Xbox Live Arcade
Xbox Live Arcade is a digital video game download service available through the Xbox Games Store, Microsoft's digital distribution network for the Xbox 360. It focuses on smaller downloadable games from independent game developers. Titles range from classic console and arcade video games, to new games designed from the ground up for the service. Games available through the XBLA service range from $5–20 in price, as of October 2016, there have been 719 Xbox Live Arcade titles released for the Xbox 360. Prior to the Xbox 360, "Xbox Live Arcade" was the name for an online distribution network on the original Xbox, replaced by the Xbox Live Marketplace; the Xbox Live Arcade service was announced on May 12, 2004, at Microsoft's E3 press conference by Bill Gates and launched on November 6, 2004, for the original Xbox game console. The XBLA software was obtained by ordering it on Microsoft's website, it was sent by mail on a disc that contained a free version of the Ms. Pac-Man video game. To generate greater publicity for the service, the disc was distributed with special issues of the Official Xbox Magazine and as part of the Forza Motorsport Xbox console bundle The service launched with six titles and expanded its library to twelve titles by the end of the year.
Once connected to Xbox Live, customers could purchase additional titles by using a credit card, or download a limited trial version of a game. Prices for the games range from $4.99 to $14.99. On November 22, 2005, XBLA was relaunched on the Xbox 360; the service was integrated into the main Dashboard user interface, the Xbox 360 hard drives were bundled with a free copy of Hexic HD. Every Arcade title on the Xbox 360 supports leaderboards, has 200 Achievement points, high-definition 720p graphics, they have a trial version available for free download. These demos are playable and most of them offer only a fraction of the levels and content of the full game. A full version of the game must be purchased to allow the user to upload scores to the leaderboards, unlock achievements, play online multiplayer, download bonus content. Several new features and enhancements have been added through software updates including a friends leaderboard, additional sorting options, faster enumeration of games, an auto-download feature for newly released trial games, "Tell a Friend" messages.
The original size limit imposed by Microsoft for Xbox Live Arcade games was 50 MB, in order to ensure any downloaded game could fit on a 64 MB Xbox memory unit. The limit has since been changed to 150 MB 350 MB, now 2 GB, the latter of, a technical limitation of the system. On September 12, 2012 the 2 GB limit was raised to an unknown number with two titles, Red Johnson's Chronicles and Double Dragon Neon weighing at 2.68 GB and 2.24 GB, respectively. On July 12, 2006, Microsoft launched the "Xbox Live Arcade Wednesdays" program, which promised a new Arcade game to be launched every Wednesday for the rest of that Summer; when that summer ended, Microsoft announced that new titles for XBLA would be released on Wednesdays. In order to promote the service in retail, Microsoft released Xbox Live Arcade Unplugged Volume 1 as a compilation disc of six games. On October 18, 2007, Microsoft announced the Xbox 360 Arcade console SKU which includes full versions of Boom Boom Rocket, Feeding Frenzy, Luxor 2, Pac-Man Championship Edition, Uno.
On May 22, 2008, Microsoft's general manager of Xbox Live, Marc Whitten, detailed changes for the service that included increasing the size limit of the games to 350MB and improving the way digital rights management is handled. Furthermore, Microsoft created an internal games studio to create "high quality digital content" for XBLA. On July 30, 2008, Microsoft announced the XBLA Summer of Arcade. Anyone who downloaded one of the titles released over August, would be entered into a prize draw with a grand prize of 100,000 Microsoft Points, 12 Month Xbox Live Gold subscription, an Xbox 360 Elite console. Another Summer of Arcade began the next year on July 22, 2009. Anyone who purchases all the titles released, will receive an 800-point reward; the next Summer of Arcade began on July 21, 2010, features Limbo, Hydro Thunder Hurricane, Castlevania: Harmony of Despair, Monday Night Combat and Lara Croft and the Guardian of Light. A "Shopping Spree" promotion ended November 1, 2010, in which anyone who spent over 2400 points during October 2010 received an 800-point reward.
