Neo Geo AES console (top) and 4-slot MVS arcade cabinet (bottom)
|Product family||Neo Geo|
|Type|| Arcade system board |
Home video game console
|Release date|| |
Neo Geo Multi Video System
Neo Geo Rental System/Neo Geo Advanced Entertainment System
2007 (technical support)
|Units sold||1 million|
|CPU||Motorola 68000 @ 12MHz, Zilog Z80A @ 4MHz|
|Memory||64KB RAM, 84KB VRAM, 2KB Sound Memory|
|Display||320×224 resolution, 4096 on-screen colors out of a palette of 65536|
|Power||8 W older Systems|
5 W newer Systems
|Dimensions||325 × 237 × 60 mm|
|Successor|| Neo Geo CD (1994)|
Hyper Neo Geo 64 (1997)
The Neo Geo (Japanese: ネオジオ, Hepburn: Neojio), 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.
The Neo Geo originally launched as the MVS (Multi Video System) coin-operated arcade machine. The MVS offers owners the ability to put up to six different cartridges into a single cabinet, a unique feature that was also a key economic consideration for operators with limited floorspace, as well as saving money long-term.With its games stored on self-contained cartridges, a game cabinet can be exchanged for a different game title by swapping the game's ROM cartridge and cabinet artwork. A home console version was also made, called AES (Advanced Entertainment System). It was originally launched as a rental console for video game stores in Japan (called Neo Geo Rental System), with its high price causing SNK not to release it for home use – this was later reversed due to high demand and it came into the market as a luxury console. The AES had the same raw specs as the MVS and had full compatibility, thus managed to bring a true arcade experience to home users. The Neo Geo was revived along with the brand overall in December 2012 through the introduction of the Neo Geo X handheld and home system.
The Neo Geo was a very powerful system when released, more powerful than any video game console at the time, and many arcade systems such as rival Capcom's CPS, which did not surpass it until the CP System II in 1993.The Neo Geo MVS was a success during the 1990s due to the cabinet's low cost, six ROM slots, and compact size. Several successful video game series were released for the platform, such as Fatal Fury , Art of Fighting , Samurai Shodown , The King of Fighters and Metal Slug . The AES had a very niche market in Japan, though sales were very low in the U.S. due to its high price for both the hardware and software; but it has since gained a cult following and is now considered a collectable. Neo Geo hardware production lasted seven years, discontinued in 1997, whereas game software production lasted until 2004, making Neo Geo the longest supported arcade system of all time. The AES console was succeeded by the Neo Geo CD and the MVS arcade by the Hyper Neo Geo 64. As of March 1997, the Neo Geo and the Neo Geo CD combined had sold 980,000 units worldwide. In 2009, the Neo Geo was ranked 19th out of the 25 best video game consoles of all time by video game website IGN.
The Neo Geo hardware was an evolution of an older SNK/Alpha Denshi M68000 arcade platform that was used in Time Soldiers in 1987, further developed in the SNK M68000 hardware platform as used for P.O.W.: Prisoners of War in 1988. Contrary to other popular arcade hardware of the time, the SNK/Alpha Denshi hardware used sprite strips instead of the more common tilemap based backgrounds.The Neo Geo hardware was essentially developed by Alpha Denshi's Eiji Fukatsu, adding sprite scaling through the use of scaling tables stored in ROM as well as support for a much higher amount of data on cartridges and better sound hardware.
The Neo Geo was announced on January 31, 1990 in Osaka, Japan US$650 console, SNK expanded sales and marketing into the home console market in 1991.and released on April 26, 1990. Initially, the AES home system was only available for rent to commercial establishments, such as hotel chains, bars and restaurants, and other venues. When customer response indicated that some gamers were willing to buy a
Neo Geo's graphics and sound are largely superior to other contemporary home consoles, arcades, and even computers such as the Sharp X68000. Unlike earlier systems, the Neo Geo AES was intended to reproduce the same quality of game as the arcade MVS system. The MVS was one of the most powerful arcade units at the time, allowing the game ROM to be loaded from interchangeable cartridges instead of using custom, dedicated hardware cabinets for each game.
Early attempts to port arcade games to home systems had been limited by inferior hardware. In a well-known incident when Pac-Man was ported to the Atari 2600 many visual features of the original game had to be changed to compensate for the lack of ROM space and the hardware struggled when multiple ghosts appeared on the screen creating a flickering effect. The poor performance of the ported Pac-Man is cited as a cause of the video game crash of 1983.
