PixelFX have just posted their first official update on the Morph in over a year and a half and it seems like it was worth the wait! Their target release date is before the end of this year and there’s multiple versions to choose from: An HDMI-only version at $400, plus multiple analog + HDMI input versions are $475 – and all will scale to 4K! There’s no word if all features will be available at those prices, or if you’ll have to upgrade via a software paywall for full access like their Retro GEM, however they mentioned cheaper “early bird pricing discounts”. More info after the link:
Morph 2023 Marketing Release: https://www.pixelfx.co/morph4k
There’s so much to discuss about this product, but on a personal note, it was nice to know the PixelFX team still watches the Weekly Roundup and took the time to respond so quickly to the concerns and suggestions I voiced yesterday; Their marketing materials even directly quoted me and I’m happy that they’re taking my advice seriously. Let’s touch upon some of the basics of their press release…
First, the “Morph 4K HDMI edition” will only have an HDMI input, which is a good thing! This will allow people who’ve purchased their internal, digital-to-digital HDMI products a budget way to scale those consoles to 4K. And if you don’t own any other analog consoles then this is a cool savings to skip inputs you wouldn’t need.
There’s also multiple HDMI + Analog editions available: One with a VGA input, one with SCART + RCA and another with BNC inputs, which is awesome for Crosspoint users! It also appears the Morph’s internal analog modules are swappable and you can even add it later on, even if you purchased the HDMI-only version. There’s no pricing info on those modules, but I’d assume they’re about $75 – the difference between the two editions. Once again, I think this is such a good move and the perfect example of the right way to give customers a way to build onto their products after purchase. They’re even planning on posting the open source gerbers of the connector PCBs, along with mechanical design references for alternate case designs that would allow multiple analog modules to be connected. While I think that’s cool, I (respectfully) think most people might be better off just getting one analog module and spending their money on Pixel FX’s Infinity Switch to handle multiple inputs…
…and speaking of the Infinity Switch, the team is planning on releasing more details by the end of this year. I guess plan on a 2024 release for the switch, but that’s speculation – Maybe they’ll surprise us and make this a dual-release? Either way, if you’re looking for a switch that will mix a bunch of different signals, the Infinity Switch is looking like potentially the best choice. While my Crosspoint has been working perfectly, it’s 20+ years old and designed for TV signals. I’d much rather put my trust in a switch designed specifically for the devices I’ll be connecting and will seriously consider migrating to the Infinity Switch after seeing it’s real-world performance.
The press release also briefly mentioned a bunch of other options, like different choices of case colors, a expansion port that could allow a future addition of an analog output (a great option for people with both modern and retro displays) and even an USB A port that will allow device control; This should work flawlessly with their Infinity Switch and has the potential to control Extron Crosspoints and even g-switches (although the g-switches would require a hardware mod to install a control port).
So, obviously, all of this is speculation until the Morph is released and in people’s hands. Dan did post a picture of the actual Morph, as well as some previous prototypes to squash any speculation that the press release is all 3D renders (and even if they are 3D renders, who cares, Dan just proved it’s real!). It’s just so exciting to see a full range of prices and features being released for the next generation of video game scalers! I hope between these lower-priced options and the RetroTINK 4K, all use cases and price point-to-feature ratios can be covered, from “Consumer CRT to BVM” 🙂