By March 10, 2006, three million downloads had been made on the service. By January 30, 2007, that number had grown to 20 million; the service reached 25 million downloads on March 6, 2007 with 45 million downloads projected by the end of 2007. On March 27, 2007, Microsoft declared Uno to be the first Xbox Live Arcade game to exceed one million downloads. Nearly 70 percent of Xbox 360 owners connected to Xbox Live have downloaded an Arcade title with the attach rate being 6–7 titles per user. Original games receive 350,000 downloads in the first month. Titles have an average 156% financial return over twelve months with the first two months of sales accounting for just 35% of total volume. Average conversion rate across all titles is 18%. On September 19, 2007, Microsoft announced the top ten Arcade downloads worldwide as Aegis Wing, Texas Hold'em, Geometry Wars: Retro Evolved, Bankshot Billiards 2, Street Fighter II: Hyper Fighting, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles 1989 Classic Arcade
FM Towns system is a Japanese variant of PC, built by Fujitsu from February 1989 to the summer of 1997. It started as a proprietary PC variant intended for multimedia applications and PC games, but became more compatible with regular PCs. In 1993, the FM Towns Marty was released; the "FM" part of the name means "Fujitsu Micro" like their earlier products, while the "Towns" part is derived from the code name the system was assigned while in development, "Townes". This refers to Charles Townes, one of the winners of the 1964 Nobel Prize in Physics, following a custom of Fujitsu at the time to code name PC products after Nobel Prize winners; the e in "Townes" was dropped when the system went into production to make it clearer that the term was to be pronounced like the word "towns" rather than the potential "tow-nes". Fujitsu decided to release a new home computer after the FM-7 was technologically overcome by NEC's PC-8801. During the life of the FM-7, Fujitsu had learned that software sales drove hardware sales, in order to acquire usable software the new computer was to be based on Fujitsu's "FMR50" system architecture.
The FMR50 system, released at 1986, was another x86/DOS-based computer similar to NEC's popular PC-9801. The FMR50 computers were sold with moderate success in Japanese offices in Japanese government offices. There were hundreds of software packages available for the FMR, including Lotus 1-2-3, WordStar, dBASE III. With this basis of compatibility, the more multimedia-friendly FM Towns was created. NEC's PC-9801 computers were widespread and dominated in the 1980s, at one point reaching 70% of the 16/32-bit computer market. However, they sounds. Just as Commodore saw an opening for the Amiga in some global markets against the IBM PC, a computer with improved graphics and sound was considered to overcome the PC-9801 in the home-use field in Japan. With many multimedia innovations for its time, the FM Towns was that system, though for a number of reasons it never broke far beyond the boundaries of its niche market status; the FM Towns lost much of its uniqueness by adding a DOS/V compatibility mode switch, until Fujitsu discontinued making FM Towns specific hardware and software and moved to focus on the IBM PC clones that many Japanese manufacturers—who were not players in the PC market—were building by the mid to late 1990s.
To this day, Fujitsu is known for its laptop PCs globally, FM Towns users have been relegated to a small community of aficionados. Several variants were built, its package includes a mouse and a microphone. The earlier, more distinctive models featuring a vertical CD-ROM tray on the front of the case were referred to as the "Gray" Towns, were the ones most directly associated with the "FM Towns" brand. Most featured 3 memory expansion slots and used 72-pin non-parity SIMMs with a required timing of 100ns or less and a recommended timing of 60ns. Hard drives are not standard equipment, are not required for most uses; the OS is loaded from CD-ROM by default. A SCSI Centronics 50/SCSI-1/Full-Pitch port is provided for connecting external SCSI disk drives, is the most common way to connect a hard drive to an FM Towns PC. Although internal drives are rare, there is a hidden compartment with a SCSI 50-pin connector where a hard drive may be connected, however the power supply module does not provide the required Molex connector to power the drive.
The video output is 15 kHz RGB using the same DB15 connector and pinouts as the PC-9801. The operating system used is Windows 3.0/3.1/95 and a graphical OS called Towns OS, based on MS-DOS and the Phar Lap DOS extender. Most games for the system were written in protected mode Assembly and C using the Phar Lap DOS extender; these games utilize the Towns OS API for handling several graphic modes, sounds, a mouse, CD-audio. The FM Towns is capable of booting its graphical Towns OS straight from CD in 1989 - two years before Amiga CDTV booted its GUI-based AmigaOS 1.3 from internal CD drive and the CD-bootable System 7 was released for the Macintosh in 1991, five years before the El Torito specification standardized boot-CDs on IBM PC compatibles in 1994. To boot the system from CD-ROM, the FM TOWNS has a "hidden C:" ROM drive in which a minimum MS-DOS system, CD-ROM driver and MSCDEX. EXE are installed; this minimal DOS system runs first, the DOS system reads and executes the Towns OS IPL stored in CD-ROM after that.
