Playmaji’s modular retro gaming platform, Polymega, will receive support for the N64, we can exclusively announce.
The versatile console, which finally hit customers this year after a lengthy delay, will soon receive a new EM05 ‘Ultra’ module complete with a controller Retro-Bit designed based on its popular Tribute64 pad. In case you didn’t know, Polymega already supports original NES, SNES, Mega Drive / Genesis and TG-16 / PC-Engine games through its additional “Element Modules”, and the base unit itself can play games from Mega CDs. , Saturn, PlayStation, TG-16 / PC-Engine CD and Neo Geo CD.
It has also been confirmed that modern cloud streaming services will be supported in the future, and a digital storefront is under development that will allow publishers and intellectual property owners to leverage Polymega’s massive internal database of titles.
We sat down with Playmaji CEO and co-founder Brian Bernal to talk about the new N64 module and what the future holds for Polymega, now virtually in the hands of customers.
Nintendo Life: Why did you choose the N64 as the next Polymega module?
Brian Bernal: Because our clients asked for it. This has been our most requested module since the first four were announced, and Polymega is well placed to support it. There are practically no other options for legally reproducing the N64 library other than original hardware, so this is an obvious choice for us.
Is the N64 emulator you are using based on an existing one or custom made?
I think Polymega will provide players with a more authentic experience because you simply cannot get an authentic experience with just a few of the games on offer.
Part of our licensing and development / co-development process is to ensure that almost all games are playable without any complicated configuration or user customization, and that you can connect a legitimate cartridge and controller and play them without any problem. plug-in paging, setting, etc. Therefore, when this module is released, it will use the best legal solution we can provide while meeting the same minimum 90% compatibility requirements that we place on our CD BIOS solutions and other supported gaming systems. Details will be published a little later before launch.
Nintendo has been criticized lately for the N64 emulation standard on Switch. Are you sure your solution can offer players a more authentic experience?
Nintendo has the tools and resources to dramatically improve emulation over time, so I believe any issues currently running into their service will be addressed with future updates. If they wanted to, they could probably even improve on the N64 emulation. But as far as your question is concerned, I think Polymega will provide a more authentic experience for players, because you simply cannot get an authentic experience with just a few games on offer. N64 has released nearly 400 games for the platform in all regions. Even if Nintendo wanted to support every game on their service, it would be very difficult, and they probably couldn’t secure the rights to every N64 game for the platform to release it digitally. I guess the number handlers figured that they don’t need to do this as they can get 80-90% of the effect with 10-20% of the supported games, albeit the most popular ones.
Can you offer 100% compatibility with all N64 games?
It is unlikely that 100% of games will be supported when the EM05 Ultra module is launched, but it will at least over 90% work perfectly or almost perfectly. This amount is likely to increase over time.
Will you suggest any emulation options for this, such as higher resolution modes and so on?
May be. In truth, we don’t particularly like the HD look and it is ready for unintentional bugs – which is why we don’t support it on our other Polymega-supported consoles like the Sega Saturn and PS1. Instead, we focus our efforts on virtual display filters that faithfully recreate the look and feel of classic TVs and significantly smooth out the jaggies as they should have looked. Polymega currently has some of the best scan line effects available in the world, as well as CRT-style curvature, which greatly enhances the effect. Honestly, there are times when I think I am looking at an arcade cabinet monitor while playing games – and this, in our opinion, is how they were supposed to look and how they were supposed to play.
The Tribute64 is arguably the best third-party N64 controller on the market today, and the new bundled RC05 Ultra Retro Controller is essentially a new “wired” version of the Tribute64 wireless controller.
Tell us a little about the controller that comes with the module; what was it like working with Retro-Bit? Do you think N64 fans will love it?
The Tribute64 is arguably the best third-party N64 controller on the market today, and the new RC05 Ultra Retro Controller comes with a new “wired” version of the Tribute64 wireless controller we developed. You will also notice that our version of the controller has a SELECT button, which is not found on any N64 controller. This is so you can play other Polymega systems using the RC05. We’ll make sure it matches the analog controller experience for the Sega Saturn so you can play things like Burning Rangers and Dream nights with him – and much more. Retro-Bit was great to work with and we met several times prior to this collaboration to discuss opportunities between our teams, so we’re glad this one worked and I wouldn’t be surprised if we see more collaboration between us. in future.
After a long wait, Polymega is finally out; what do you think and feel now that the car is in the hands of those who pre-ordered it years ago, and what would you say to those people whose confidence may have been undermined by delays, canceled orders, and outages?
Nice to see him in the hands of so many people. Even though it took time, it took so long because we did everything right and didn’t cut corners. So, I think that now that people have it in their hands and actually use it, it quickly becomes apparent that there is something very special about this system. It is elegant, without any customization, it is compatible with your real games, gives them a stunning look and even allows you to digitally archive your collection, which is very fun and exciting. Watching your digital game collection grow with this signature Polymega style is amazing and you really can’t get it anywhere else. People tell us that they feel like this is something that they will have forever; as if there is nothing to improve it.
Polymega was released at a very challenging time for many gaming equipment companies, and even today you can see the impact that the reflected COVID-19 effect has had on nearly all gaming console products due to be released in 2020-2021. … The same thing happened to us, but earlier. We still had to weather the storm to get to the point where we now ship products to our customers. I would say that our problems were particularly acute because we had to deal with political problems in Myanmar, the country where the base blocks of Polymega are produced, so we are grateful that we got out of this situation relatively unscathed, and now the situation has stabilized.
What kind of reaction and feedback have you received from those customers who now have their consoles?
The Polymega store is pretty far in development and we’ve generated a lot of interest from publishers and developers on that front. In addition, our in-house game development and publishing studio is currently ramping up efforts to create and publish exclusive original content on Polymega.
People like it a lot. Lots of positive and encouraging emails through our online contact form and thanks for creating the system. I don’t think we have had a single device returned so far, but now we have sent thousands of systems and modules. We’ve had a few issues with CD-ROM drives, but the vast majority of customers have no problem using their systems.
You supported Polymega with several system updates in 2021; can we expect more features and functionality to be added to the system over time?
Yes, the crown jewel in Polymega’s crown is our system software, and we expect it to improve for the foreseeable future, not just at launch. We are always coming up with exciting new features to add in a future update.
Are you still planning to launch a digital store on your console? Was it driven by a lot of support and interest from publishers and developers?
That’s right, the Polymega store is pretty far in development and we’ve generated a lot of interest from publishers and developers on that front. In addition, our in-house game development and publishing studio is now ramping up efforts to create and publish exclusive original content on Polymega.
Are there any plans to install additional modules after the N64?
Yes, there are several other modules and products currently in development that have not yet been announced. Some of these new modules are not directly related to game consoles (a la NES, SNES, etc.), but improve the gameplay on the Polymega. We’re not quite ready to talk about it yet, as we are currently focused on increasing Polymega’s availability and fulfilling pre-orders.
We would like to thank Brian for his time. You can check out our Polymega review here and the system is available for pre-order right on the site. Polimega website…