The Polymega is a remarkable system capable of running original software for consoles such as the SNES, Mega Drive, PC Engine and even Sega Saturn – but while the unit itself lives up to its potential, creator Playmaji has had something of a nightmare when it comes to actually getting it into the hands of people who pre-ordered it back in 2018.
The machine was heavily delayed and Playmaji faced an issue with North American retailer Walmart, via which many thousands of customers had placed their orders. The latest issue is related to the ongoing civil unrest in Myanmar, where the Polymega is being manufactured.
Playmaji's communication during the past few years has come under fire from several quarters, and the company has only now broken its silence regarding the status of Polymega pre-orders. Playmaji has revealed that the new ship date is September 12th, 2021 for systems pre-ordered between 2018 and April 2020, while complete fulfilment of these pre-orders is anticipated "by end of October".
If you placed an order with one of Playmaji's global distribution partners, then it's going to be a slightly longer wait. "Partial shipments will be provided to Japanese and European distributors NK Trading and Worldwide Distribution. Additional units will be provided to them through the Winter," Playmaji says.
If you pre-ordered after April 2020, then you've got a longer wait ahead of you. Orders placed in late 2020 and 2021 via the website will be delayed to the first half of 2022. The GC01 Light Gun has also been delayed, and will now be launching in the first half of 2022. Pre-orders for that accessory will remain open through 2021's holiday season.
It has also been accounted that Polymega's mooted digital game store will launch "Holiday 2021".
Here's the full press release:
Playmaji, Inc. today announced the firm worldwide release date of September 12th, 2021 for its highly anticipated POLYMEGA® Modular Game Console. The release is for customers who pre-ordered their systems via polymega.com between September 2018 and April 2020.
Playmaji will begin fulfillment of Bundles, Base Units, Module Sets, and accessories to customers (in the order received) starting on September 12th and will complete fulfillment by the end of October 2021. Products will ship worldwide from Playmaji in California, so those expecting to receive their items should allow 1-3 weeks for shipping depending on where they live.
Playmaji CEO Bryan Bernal said "Despite the challenging shipping environment presented by the COVID-19 pandemic starting last year, and other factors beyond our control at our Myanmar assembly facility in 2021, our team is excited to finally reach this critical release milestone, and further, we're beyond grateful to our thousands of customers who stuck with us and believed in the vision of POLYMEGA® and what it could mean to the future of the video games industry."
Bernal added, "We're now ready to move forward to the next phase of this project including the launch of our digital games store for Holiday 2021, and a sharp increase in production and availability of POLYMEGA® systems for 2022 and beyond."
Additionally, for customers who ordered after April 2020, partial shipments will be provided in September to official POLYMEGA® international distributors NK Trading (Japan) and Worldwide Distribution, GmbH (Europe), with ongoing fulfillment proceeding through Q1 2022. Recent orders from customers placed in late 2020 and 2021 via polymega.com will be delayed to the first half of 2022, including the GC01 Light Gun.
If customers have an anticipated change of address to inform Playmaji of prior to shipment of their products, they can email support(at)playmaji.com or send a message through the contact form on polymega.com. An email confirming shipping details to each customer with a pre-order prepared for fulfillment will be sent in mid-August.
If you've yet to lay down cash to pre-order the Polymega and are still interested – even after all the delays and drama – then Playmaji states that orders will shop around the middle of next year, and that customers should pre-order "as early as possible" to ensure they get their system as early as possible. Playmaji also notes that rising components costs are being observed and that pre-ordering early ensures you lock in the "best price possible."
What makes all of this so frustrating is that Playmaji has a brilliant product here; we reviewed the beta system last year and thought it was fantastic, and since then, several firmware updates have been issued (including one last month, version 1.0.8) which have improved performance further.
Hopefully, Playmaji can stick to this latest release window (which hasn't happened with previous ones, it has to be noted) and actually get the Polymega into the hands of its customers this year.