The Polystation may have caught your attention lately, and you’re not entirely sure if it’s genuinely real, if you can buy it or if it’s just a concept?
So we’re going to take you through what the Polystation is, why it exists and why on earth it has a 2nd, 3rd, 4th and 5th version! For those Playstation fans out there, you’ll love this one, for Xbox fans, don’t fear there’s still a fake XBOX out there for you get your hands on.
Before we jump into the actual Polystation let’s briefly talk about why these fake consoles have so much popularity behind them and why they are becoming some kind of mythical Pokemon that collectors want.
Where Did These Fake Consoles Come From?
The fake console market is forever making us laugh and forever making us die inside a little. We’ve been getting our hands on fakes for years now, hell the guy behind this article has a YouTube channel dedicated to them, but they’re not easy to get hold of.
Unless you get them imported from China & Brazil or somehow find them in a terrible toy shop in the back of an alley somewhere in a town that shouldn’t exist.
The fakes originally started back in the 90’s; there was no regulation on them, and shops would buy them for a couple of dollars from China or the back of trucks and sell them for 10x the price in hope they trick customers into thinking they were the real deal, the packaging and all!
We can’t imagine the amount of kids getting these consoles on Christmas instead of the real deal. Just thinking about that moment makes us cry inside!
The Famicon was a popular machine back then, so a lot of them had cartridge slots installed for dirt cheap allowing them to start combining games with the console. A simple hack to a cartridge allowed you to install hundreds, if not thousands of games, allowing the shops to sell a console with “10,000” games for $10-$20, a no brainer right?
Well, that’s exactly what parents and grandparents thought until they put them into the hands of their children.
And it wasn’t just consoles that got the fake stamp; handhelds such as the Gameboy came installed with “thousands of games” and looked near identical the real product.
Parents went crazy, sales boomed and children cried. China was loving it, hundreds of thousands of these fake consoles flooded the homes and bins of western countries, proving that no regulations on ROMS and the thieving on games could fuel a million dollar market to create fakes.
And to this day, these things are still able to buy. We’ve even seen them in shops, car boot sales and garage sales around the world. They’re the scum of the gaming product industry… but are they really?
The Polystation would not agree.
The Polystation Started Something Magical
The Polystation is one of the first semi-decent fake consoles that started replicating the designs of consoles, and how they got away with it still amazes us to this day.
They dodged the laws of replicating products, changing the name, slightly moving the logo in Photoshop and made it emulate Nintendo games instead of Playstation games.
Is it ripping off Playstation or Nintendo? Nobody knew, and nobody cared.
The first Polystation was a replica of the Playstation 1, a small classic, made of cheap plastic that could be made quite simply in a Chinese factory.
So they did what any genius would do and created a replica shell with out the logo. The disc tray popped open, the buttons worked and were placed exactly where they were meant to be, but it did things a little differently.
They removed the logo, added terrible Times New Roman font, added a Famicon cartridge slot so they can slide in those “10,000 games” and they thought throwing in a gun controller would be great too, because why not?
The first Polystation was now born, a pile of crap that mothers thought would be great, and although it kept people entertained for a solid 7 seconds, after that it was thrown straight into the bin.
But it still sold tens, maybe even hundreds of thousands of units. Success.
Even if the gameplay was terrible and the controllers felt like a kinder egg!
Then The Mighty Polystation 2 Was Born
If the original wasn’t enough for you, you’ll be happy to know there was a version 2, 3 and a 4. But the Polystation 2 was mightiest of them all, and became one of the most famous fake consoles of all time.
Because again, it looks identical to the Playstation 2 and it was utterly terrible.
But its “terrible’ness” was what made it adored by thousands and became known for being a product every 2000’s kid either had, or came across.
There was many editions of the Polystation 2, some with a famicon cartridge, some with Xbox controllers and even some with a gun.
But the most loved of them all was the Polystation 2 that didn’t need a TV and came with a built in LCD screen that could barely work.
But it replicated Playstation 2 so well, that it became a gag gift for the masses. Kids were buying it, parents were buying it, and geeks were playing with it. Sales sky rocketed.
