The new Polymega console was revealed last week, announcing compatibility with a wide range of cartridge formats, but that’s nothing new, the interesting aspect of this announcement is that this system also introduces CD compatibility, a first for any dedicated emulation console and this makes the Polymega potentially a big deal.
A modular system compatible with PlayStation, Sega / Mega CD, Sega Saturn and Neo Geo CD among others listed in the image below. This marks a milestone in home emulation consoles. How well this all works is a complete unknown, likewise the build quality will remain a mystery until we see actual units in action.
The inclusion of the Sega Saturn and Mega CD are headline news, most emulations are either complex to set up or simply don’t work. I’m sure they are more manageable if you know how, but if you don’t know how it always remains a pain and that takes up time I simply don’t have, opting to use the original systems instead. Indeed, the Saturn emulation was only cracked in 2016 and will forever remain a work in progress due to the unnecessary complexity of the console, or should I say, a bodge job by Sega in initially underestimating their Playstation rival, then increasing system power at the last minute. The Mega CD is also highly sought after, the system requiring a Megadrive for standard operation and two massive plugs. Ultimately it can sometimes be a pain to set up and this alleviates those problems.
It’ll be interesting to see how this system works, does it process the games with any hardware or just pure emulation? There is a feeling in online comments and communities of a lack of clarity in terms of explanation here, with some reports that footage provided has been fake. Polymega have been quick to respond today by revealing what they claim is 25 minutes of Sega Saturn footage in the video below.
I found it difficult to determine the performance, the footage is recorded at 30fps and not the best bit-rate, this causes an increase in the way to digital artifacts when there is a lot going on, especially on Sega Rally. Without a side by side comparison to the original console it will always remain a challenge to determine how close the performance is to the real thing. Either way, this is a potentially exciting announcement in the console emulation scene and I look forward to seeing how it develops in the coming months. You can discuss this further on our forum.