Miss that old-school arcade vibe? Or maybe you want to introduce your kids to the games you used to play when you were young? Either way, if arcades are your thing, then here’s a product you might enjoy – the Polycade.
Polycade 30-second Review
Design & Build - 9.1/10
Features - 8.3/10
Polycade offers a modern take on your classic arcade machines. It allows you to play everything from modern games to retro games from the ’80s and ‘90s. So if you are looking for the perfect addition to your man cave, gaming room, bar, arcade, or any establishment, Polycade is your best way to go.
- Wide selection of games
- Modern and sleek look
- Huge SSD storage
- Wallcade Lux and Squadcade are very expensive
The Polycade is a modern arcade platform that allows you to play all your favorite classic titles. Its first version was launched on Kickstarter in 2015. It was a success with more than $125,000 funds collected. After 5 years, the same company launched another crowdfunding campaign through Indiegogo. But this time, it received more funding, reaching more than $170,000. So what makes it such a hit, and what’s so different about it now? Let’s find out with this Polycade review.
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Polycade has successfully found a way to combine the “magic” of the old arcade days with the power of today’s gaming. It also solves some of the problems with old arcades. For one, Polycade machines are not as big and heavy. They don’t take up a lot of space too.
Additionally, it plays all games. That’s right ALL. Unlike arcades of the past, this modern version can play the original and unmodified versions of the best retro games like Gravitar, Asteroids, Missile Command, and Lunar Lander.
There are also newer games, including SpeedRunners, Tricky Towers, and more. Even better, it allows you to play games from other platforms. So you can enjoy classics such as Pac-man, Street Fighter, Mortal Kombat, and the Mega Man Collection.
In their latest update, however, Polycade is no longer just an arcade cabinet. It is a line of products, offering everything from a 2-player arcade, 4-player arcade, gaming console, and controllers for PC gaming.
Polycade Arcade Gaming Software (AGS)
All of Polycade’s new system runs on the company’s Arcade Gaming Software (AGS). Through it, you can access the Polycade Game Store and purchase the games you would like to play. If you can’t find what you are looking for, you can also use other platforms to launch all your favorite games from Steam, GOG, Utomik, and others. This software also enables you to enjoy games through your PC, console, or arcade.
One of the products offered by Polycade Inc. is the eZpz controller, which allows you to play retro games with your Windows computer. Just download AGS, and you can immediately play. This is a very simple controller that looks similar to the Super NES controller. Along with access to the company’s software, it only costs $25 on Indiegogo. On the other hand, if you prefer a thicker and more solid controller, you can also use your Xbox controller.
Want that arcade feel while playing on your PC? Try the company’s Arcade Controller. It is wireless and features all the controls you’ll see on a regular arcade. You can also use it with the Polycade machines and even with your Switch, PS4, and PS3.
The Polycade 2600 is like the old Nintendo consoles, which allows you to play classic games. And like any gaming console, just plug it on your TV and play. However, in terms of price, the Polycade is pricier than other retro consoles. It is available on Indiegogo for $499. This is a lot more expensive than the Nintendo Super Famicom Classic Mini, which costs AU$280 or $212 on Amazon Australia.
Every Polycade arcade machine is complete with controls, speakers, screen, storage, and more. You have three options, including the following:
- Wallcade Lite: 2-player arcade gaming. This is the cheapest among the three ($1,599), and also has the lowest specs.
- Wallcade Lux: 2-player arcade gaming but with better specs than the Wallcade Lite. Expensive at $3,998.
- Squadcade: Can accommodate 4 players, but really expensive.