In the United States, the console's debut price was planned to be US$599 and included two joystick controllers and a game: either Baseball Stars Professional or NAM-1975 . However, the price was raised and its American launch debuted as the Gold System at US$649.99 (equivalent to $1,220in 2019). Later, the Gold System was bundled with Magician Lord and Fatal Fury. The Silver System package, launched at US$399.99, included one joystick controller and no pack-in game. Other games were launched at about US$200 and up. At double or quadruple the price of the competition, the console and its games were accessible only to a niche market.[ citation needed ] Although its high price tag kept it out of the mainstream gaming market, it outlasted the market lifespan of its more popular Nintendo and Sega rivals, and also made a unique niche market for it. In addition, its full compatibility meant that no additional money was being spent on porting or marketing for the AES, since the MVS' success was thus automatically feeding the AES, making the console profitable for SNK.
When realtime 3D graphics became the norm in the arcade industry, the Neo Geo's 2D hardware was unable to do likewise. Despite this, Neo Geo arcade games retained profitability through the mid-1990s,and the system was one of three 1995 recipients of the American Amusement Machine Association's Diamond Awards (which are based strictly on sales achievements). SNK developed a new console in 1994, called the Neo Geo CD. A new arcade was also made in 1997, called Hyper Neo Geo 64. However these two systems had low popularity and only a few games.
Despite the failures of these 3D hardware, and the ceasing of manufacturing home consoles by the end of 1997, SNK continued making software for the original 2D Neo Geo. Despite being very aged by the end of the decade, the Neo Geo continued getting popular releases, such as the critically acclaimed The King of Fighters 2002 . The last official game by SNK for the Neo Geo system, Samurai Shodown V Special , was released in 2004, 14 years after the system's introduction.
On August 31, 2007, SNK stopped offering maintenance and repairs to Neo Geo home consoles, handhelds, and games.
The Neo Geo X, an officially licensed device with a collection of Neo Geo games pre-installed, was first released in 2012 by TOMMO Inc. After just one year and a lukewarm reception due to its price and poor quality of the emulation, on October 2nd, 2013, SNK Playmore terminated the license agreement and demanded an immediate cease and desist of distribution and sales of all licensed products.
In a 1993 review, GamePro gave the Neo Geo a "thumbs up". Though they voiced several criticisms, noting that the system was not as powerful as the soon-to-launch 3DO and had few releases which were not fighting games, they generally praised both the hardware and games library, and recommended that gamers who could not afford the console (which was still priced at $649.99) play the games in the arcade.
Each joystick controller is 280mm (width) × 190mm (depth) × 95mm (height) ( 11 × 8 × 2.5 in.) and contains the same four-button layout as the arcade MVS cabinet.
The arcade machines have a memory card system by which a player could save a game to return to at a later time and could also be used to continue play on the SNK home console of the same name.
The arcade version of the video game hardware is often referred to as the "MVS," or Multi Video System (available in 1-slot, 2-slot, 4-slot, and 6-slot variations, differing in the amount of game cartridges loaded into the machine at the time), with its console counterpart referred to as the "AES", or Advanced Entertainment System. Early motherboard revisions contain daughterboards, used to enhance the clarity of the video output.
The MVS and AES hardware can execute identical machine code. Owners can move EPROMs from one type to the other, and the game will still run. The program specifics for both MVS and AES game options are contained on every game ROM, whether the cartridge is intended for home or arcade use. However, the arcade and home cartridges do have a different pinout. They were designed this way to prevent arcade operators from buying the cheaper home carts and then using them in arcades. It has been found that in a few home version games, one could unlock the arcade version of the game by inputting a special code.
The original specification for ROM size is up to 330 megabits, hence the system displaying "Max 330 Mega Pro-Gear Spec" upon startup. While no technical advances were required to achieve it, some games over 100 megabits, such as Top Hunter , followed this screen by displaying an animation proclaiming "The 100Mega Shock!". The original ROM size specification was later enhanced on cartridges with bank switching memory technology, increasing the maximum cartridge size to around 716 megabits. These new cartridges also cause the system to display "Giga Power Pro-Gear Spec" upon startup or during attract mode, indicating this enhancement.
