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An arcade system board is a dedicated computer system created for the purpose of running video arcade games. Arcade system boards typically consist of a main system board with any number of supporting boards.
A computer is a machine that can be instructed to carry out sequences of arithmetic or logical operations automatically via computer programming. Modern computers have the ability to follow generalized sets of operations, called programs. These programs enable computers to perform an extremely wide range of tasks. A "complete" computer including the hardware, the operating system, and peripheral equipment required and used for "full" operation can be referred to as a computer system. This term may as well be used for a group of computers that are connected and work together, in particular a computer network or computer cluster.
A video game is an electronic game that involves interaction with a user interface to generate visual feedback on a two- or three-dimensional video display device such as a TV screen, virtual reality headset or computer monitor. Since the 1980s, video games have become an increasingly important part of the entertainment industry, and whether they are also a form of art is a matter of dispute.
An arcade game or coin-op game is a coin-operated entertainment machine typically installed in public businesses such as restaurants, bars and amusement arcades. Most arcade games are video games, pinball machines, electro-mechanical games, redemption games or merchandisers. While exact dates are debated, the golden age of arcade video games is usually defined as a period beginning sometime in the late 1970s and ending sometime in the mid-1980s. Excluding a brief resurgence in the early 1990s, the arcade industry subsequently declined in the Western hemisphere as competing home video game consoles such as the Sony PlayStation and Microsoft Xbox increased in their graphics and game-play capability and decreased in cost. The eastern hemisphere retains a strong arcade industry.
The earliest non-microprocessor based arcade system boards were designed around codeless state machine computers with the main board and any support boards consisting of discrete logic circuits comprising each element of the game itself.The next generation of arcade system boards, with the inclusion of microprocessor based technology, incorporated the game program code directly on the main system board via game code stored in ROM chips mounted on the main board.
In electronics, a logic gate is an idealized or physical device implementing a Boolean function; that is, it performs a logical operation on one or more binary inputs and produces a single binary output. Depending on the context, the term may refer to an ideal logic gate, one that has for instance zero rise time and unlimited fan-out, or it may refer to a non-ideal physical device.
A microprocessor is a computer processor that incorporates the functions of a central processing unit on a single integrated circuit (IC), or at most a few integrated circuits. The microprocessor is a multipurpose, clock driven, register based, digital integrated circuit that accepts binary data as input, processes it according to instructions stored in its memory and provides results as output. Microprocessors contain both combinational logic and sequential digital logic. Microprocessors operate on numbers and symbols represented in the binary number system.
Read-only memory (ROM) is a type of non-volatile memory used in computers and other electronic devices. Data stored in ROM cannot be electronically modified after the manufacture of the memory device. Read-only memory is useful for storing software that is rarely changed during the life of the system, sometimes known as firmware. Software applications for programmable devices can be distributed as plug-in cartridges containing read-only memory.
Later arcade system boards, including the DECO Cassette System, SNK's Neo-Geo, Capcom's CPS-2, and Sega's NAOMI, separated the system board from the game program itself, akin to a home video game console and cartridge/CD/DVD/Hard Disk. This method benefitted both manufacturers and arcade game owners. Once the system board was purchased, the owner could switch out the games at a fraction of the price and with less effort, and the manufacturers could produce fewer of the costly system boards and more of the less-costly games.
The DECO Cassette System was introduced in December 1980 by Data East. It was the first standardised arcade system that allowed arcade owners to change games.
Capcom Co., Ltd. is a Japanese video game developer and publisher known for creating numerous multi-million selling game franchises, including Street Fighter, Mega Man, Resident Evil, Devil May Cry, Monster Hunter and Ace Attorney as well as games based on Disney animated properties. Established in 1979, it has become an international enterprise with subsidiaries in North America, Europe, and Japan.
The CP System II or CPS-2 is an arcade system board that Capcom first used in 1993 for Super Street Fighter II. It was the successor to their previous CP System and Capcom Power System Changer arcade hardware and was succeeded by the CP System III hardware in 1996, of which the CPS-2 would outlive by over four years. The arcade system had new releases for it until the end of 2003, ending with Hyper Street Fighter II.
Currently, the company with the record of the highest number of original arcade system boards is Sega.
The Neo Geo, stylised as NEO・GEO, also written as NEOGEO, is a cartridge-based arcade system board and fourth-generation home video game console released on April 26, 1990, by Japanese game company SNK Corporation. It was the first system in SNK's Neo Geo family. The Neo Geo was marketed as 24-bit; its CPU is technically a 16/32-bit 68000-based system with an 8/16-bit Z80 coprocessor, while its GPU chipset has a 24-bit graphics data bus.
