They say there’s no such thing as bad publicity. There might be an exception in the case of products so obviously awful that they a) will never come to fruition or b) will blatantly steal your money if they do. Meet the Polium One. The Polium One claims to be a games console. The minds behind it, though, have apparently never seen a console in their lives.
That’s because the Polium One is supposedly the “world’s first multi-chain gaming console”. The big hook is that blockchain support is built into it from the start. Even better, there are multiple blockchains supported. It’ll accept payments, and do all manner of crypto-related things. But the ‘gaming console’ side of things? Yeah, Polium, the company behind this thing, will figure that out later.
Picking on the Polium one
That hasn’t stopped the company from being ambitious. The console will play any games that run on the ImmutableX, Solana, Ethereum, Polygon, BNB, EOS, Wax, and Harmony chains, without needing to switch networks. That’s… round about ten titles, if you’re counting mobile and browser games. But surely developers will create something for the Polium One if the hardware is there?
Yeah, no, probably not. See, the folks behind this blockchain project have no idea what sort of hardware the console will involve. In fact, the community is being asked to build it. That’s… a terrible idea. Getting gamers to agree on anything is hopeless. Asking gamers who are also crypto/NFT die-hards to do so will be even more difficult. Even if a consensus is reached, the results will be… spectacular.
The chaps (and they’re definitely chaps) at Polium also apparently don’t know how gaming hardware works. The plan (following edits — the original idea was extremely vague) is to build “custom hardware” powered by Nvidia GPUs, along with a fingerprint scanner (originally referred to as Touch ID) in the controller. For NFT and crypto reasons, of course.
None of this is planned yet. There’s no circuit board schematic or console footprint. Nobody has planned a unified language for placing these games on a console. Better yet, the machine is supposed to “…be powerful enough to run high-performance games and will be easy to use for a traditional gamer who doesn’t understand Web 3”. There’s no explanation of how these folks, who have never built a console before, will craft a Linux-based machine that’ll offer 4K (or 8K) HDR visuals and 120Hz support. The community will vote on all features and inclusions, by the way.
But all of those questions will be answered, apparently, in time for a Q3 2024 launch. Except, they won’t.
Making a games console is tricky. The Ouya was the most recent attempt from an outsider with large ambitions. The Nvidia Shield (which this crypto-monstrosity will probably be based on if it ever makes it to hardware) was never more than a curiosity. Even the Nintendo Switch was considered a terrible risk. Happily, Nintendo has decades of experience making compelling experiences. Polium, here, is counting on someone else doing that work.
Still, if you want to beat your head against the wall, you can buy a Polium One console. The company is accepting pre-orders “…before the console’s hardware is completely built”. You’ll have to buy a Polium Pass (an NFT) to secure one and burn it to redeem your console. But you won’t, because the console will never, ever be made. And if by some miracle it does turn up in hardware form, it won’t do anything close to what is being promised here.