New machines capable of playing retro console games on HDTVs are a growing industry, and perhaps no project is more ambitious than the Polymega — a super all-in-one device that promises to take virtually anything. The list is longer than anything else on the market: NES, SNES, Genesis, Sega CD, Saturn, PlayStation, TurboGrafx-16 and TurboDuo CD.
Of all those machines, it’s the Saturn that’s most intriguing. This console has been the hardest of the 32 & 64-bit generation to emulate, due to its Frankenstein of a chipset that included EIGHT dedicated processors, among other things. Originally conceived as the ultimate 2D powerhouse, crude 3D polygon capabilities were bolted onto the Saturn’s circuit board midway through development when Sega finally woke up and realized how important that was going to be.
Because the Saturn is so hard to recreate, this means its games — some of which are rare classics — are tough to play. Until now, the only real solution has been to find a working Saturn AND $500-apiece copies of its most desired games. Hardly practical. Can the Polymega save us?
Let’s get the big one out of the way. Here’s Panzer Dragoon Saga, one of THE most expensive games to collect, running on a Polymega:
Note: the opening to this game is VERY heavy on cutscenes, so to see some actual polygon-pushing you’ll have to skip to 15 minutes in. But it looks good!
Now let’s try another rare, desired and expensive game: Burning Rangers.
Once again, the game looks better than ever! Well….about as good as a blocky early 3D game can look.
Here are a few more Saturn games running on the Polymega:
In some cases you’ll need to buy an extra module to play some console games the Polymega is backwards compatible with ($60 per module). But not in this case. All CD-based consoles will work on the Polymega out of the box, and this includes Saturn.
Now the only problem is affording the thing. Polymega will begin shipping in the fourth quarter of 2019 for $299.99; extra modules will cost $60 each.