A render of an imaginary console and controller, floating in the clouds.

Image: shomos uddin / Polium / Kotaku (Getty Images)

The Polium One is the answer to a question no one has ever, nor will ever, ask. It is a “next-gen console for web3 gaming.” Which is to say, a render on a website for a fictional machine that I believe will absolutely will never get made. I dare them to prove me wrong.

To be clear from the start “web3”or “web 3.0” is the umbrella term for a series of transparently obvious scams, from the delusions of cryptocurrency to the embarrassment of NFTs. It doesn’t really mean anything, and if you see anyone using it, you know to steer very wide. So yes, the Polium One!

Polium, a company of such renown that it wasn’t even able to get the Twitter handle with just one underscore after the brand name, has announced its intention to create the first console designed for…for…the thingy. You know. The web3 stuff. Um, like, payments! Yes, the payments! You can pay for things on it using all sorts of crypto!

Seriously, that’s all it has. The hilarious website, suggesting a 2024 launch for backers, 2025 for the hoi polloi, has an FAQ that offers absolutely no answers, other than which bullshit payment networks it’ll accept. You, a nocoiner, might want to ask, “What games will be available at launch?” but you’ll only be told, “We are currently in talks with multiple game developers.” Meanwhile, a true believer will want to know that you can spend your pretend money via Ethereum, Solana, Polygon, BNB, Imm…

My favorite question in the FAQ is “What will be the specs?” And not just for that tortuous effort not to split the infinitive. Here’s the answer, in full:

“We aim to build a high-performance console. The specs you see on the site are not confirmed until we have a functional prototype.”

A high-performance one! Where do I pre-order?!

As for those “specs” on the site, they are—so far as I can tell—the following: 4K Ultra HD, TouchID, 8K HDR, Ray Tracing, up to 120 frames per second.

Let’s break that down. It’s 4K AND 8K, has ray tracing and 120fps on its no graphics card, and boasts…Apple’s wholly owned and unavailable-to-outsiders TouchID! Bold claims!

It really doubles-down on that TouchID declaration, which it absolutely cannot have, claiming it’s also the tech that shall prevent others sneaking in and using your console to spend all your crypto on a picture of a monkey.

However, when you want to spend all your own crypto on a picture of a monkey, the console has your back, boasting a “multi-chain wallet for trading, swapping and bridging,” as well as, “buy and trade NFTs and in-game items.”

It gets even funnier when you look at Polium’s Medium page, where we’re informed that, “The console will be built by the community.” Er, huh? Well, you see, “We will take pre-orders before the console’s hardware is completely built. This will help us gather customer feedback, ideas, and validation.” Ahhhh. They’ll take your money before a thing exists in order to feel more valid. Got it.

Let’s remember, none of this exists. It’s a render next to a series of nonsensical claims, and a promise of a prototype “in a few months.” Nothing suggests a roadmap to victory like “in a few.” But where there’s suddenly a puddle of detail is a mock-up of its “clean dashboard.”

A mock-up of the Polium's dashboard, that will never exist.

Image: Polium

Look at that array of games! There’s Otherside, the Bored Ape Yacht Club “metaverse” game that will never fully come out! There’s Decentraland, the miserable virtual world of NFTs! There’s Highstreet, an in-alpha online shopping mall! And so on. Every “game” it imagines running on the system is a gross mess of ways to spend money, requiring you “connect a wallet” before you can play. It’s not subtle. And of course none of these is confirmed for the Polium, because the Polium is currently entirely imaginary.

And we haven’t even touched on how the emblem is the Game Cube’s, swapping its negative-space G for a P. Or how the controller is a Dollar Store Dual Sense with the trackpad fallen off.

So how do you buy one? Because god knows you’re desperate to now, right? Well, as it happens you have to spend a bunch of crypto on a “pass.” A pass that will then allow you to exchange it for a console once the thing isn’t ever made.

BUT WAIT, THERE’S MORE! Buy a Polium Pass as soon as the company has the gumption to make that live, and you’ll also get a “free” Playables PFP NFT! Which is to say, a jpeg of a “retro robot,” and like so much about this gibberish, Polium will “provide more information later this year.” How will you pay for things? Using “PLAY,” a token about which Polium will “provide more information later this year.”

It’s extraordinary just how much information will be provided later this year, as if the announcement of its phantasmic product came as a surprise to Polium Underscore Underscore.

Every section on the site is just so (un)funny. Like the “roadmap.” Oh my god, I love it so much.

The so-called "roadmap" for the Polium, from "idea" to "launch".

Screenshot: Polium / Kotaku

Perfect. Have all my money.

We shall of course keep you up-to-date with every step of the Polium’s development, from when it starts taking people’s money to its eventual announcement that it won’t be going ahead after all.

If this thing ever gets released, I will set my own head on fire.


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