Polymega announces a N64 Ultra module

There are plenty of aftermarket consoles that you can buy that can play the NES, SNES, Mega Drive, Master system etc, but the Polymega is the first one I know of that can play Nintendo 64 cartridges.

Now, N64 emulation isn’t something new. It’s been available for what, 20 years now? You could play N64 games on your PC via an emulator and a USB controller for a very long time. However (as far as I know) there wasn’t any kind of console that would allow you to play N64 cartridges. I made a post a few years back about the Retron 5 and how it would practically play every cartridge system except the N64, and that was the standard for all of these 3rd party consoles.

The Polymega is a modular game console. Basically, it has a base unit with all the things needed to run the system (power, CPU, memory etc) and a CD drive. The base unit allows players to play games from disc-based systems like the Sega Saturn, Playstation, Neo Geo CD etc. It then has a port for swappable modules, each one of which allows a different kind of cartridge to be inserted. Until now, the available modules were for the NES, SNES, Mega Drive and Turbografx-16. This trailer explains how the system works:

The base unit alone is worth $449, and each module (controller included) will set you back an additional $79. So getting a Polymega with an N64 module plus three additional controllers for multiplayer will cost $615.

This is a fairly expensive price to pay even before considering buying any games. Even my N64 which has an HDMI mod and custom paint job costs less than that. Plus for hardcore retro enthusiasts, you’ll still just be working with what is essentially an emulation machine, like an overpowered Raspberry Pi with cartridge ports.

The console ads even say that it will “install” you games. How do you install something like an NES game? My guess is that it just downloads the ROM into memory and then runs it from there.

Looking at the bright side, it’s a nice comfy way to have one device that plays all of your games without taking up too much space next to your TV. It looks like it has better build quality than the Retron, but that might just be the advertising pizazz.

This seems like a good idea to buy if you have a decent collection of retro games but nowhere to play them, or if you can’t hook it up to your HDTV, but most avid collectors probably already have a setup that works for them already.

Articles across the web

The Polymega is a multi-functional retro console with swappable modules - and is soon releasing a module to play Nintendo 64 games.
Article published on N64 Squid

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