M3: Marsupial MiSTer Multisystem

Koala Koa has just started selling fully loaded MiSTer kits, based on Heber’s open source MiSTer Multisystem.  These kits are pre-configured and even include TapTo pre-installed into the case, with some NFC cards to launch the licensed games that come pre-loaded.  Tons more details below and a full unboxing and demo can be found above, but please make sure you take a look at what’s included as you consider the $650 price tag:

Purchase Here:

So, right off the bat, I need to stress what you’re getting for that six hundred, fifty dollars:  A fully assembled and configured MiSTer setup, along with a Retro Fighters controller, fully-shielded SCART cable, wireless keyboard, MeanWell 4a PSU, 128GB Micro SD card, WiFi/Bluetooth dual USB module, NFC cards pre-programmed with the bundled games…and the following games legally licensed to be sold on these units:

  • Astebros
  • Demons of Asteborg
  • Cyborg Force
  • Dottie Flowers
  • 240p Test Suite for Neo Geo

At the moment, Koala’s selling the standard case version (just like the original Heber Multisystem), one that resembles a Neo Geo and the case I demo’d in the livestream that closely resembles a Genesis 2.  A version that looks like a PlayStation will be on sale soon as well and all are the same price.

I tested everything and it’s exactly as I hoped:  A “turnkey” MiSTer setup that someone can just buy and start gaming.  There’s really not much else the average MiSTer user would want with this, so the price includes everything.  When taking that into consideration, $650 doesn’t sound nearly as high, does it?

There are a few negatives I found with this setup.  First, you’ll either have to open the case to get access to the internal MicroSD card, or simply access it remotely.  I’ve found transferring games or config files over the network is really easy and I load ROMs from my RetroNAS anyway, so this is a non-issue for me.  If you have a large collection to copy over and want to access the card directly, or if you’re just constantly tinkering and don’t use FTP, having to open the case might be a pain.
UPDATE 06/24:  Looks like all M3’s will ship with a FREE MicroSD extension kit, completely solving this issue!:

Next, the fan bundled with my kit was a bit loud.  Koala said he’d ship units with the quieter fan that already passed thermal testing.  Even though it’s quieter, it’s not silent – And that’s an impossibility with a setup like this, as the DE-10 is upside down and requires airflow to keep it at a proper temperature.  The quieter mode didn’t bother me at all, but I wanted to note that for people who’s ears are sensitive to fan noise.

Lastly, (just like with Heber’s Multisystem), it uses the older analog I/O board circuits, which outputs video a bit too high.  There’s ZERO chance of any damage to your equipment, it’s just not as dialed-in as something like the Retro Castle kits.  That said, it performs the same as 99% of the MiSTer kits sold, so by no means is it a step down.  It the highest quality analog video is a requirement, you can always use an external DAC with this kit and just switch MiSTer to Direct Video mode.

Overall, I love it.  I still recommend the Retro Castle HDMI-Only kits as my favorite for people on a budget, or people who just don’t need analog video.  But if you have the extra money to spend and want something that looks and feels like a console, this is the one to buy today.

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