Hi Everyone, we hope you’re staying safe and healthy out there!
It’s been incredibly busy the last few weeks and the team has gone into full on launch mode, including moving into a new service and support facility, pushing through some of the most challenging QA sprints on the project, and of course navigating a trickier-than-ever supply chain in light of COVID-19 related travel restrictions. Despite this, Polymega has been evolving every day into an even more polished and improved experience, and is locked and loaded to launch very soon.
Today we have a very special announcement to make, and also updates on Beta 2, launch info, and more. Read on!
BETA 1 IS A WRAP.
First off, lets talk about the Beta test.
In mid-April we launched the Polymega Beta with a small team of testers (most with very impressive collections) to iron out any remaining kinks with real physical discs, cartridge games, compatible accessories, and just about anything else that might have slipped under the radar during development. It’s been amazing to see some of the impressions from the testers as well as those who follow them on their blogs, or social media sites. One of our favorite moments was Sarumaru’s epic reaction to playing the Last Blade (Neo Geo CD) on Polymega for the first time! Also, a huge thank you to Japanese testers @obaky and @mk2_yama for their focused testing on Polymega’s Japanese menus, database, games, etc. These guys truly have made Polymega better for everyone in Japan! That also goes for @ModernVintageG for his feedback, most of which was directly addressed for Beta 2.
Here’s a list of some of the improvements made to Polymega during Beta 1:
- Improved TurboGrafx / PC-Engine CD BIOS to over 90% compatibility
- Improved Saturn analog controller support
- Enabled the MD / Genesis / 32X low pass audio filter in Kega Fusion by default
- Gave each Sega CD Game their own virtual BRAM cart. If you need to clear the data for the virtual cart, you can hold the B+C buttons when starting a game to format it.
- Added support for Neo Geo CD Save States
- Added replacement YM2610 Sound Chip for Neo Geo CD (developed by Steve Snake)
- Added support for problematic M.2 SSD’s such as the WD SN550
- Improved support for CD game installs in the background while playing them
- Fixed various bugs related to controller registration
- Made various improvements to the UI that make it easier to use
- Improved database, keyboard, searching, filtering, and playlist functionality in Japanese language mode
- Fixed a good amount of Japan-specific PS1 BIOS bugs
NEXT UP: BETA 2 AND LAUNCH.
We’re excited to be entering the next phase of Beta, which will primarily be focused on deploying and stress testing our online update system with otherwise complete hardware and software. Whereas we were only testing with a small group of beta testers in Beta 1, Beta 2 will add around 100 new testers. The online update system is critical and will allow you to keep expanding Polymega with more features and functionality in the future including the upcoming digital store, light gun, and other NEW functionality you might be reading about at the end of this post.
If you applied for the beta test and were confirmed via email in Feb / March, you can expect another email in the next week or so confirming your shipping information. The second beta test group was anticipated to be sent out in mid-May, but unfortunately various factors outside of our control (COVID-related) held up some of the parts. Beta 2 units will be shipped as early as June 5th, 2020 but may still be trickling out toward the end of the month due to long shipment times to and from some countries.
Since Beta 2 and large-scale OTA update testing is critical before the general release of Polymega, we’re going to push the official street date for everyone else out by around one month to allow for this important feature to be tested with a large sample group before release. Once we’ve confirmed through at least two firmware update release cycles that this system is functioning as expected, we’ll release the final firmware to manufacturing and begin shipping.
#POLYMEGACHALLENGE TWITTER CONTEST.
Earlier this month we ran a contest on Twitter called the #PolymegaChallenge, to see who could tell the difference between the Polymega’s Steve Snake-developed YM2610 for Neo Geo CD and the authentic sound output from the original Neo Geo CD console. For those of you not on Twitter, here’s a link to the contest video so you can take a listen. So which system was which? The answer is …. A – Polymega, B – Original Neo Geo CD Hardware! We had hundreds of entries and guesses, but there can only be one winner. This time, the winner is Adrian VanC., aka @retrogamemonkey on Twitter! He’ll be getting a free Polymega Base Unit — congratulations Adrian, and we’ll be in touch via Twitter DM!
WHERE GAMES GO NEXT.
Lastly, today we have a special announcement to share.
As everyone knows, there’s a ton of ways of playing old games, and there’s also plenty of ways to play new games, too. However, there’s zero products on the market today that are capable of playing both the vast majority of legacy physical games, and cutting edge new games on one system that’s modern, easy to use, and most importantly, legal.
In the near future, mainstream adoption of a new technology called cloud gaming may disrupt the current-gen video game console business. If and when this happens, we think it’s going to create a short window of opportunity for an insurgent new product to seize a big piece of the console video games market. If you’ve paid attention to our interviews and media in the past, you’ve seen us drop hints about this.
We’ve been carefully moving the chess pieces for years to put Polymega into a unique and advantageous position to blur the lines between the past, present, and future of gaming — and this is the last piece of critical information people who are interested in this product should know.
So today, we’re excited to formally announce that Polymega will support current gen game streaming services. Build your ideal playlist with the most advanced and visually intense games on the market today, streamed directly to your Polymega – while also having physical backwards compatibility with thousands of classic CD and cartridge-based games. Play it all through one incredible user experience.
We’ll be showing more of this functionality working on Polymega in the very near future, as well as provide formal announcements around the services we’ll be supporting, and anticipated release date later this Summer.