The system uses seven different specialist processors, which divide the workload for the visuals, audio and gameplay.
RAM: 214 KB SRAM
On-board ROM: 512 KB
The SNK custom video chipset allows the system to draw sprites in vertical strips which are 16 pixels wide, and can be 16 to 512 pixels tall; it can draw up to 96 sprites per scanline for a total of 380 sprites on the screen at a time. Unlike most other video game consoles of its time, the Neo Geo does not use scrolling tilemap background layers. Instead, it has a single non-scrolling tilemap layer called the fix layer, while any scrolling layers rely exclusively on drawing sprites to create the scrolling backgrounds (like the Sega Y Board). By laying multiple sprites side by side, the system can simulate a tilemap background layer. The Neo Geo sprite system represents a step between conventional sprites and tilemaps.
The onboard Yamaha YM2610 sound chip gives the system 15 channels of sound.
The Neo Geo is the first home game console to feature a removable memory card for saved games.[ citation needed ]
The GameTap subscription service has included a Neo Geo emulator and a small library of Neo Geo games. In 2007 Nintendo announced that Neo Geo games would appear on the Wii's Virtual Console,starting with Fatal Fury: King of Fighters , Art of Fighting , and World Heroes . Neo Geo games were released through Xbox Live Arcade and PlayStation Network, including Fatal Fury Special , Samurai Shodown II , Metal Slug 3 , Garou: Mark of the Wolves and The King of Fighters '98 . Many Neo Geo games were released on the PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and Nintendo Switch through the Arcade Collection Archives (ACA) service.
Homebrew activity began after the console's discontinuation, both by noncommercial hobbyists and commercially.
Neo Geo has a community of collectors. Because of the limited production runs received by cartridges amongst the sizable available arcade library, some of the rarest Neo Geo games can sell for well over $1,000. The most valuable game is the European AES version of Kizuna Encounter . The MVS market provides a cheaper alternative to the expensive and rare home cartridges, and complete arcade kits are priced at a premium.It is also possible to play the MVS cartridges, which generally cost much less, on the AES home system through the use of adapters.
On June 9, 2018, SNK announced the Neo Geo Mini, a miniature semi-portable arcade cabinet which features 40 built-in SNK titles, would be released on July 24, 2018 in Japan.[ needs update ] The games are the AES versions, but the Neo Geo Mini features a system which allows players to save and load the game at any time. Neo Geo Mini also can connect to a TV screen with a separately sold HDMI cable. It has a headphone jack and two ports for external Neo Geo mini Pad controllers (also sold separately), which are a re-design of the Neo Geo CD controllers. SNK also announced a Neo Geo Mini International Version, which contains the same features as the Japanese Neo Geo Mini but with 14 titles changed.
The Neo Geo Pocket is a monochrome handheld game console released by SNK. It was the company's first handheld system and is part of the Neo Geo family. It debuted in Japan in late 1998 but never saw an American release, being exclusive to Japan, Asia and Europe.
The Neo Geo CD is the second home video game console of SNK Corporation's Neo Geo family, released in September 9, 1994, four years after its cartridge-based equivalent. This is the same platform, converted to the cheaper CD format retailing at $49 to $79 per title, compared to the $300 cartridges. The system was originally priced at US$399, or £399 in the UK. The unit's 1× CD-ROM drive is slow, with very long loading times. The system can also play Audio CDs. All three versions of the system have no region-lock. The Neo Geo CD was launched bundled with a control pad instead of a joystick like the AES version. However, the original AES joystick can be used with all three Neo Geo CD models.
The TurboGrafx-16, known in Japan and France as the PC Engine, is a cartridge-based home video game console manufactured and marketed by NEC Home Electronics and designed by Hudson Soft. It was released in Japan on October 30, 1987, and in the United States on August 29, 1989. The Japanese model was imported and distributed in France in 1989, and the United Kingdom and Spain received a version based on the American model known as simply TurboGrafx. It was the first console released in the 16-bit era, although it used a modified 8-bit CPU. In Japan, the system was launched as a competitor to the Famicom, but the delayed United States release meant that it ended up competing with the Sega Genesis and later the Super Nintendo Entertainment System.
