Web3 Games Console ‘Polium One’ Announced To Widespread Criticism
I wish I could put expletives in my titles. The future of blockchain gaming? **** off.
If you’d told me at the start of this week that the gaming community and the NFT community would actually agree on something, I’d have said you were bonkers – but here we are, and for good reason.
On Monday, Polium – a seemingly brand-new “company” – announced the Polium One, a multi-chain Web3 games console slated for a 2025 public release.
Sounds great, right? Ahhh… no.
Within 60 seconds of reading their whitepaper (why do you need a whitepaper for a games console?) alarm bells are already ringing.
What are the hardware specs? Don’t know. What’s the price? Don’t know. What chains will it support? Aha! IMX, ETH, SOL, MATIC, BSC, EOS, WAX and ONE. Okay then, what games will it support? Don’t know.
Oh, but it will be 4K Ultra HD, running at up to 120 frames per second with ray tracing support. Sure it will.
Their whole presence – website, whitepaper, Twitter and all – reeks of bad intentions. Following intense media backlash over the past 48 hours, they’ve rushed to update their website, removing many of the more egregious claims – but are still, as of writing, proudly linking to a whitepaper full of falsehoods, inaccuracies and a torrent of spelling and grammatical errors. Sigh.
Some of their claims regarding Polium One, most of which they’ve now removed, include;
- The inclusion of Touch ID, Apple’s proprietary – and completely unavailable to anybody else – fingerprint-scanning technology (now replaced with “scanner” on their website, but not replaced in their old whitepaper, which is still linked in their Discord. Great job.)
- 8K HDR capability… whilst also being listed as 4K UHD (now removed)
- A “custom CPU/GPU provided by Nvidia”. C’mon now.
This is just the surface-level stuff. The website, the whitepaper, the Twitter – the info that any fleeting influencer with a rabid Twitch chat and 5 minutes to spare between queue pops will find.
If you thought those were bad enough, let’s dive into the deepest, darkest depths of Polium’s presence, to a place that few brave souls or media outlets have dared to enter. This is the place that Polium – and many other Web3 projects – call home. Discord.
My cursed eyes first crossed their announcements channel. Their latest message ends on the positive note that they’ll start banning people who speak negatively about the project. They might want to pay their mods more, as it’s currently overrun with memes. Oh wait – they don’t have any mods.
Their announcements also claim that the console has a “board” (what?), and they will show their prototype live on YouTube “by November or before”, or get a “well-trusted influencer” to do it for them. Makes sense – if I was responsible for this, I wouldn’t want to show my face either.
But, oh blessed gamers, rejoice! There will be games on the console!
What are these games? They’ll announce them soon. Oh. And they’re currently talking to game developers, and asking the community what games they’d like to see. So… they have no games – despite creating a mock-up marketplace with a host of Web3 games listed.
They also refute that they’ve copied the GameCube logo. Let’s take a look.
Oh, what’s that? You’re hiring an illustrator to design a new logo? Good idea.
It’s done? Let’s see it then.
They also claim to be giving away a brand-new Nintendo Switch, but you need to follow them on Twitter to enter. I’m okay, thanks.
Onwards we plunge – the FAQs have caught my eye. Apparently, they’ll provide the spec-sheet and warranty information in 2023. Hang on, you said you’d show the prototype by November – do you even know what hardware is going into your prototype?
In fairness, they didn’t claim which November they’d show the prototype in. Maybe I’m the idiot.
The grand sham carries on with “the specs that you see on the site are not confirmed until we have a functional prototype”. What specs? You haven’t listed any! That 2025 public release date is starting to seem very far-fetched indeed.
Their Discord also gave me the Twitter handle of their founder, @yuuroshi. Their one and only Tweet is this enthralling gem.
When you care more about solving the problem than the actual product nothing can stop you from achieving it. Nothing beats passionate people #Web3 #Inventor #Web3Gaming #Motivation #Entrepreneur
— yuuroshi (@yuuroshi) July 2, 2022
Using that logic, aren’t you admitting the Polium One is bad? I honestly can’t find another way to take this.
Now, the motherload. The NFTs.
Below another mention of Touch ID (again, great job with removing that) – brace yourselves – here’s how you can pre-order a Polium One.
You need to buy a Polium Pass. Great, how much are they? TBT. Huh? Throwback Thursday? Truth Be Told? What the hell do you mean by TBT?
Okay fine, you won’t tell me how much these passes are. When can I buy them? TBT. How many can I buy? TBT. How many are available? Oh finally, an answer – 10,000. I wonder why they’ve chosen that number.
If you can’t get your hands on this all-conquering behemoth in gaming history, don’t fret – more consoles will be made in future. In fact, their goal for 2025 is to “manufacture and sell over 1 million consoles”.
That’s it. I’m tapping out.
It’ll be a bona-fide miracle if the Polium One sees the light of day.
This looks like something cooked up in less than 48 hours by a group of people looking to swindle Web3’s most gullible before disappearing into the sunset as quickly as they arrived.
If it wasn’t for the massive media attention, I’m sure they’d have announced the Polium Pass sale information already and would be preparing their bank accounts for the influx of dirty money.
In the extremely unlikely scenario that this project has a single cent of VC money behind it – although with what I’ve seen be given funding lately, perhaps it isn’t as unlikely as I’d like it to be – that VC deserves to be vilified to the ends of the Earth and condemned to burn in the fiery depths of hell for eternity.
In the even more unlikely scenario that whoever is behind this is legitimately trying to create a Web3 console, please do better. Physical hardware can’t be promoted like an NFT collection. At the very least, you need a spec-sheet. Partnerships with blockchains. Partnerships with developers. A set price, for goodness sake. You need way more than a whitepaper and a wish.
The worst bit for me? Low-effort trash like this reinforces the popular opinion that Web3 and NFTs are a joke, and are to be avoided at all costs – but more on that next week. Goodness knows I’ve already taken enough of your time today.
I’ve voiced my opinion on Kotaku before, but I can’t help but agree wholeheartedly with John Walker’s recent piece. I’m almost tempted to join him in setting my head on fire if the Polium One ever gets released.
Does blockchain gaming have a place on consoles in future? Maybe – but this isn’t it. Not by a long shot.
If you’re reading this, I feel like I owe you a good laugh after wading through this sea of bullshit with me, so here’s a collage of the very best community comments within their Discord, as well as highlights from Founder yuuroshi himself. Enjoy.