The Polystation 2 could only play a number of 8Bit games such as Snake, Tetris and some other funky racing games. The controller itself was built for babies and was actually the same size as our team’s little finger.
The disc tray, or should we say screen, slides in and out just like it should; it had fake USB ports; a terrible PS2 logo; and even a storage compartment at the back to store the attached controller for extra portability.
And all of this was powered by x2 AA batteries, something every house hold had, so… wait?
Is this a console or a handheld?
Who knows, but everyone loved it, and it was one of those terribly good consoles that you could but on your shelf to laugh at everytime you see it.
Now, years later, these are selling for $50 a pop boxed, because many of the 90’s kids and beyond want this in their nostalgic collection. But as you can imagine majority of these Polystation 2’s have been left to die, recycled or broken down in rage at Christmas, so not many are left.
And if they are, they’re usually in very poor condition. So if you have one boxed, hold onto it for dear life, because this is one of the most wanted fake consoles of all time.
Let’s Talk About The Polystation 3 and 4
They didn’t stop there, and we don’t think they’ll ever stop. Once the Polystation 2 died and become the old generation, they created the Polystation 3 to go alongside the anticipated release of the Playstation 3. But this time they were smart. They decided to release the Polystation 3 before the official launch of the Playstation 3, meaning they’d get sales from the kids that wanted to be cool, and have a fake before they got the real deal. It was a smart call, and again, sold plentiful, but nowhere near as much its previous version.
The Polystation 3 is the only one of the bunch we have yet to discover, but we’ve got one coming in within the next week, so hit us up on Twitter @retro_dodo if you’d like to know our thoughts.
The Polystation 3 came with a couple of editions, just like the previous one. You had a version that can be plugged into your TV to play a wide range of utterly shocking games, or the much loves “handheld” that came with another screen.
This time with a touch of colour, and could play a handful of 8bit games, again, awful games but it was small, replicated the PS3’s design and had a build in game or two.
Later on the down the line, and we’re talking just about a year ago a Polystation 4 was born, and pushed out to Chinese websites. This replicated the Playstation 4 Pro’s design, with it’s 3 layers, but came included with two utterly awful controllers and… not much else, not even a toy gun!
You might think that this is most likely the worst Polystation of them all, but you’ll soon realise that isn’t the case. Admittedly they have nailed the design, but the lack of any new technology is making it lack any kind of need to purchase it.
It’s simply a black block that comes with a famicon cartridge and terrible build quality. It looks the part but it isn’t enough for people to purchase it. They need to add something new, but perhaps we’ll see that in the Polystation 5?
Spoiler alert – we won’t.
Meet The Polystation 5
Just look at the state of this thing.
I’m not going to be as king as I was to the Polystation or the Polystation 2, this could well be the worst fake console that we’ve ever seen.
Ok, the main hub looks similar, but a PS5 shipping with original PS1 controllers? Come on guys, think it through!
Admittedly, this could be a funny present to send to a friend on their birthday, but the fact that kids will no doubt have received this in some parts of the world and opened it up with excitement to find that it’s basically no better than a paperweight makes us super angry.
It plays 200 games, pretty much like all the other Polystations that have come before it. A subscription to PS Plus gives you way more, for crying out loud!
Seriously, a GS5. I mean it couldn’t be any more if a rip off, though the fact it connects with an AV cable definitely signals that this is a terrible flop rather than boasting 10.3 teraflops.
We can confirm the Polystation is officially dead, unless the pull something out of the bag that blows us away. We want a PS4 mini. Heck, we’d even like them to give the PSP concept a go!
The fact that it still exists is beyond us, how Sony aren’t onto them is a question we ask ourselves all the time. But from what we can gather “legally” they are doing nothing wrong. They are titling the product different, it’s not using Sony branding, it’s not using real games, and the controller are generic and not breaking any patents. Touche China, touche!
A 29 year old fella that’s had a Gameboy addiction ever since he was a child. Brandon is the founder of RetroDodo and created a YouTube channel with 240,000 subscribers dedicated to retro gaming products. He now wants to create the No.1 site to showcase the latest retro products from around the globe.