SNK Corporation is a Japanese video game hardware and software company. It is the successor to the company Shin Nihon Kikaku and presently owns the SNK video game brand and the Neo Geo video game platform. SNK's predecessor Shin Nihon Kikaku was founded in 1978 by Eikichi Kawasaki. The corporation was initially named Shin Nihon Kikaku. The name was then informally shortened to SNK Corporation in 1981 before becoming the company's official name in 1986.
The Neo Geo Pocket Color is a 16-bit color handheld video game console manufactured by SNK. It is a successor to SNK's monochrome Neo Geo Pocket handheld which debuted in 1998 in Japan, with the Color being fully backward compatible. The Neo Geo Pocket Color was released on March 16, 1999 in Japan, August 6, 1999 in North America, and on October 1, 1999 in Europe, entering markets all dominated by Nintendo, competing with Nintendo's Game Boy Color.
The X68000 is a home computer created by Sharp Corporation, first released in 1987, sold only in Japan.
The Hyper Neo Geo 64 is an arcade system created by SNK, and released in September 1997, as the successor of the Neo Geo MVS, within the Neo Geo family.
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.
The CP System is an arcade system board developed by Capcom that ran game software stored on removable ROM cartridges. More than two dozen arcade titles were released for CPS-1, before Capcom shifted game development over to its successor, the CP System II.
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 SuperGun is a device used to play arcade games in lieu of requiring a full arcade cabinet. Arcade games typically are designed to be used in a universal cabinet design. The supergun provides this universal interface in a greatly reduced size, allowing arcade games to be tested or enjoyed without needing the entire cabinet. Superguns frequently resemble video game consoles which plug into a television or monitor, and have detached joysticks and play arcade boards as if they were large cartridges. Some superguns are a large box with two arcade controllers side by side, resembling the top of a typical arcade cabinet.
The Namco System 2 is a 16-bit arcade system board that was first used by Namco in December 1987, and a major enhancement for their earlier Namco System 1 arcade system board ; it was later succeeded by the 3D Namco System 21 "Polygonizer" arcade system board, in 1988.
Neo Turf Masters is a golf video game by Nazca for the Neo Geo, released in 1996. This is also one of the first two titles by Nazca, the other being the popular Metal Slug before & between being acquired by SNK.
The Taito B System is a 16-bit arcade system board released by Taito in 1988. It was used by various arcade video games from 1988 up until 1994. The hardware is similar to the Taito F2 System.
Neo Geo is a family of video game hardware developed by SNK. On the market from 1990 to 2004, the brand originated with the release of an arcade system, the Neo Geo MVS and its home console counterpart, the Neo Geo AES. Both the arcade system and console were powerful for the time and the AES allows for perfect compatibility of games released for the MVS. However, the high price for both the AES console and its games prevented it from directly competing with its contemporaries, the Sega Genesis, Super NES, and TurboGrafx-16. However, the MVS arcade became very successful in stores in Japan and North America.
The PolyGame Master (PGM) is an arcade system board released in 1997 by the Taiwanese company IGS. The PGM was developed in order to compete with the likes of SNK's Neo Geo MVS system in Taiwan. It was succeeded by PGM2 in 2007, and PGM3 in 2012.
The Neo Geo X (NGX) is a handheld video game console manufactured by Tommo, licensed by SNK Playmore. Information about the Neo Geo X was first reported in January 2012 and later confirmed in March. It is the first Neo Geo system to be released since the discontinuation of the brand in 2004 and the third Neo Geo handheld device, following the 1999 release of the Neo Geo Pocket Color, which was supported until 2001.
The Super Famicom Box is a Home video game console created by Nintendo that incorporated a "pay to play" mechanism in a manner similar to arcade machines. It was sold only in Japan in the early 1990s and was only available for installation in hotel rooms. The device consists of Super Famicom console hardware enclosed in a box along with a coin acceptor for time-limited playing of video games. The device includes original Super Famicom controllers.
Riding Hero is a hybrid racing/role-playing arcade video game developed and originally published by SNK on July 24, 1990. It was the first title for both the Neo Geo MVS (arcade) and Neo Geo AES (home) platforms that featured "Multi Play" (Multi-Link) support, which allowed two systems to be connected via a phone jack port integrated into each cartridge for versus LAN play.
Basically, SNK's Neo Geo system has proved the existence of a die-hard market for lower-cost videogames in arcades ...
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Neo-Geo .|