa when you open up pre-orders ^-^

    #16826

    Whatever their reasons, their box looks sleek and attractive. The Retron 5 looks like a piece of junk. It’s function over form in every possible way. Polymega on the other hand is something I wouldn’t mind showing my girlfriend. I also like the idea of purchasing only the modules I care about. I’m mostly a SNES and Super Famicom collector so I’ll most likely only get their SNES module and use Polymega for my CD games. I will probably end up getting their Genesis module too and then wait patiently for them to come out with a module that takes the handheld game carts like GBA.

    #16853
    Profile photo of J Gall
    J Gall
    16-bit

    I would much prefer the cleaner look of the Polymega w/ modules to the hodgepodge try-to-cram-everything-in approach the Retron series makes.

    I’m actually curious how the TG16/PCE/SG module’s cartridge port works, given that the pinouts are different between regions.

    #21451
    Profile photo of Matt
    Matt
    16-bit

    Only a couple of pins need to be swapped in order to make a TG16 play PCE games and vice versa. Not a difficult feature to integrate by any measure.

    #22531

    I imagine that if you are reading TG16 and PCE games with custom hardware, they are probably doing the bit-reversal in software, not hardware, making it even more simple. I think it would be odd if the TG16 module didn’t also support PCE and SG in the same slot. NES and Famicom is a different beast. I will gladly wait for a Famicom module 🙂

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