A blitter is a circuit, sometimes as a coprocessor or a logic block on a microprocessor, dedicated to the rapid movement and modification of data within a computer's memory. A blitter can copy large quantities of data from one memory area to another relatively quickly, and in parallel with the CPU, while freeing up the CPU's more complex capabilities for other operations. A typical use for a blitter is the movement of a bitmap, such as windows and fonts in a graphical user interface or images and backgrounds in a 2D video game. The name comes from the bit blit operation of the 1973 Xerox Alto, which stands for bit-block transfer. A blit operation is more than a memory copy, because it can involve data that's not byte aligned, handling transparent pixels, and various ways of combining the source and destination data.
SNK Corporation is a Japanese video game hardware and software company, successor to the Original SNK Corporation and current owner of the SNK video game brand and Neo Geo video game platform. The Shin Nihon Kikaku Corporation was founded in 1978 by Eikichi Kawasaki. Initially called Shin Nihon Kikaku, the name was informally shortened to SNK Corporation in 1981 before becoming the company's official name in 1986.
A sound chip is an integrated circuit designed to produce sound. It might do this through digital, analog or mixed-mode electronics. Sound chips normally contain things like oscillators, envelope controllers, samplers, filters and amplifiers. During the late 20th century, sound chips were widely used in arcade game system boards, video game consoles, home computers, and PC sound cards.
In the history of computer and video games, the third generation began on July 15, 1983, with the Japanese release of two systems: the Nintendo Family Computer and Sega SG-1000. This generation marked the end of the North American video game crash, and a shift in the dominance of home video games from the United States to Japan. Handheld consoles were not a major part of this generation, although the Game & Watch line from Nintendo had started in 1980 and the Milton Bradley Microvision came out in 1979.
Ikari Warriors is a vertically scrolling, run & gun shoot 'em up arcade game developed by SNK, published in North America and Europe by Tradewest, and released in 1986. Originally titled Ikari in Japan, Ikari Warriors was SNK's first major breakthrough US release. The game was released at the time when there were many Commando clones on the market. What distinguished Ikari Warriors were rotary joysticks and a two-player mode.
Kung-Fu Master is a side-scrolling beat 'em up game produced by Irem as arcade game in 1984 and distributed by Data East in North America. The game was initially released in Japan under the title of Spartan X as a tie-in based on the Jackie Chan film Wheels on Meals ; however, the game has no bearing on the plot of the film outside the names of the main protagonist and his girlfriend, allowing Irem to export the game without the license by simply changing the title.
Ocean Software Ltd, commonly referred to as Ocean, was a British software development company, that became one of the biggest European video game developers and publishers of the 1980s and 1990s.
1985 saw many sequels and prequels in video games and several new titles such as Gradius, Super Mario Bros. and Duck Hunt.
PlayChoice-10 is an arcade machine which can consist of as many as 10 different games previously available only on the Nintendo Entertainment System (NES) home console. The games for this system are in the modular form of circuit boards which are plugged into one of the ten open slots on the PlayChoice-10's motherboard.
The TMS34010, released in 1986, is the first programmable graphics processor integrated circuit. It is a full 32-bit processor which includes graphics-oriented instructions so it can serve as a combined CPU and GPU, and it was used as such in a number of high-profile arcade games including Mortal Kombat and NBA Jam.
ADK Corporation, formerly known as Alpha Denshi Corporation (アルファ電子株式会社), was a Japanese video game developer founded in 1980. ADK began as a developer of arcade games and is best known for their library of SNK Neo Geo titles, including for its home consoles, produced in partnership with SNK. Most notable among these are their fighting games and in particular, the World Heroes series. The company closed with properties sold to SNK Playmore in 2003.
Atari System refers to two arcade system boards introduced in 1984 for use in various arcade games from Atari Games. Two versions of the board were released, Atari System 1 and Atari System 2.
The second decade in the industry's history was decade of highs and lows for video games. The decade began amidst a boom in the arcade business with giants like Atari still dominating the market since the late-1970s. Another, the rising influence of the home computer, and a lack of quality in the games themselves lead to an implosion of the North American video game market that nearly destroyed the industry. It took home consoles years to recover from the crash, but Nintendo filled in the void with its Nintendo Entertainment System (NES), reviving interest in consoles. Up until this point, most investors believed video games to be a fad that has since passed. In the remaining years of the decade, Sega ignites a console war with Nintendo, developers that have been affected by the crash experiment with the superior graphics of the PC, and Nintendo also releases the Game Boy, which would become the best-selling handheld gaming device for the next two-decades.
Takashi Nishiyama, sometimes credited as Piston Takashi, Nishiyama, or T. Nishiyama, is a Japanese video game designer, director, and producer, who worked for Irem, Capcom, and SNK, before founding his own company Dimps. He started his career at Irem, where he developed early arcade games such as the 1982 scrolling shooter Moon Patrol and the 1984 beat 'em up Kung-Fu Master. At Capcom, he created the Street Fighter fighting game franchise in 1987. He then worked at SNK, where he created the Fatal Fury fighting game franchise, and worked on Art of Fighting and King of Fighters, as well as the run & gun shooter series Metal Slug.