Here are the technical specifications of each system from Polycade.
|Connectivity||Bluetooth or Micro-USB cable|
|Battery||Rechargeable 480mAh Li-on (18 hours of play and 1-2 hours of charging time)|
|Dimensions||144 x 63.5 x 26.2 mm|
|Compatibility||Android, Raspberry Pi, Switch, and macOS|
|Controller Mode||XInput for PC|
|Connectivity||Wireless or wired|
|Hardware||Brook wireless fighting board with rechargeable battery pack|
|Controls||Sanwa buttons and Sanwa JLF joystick with an octagonal plate|
|Mode||Joystick mode switch changes between D-Pad / left stick / right stick|
|Compatibility||PC (XInput), PS3, PS4, and Switch|
|Construction||Powder-coated steel surface|
|CPU||AMD Ryzen 3 3200G|
Playing arcade games on your PC or TV isn’t that difficult with all the emulators, wireless controllers, and retro gaming consoles available today. However, if you want to make it easier and faster, try the eZpz controller and Polycade 2600. The Arcade Controller can also give you and your friends or family a different gaming experience.
Furthermore, since the Polycade 2600 has PC components, you can always upgrade it. You can also play every game compatible with Windows 10 on it. So if you are looking for the most game selection, the Polycade 2600 is certainly the perfect choice.
|Specs||Wallcade Lite||Wallcade Lux||Squadcade|
|Sound||2 x 30W Speakers||2 x 30W Speakers||400W Sound System|
|Monitor||27” FHD 1080p||27” FHD 1080p||32” FHD 1080p|
|OS||Windows 10 Home||Windows 10 Home||Windows 10 Home|
|Dimensions||30” x 49”||30” x 49”||46” x 75”|
|Storage||240GB SSD||1TB SSD||1TB SSD|
|CPU||AMD Ryzen 3 3200G||AMD Ryzen 5 3400G||AMD Ryzen 5 3400G|
|GPU||Radeon Vega 8 Graphics||Radeon RX Vega 11 Graphics||Radeon RX Vega 11 Graphics|
|Connectivity||5Ghz WiFi||5Ghz WiFi||5Ghz WiFi|
|Controls||Sanwa buttons & JLF Joystick with octagonal restrictor plate||Sanwa buttons & JLF Joystick with octagonal restrictor plate||Sanwa buttons & JLF Joystick with octagonal restrictor plate|
The Wallcade Lite, Wallcade Lux, and Sqaudcade have the best screens among all arcade machines. Theirs are full HD 1080p monitors while others only have colored LCD screens. Not to mention that Polycade monitors are huge at 27 to 32 inches. 1Up Arcade Machines, for example, only has 17-inch screens. Even the monitor from AtGames Legends Ultimate Home Arcade is smaller at 24 inches.
There are, of course, machines that have monitors as big as the Squadcade. The Creative Arcades Commercial-Grade Cabinet, for example, also has a 32-inch screen. It can also accommodate 4 players. However, in terms of price, the Squadcade ($4,299) is more expensive than Creative Arcades ($3,295).
Another feature worth noting is the large SSD storage on each machine. This allows you to download thousands of games and launch them without delay. While the Wallcade Lite offers the least memory, it is still enough to store all your favorite games across different platforms. It also beats AtGames Legends Home Arcade, which only has a 64GB thumb drive.
Polycade arcade machines have a more modern and minimalist look than other arcades. They are available in white or black colors and can be customized with magnetic decals. They also have a powder-coated steel enclosure, which gives them that sleek finish. However, if you’re looking for that retro look, these may not be the arcades for you.
If you have limited space in your home, the Wallcade line is perfect for you. They are half the size of a typical arcade cabinet, are lighter, and occupies very little space. You can just mount them on one of your walls. However, if you prefer the Squadcade, you’d need to dedicate a bigger space.
What’s It Like to Use
What makes every Polycade system great is its software. The Polycade AGS is intuitive and extremely easy to use. So you’d have no problems in searching, downloading, and launching the games you want to play. The controls are also simple and easy to understand, making it great for kids.
Polycade also allows you to sign up and register up to 4 players. This allows you to record your high scores, play your games on any Polycade device you sign into, customize the interface of your devices, and continue from your last save on any Polycade.
With its powerful gaming components, thousands of available games, functionality, and ease of use, Polycade is hands down one of the best arcades today. Choose from any of its available machines, and you can enjoy retro classics, new indies, and even the most graphic-intensive games. And with the addition of the controllers and console, there’s now a Polycade for everyone.