The Towns OS CD-ROM has an IPL, MS-DOS system, DOS extender, Towns API. A minimal DOS system that allows the CD-ROM drive to be accessed is contained in a system ROM. Various Linux and BSD distributions have been ported to the FM Towns system, including Debian and Gentoo. A version of GNU called GNU for FM Towns was released in 1990; the FM Towns features video modes
The PlayStation 4 is an eighth-generation home video game console developed by Sony Interactive Entertainment. Announced as the successor to the PlayStation 3 in February, 2013, it was launched on November 15 in North America, November 29 in Europe, South America and Australia, on February 22, 2014, in Japan, it Switch. Moving away from the more complex Cell microarchitecture of its predecessor, the console features an AMD Accelerated Processing Unit built upon the x86-64 architecture, which can theoretically peak at 1.84 teraflops. The PlayStation 4 places an increased emphasis on social interaction and integration with other devices and services, including the ability to play games off-console on PlayStation Vita and other supported devices, the ability to stream gameplay online or to friends, with them controlling gameplay remotely; the console's controller was redesigned and improved over the PlayStation 3, with improved buttons and analog sticks, an integrated touchpad among other changes.
The console supports HDR10 High-dynamic-range video and playback of 4K resolution multimedia. The PlayStation 4 was released to acclaim, with critics praising Sony for acknowledging its consumers' needs, embracing independent game development, for not imposing the restrictive digital rights management schemes to those announced by Microsoft for Xbox One. Critics and third-party studios praised the capabilities of the PlayStation 4 in comparison to its competitors. Heightened demand helped Sony top global console sales. By the end of December 2018, over 94 million PlayStation 4 consoles had been shipped worldwide, surpassing lifetime sales of its predecessor, the PlayStation 3; as of December 2018, 91.6 million PlayStation 4 consoles had been sold through to customers worldwide. On September 7, 2016, Sony unveiled the PlayStation 4 Pro, a high-end version of the console with an upgraded GPU and higher CPU clock rate to support enhanced performance and 4K resolution on supported games; the company released a variant of the original model with a smaller form factor, the release of a patch to add HDR support to all existing consoles.
According to lead architect Mark Cerny, development of Sony's fourth video game console began as early as 2008. Less than two years earlier, the PlayStation 3 had launched after months of delays due to issues with production; the delay placed Sony a year behind Microsoft's Xbox 360, approaching unit sales of 10 million by the time the PS3 launched. PlayStation Europe CEO Jim Ryan said Sony wanted to avoid repeating the same mistake with PS3's successor. In designing the system, Sony worked with software developer Bungie, who offered their input on the controller and how to make it better for shooting games. In 2012, Sony began shipping development kits to game developers, consisting of a modified PC running the AMD Accelerated Processing Unit chipset; these development kits were known as "Orbis". In early 2013, Sony announced that an event known as PlayStation Meeting 2013 would be held in New York City, U. S. on February 20, 2013, to cover the "future of PlayStation". Sony announced the PlayStation 4 at the event.
It revealed details about the console's hardware and discussed some of the new features it will introduce. Sony showed off real-time footage of games in development, as well as some technical demonstrations; the design of the console was unveiled in June at the Electronic Entertainment Expo 2013, the initial recommended retail prices of $399, €399, £349 given. The company revealed release dates for North America, Central America, South America and Australia, as well as final pieces of information, at a Gamescom press event in Cologne, Germany, on August 20, 2013; the console was released on November 15, 2013, in the United States and Canada, followed by further releases on November 29, 2013. By the end of 2013, the PS4 was launched in more European and South American countries The PS4 released in Japan at ¥39,980 on February 22, 2014. Sony finalized a deal with the Chinese government in May 2014 to sell its products in mainland China, the PS4 will be the first product to be released. Kazuo Hirai, chief executive officer of Sony, said in May: "The Chinese market, just given the size of it, is potentially a large market for video game products...
I think that we will be able to replicate the kind of success we have had with PS4 in other parts of the world in China."In September 2015, Sony reduced the price of the PS4 in Japan to ¥34,980, with similar price drops in other Southeast Asian markets. The first official sub £300 PS4 bundle was the £299.99 "Uncharted Nathan Drake Collection 500GB", released in the UK on October 9, 2015. On October 9, 2015, the first official price cut of the PS4 in North America was announced: a reduction of $50 to $349.99 and by $20 to $429.99. An official price cut in Europe followed in late October 2015, reduced to €349.99/£299.99. On June 10, 2016, Sony confirmed that a hardware revision of the PlayStation 4, rumored to be codenamed "Neo", was under development; the new revision is a higher-end model, meant to support gameplay in 4K. The new model will be sold alongside the existing model, all existing software will be compatible between the two models. Layden stated that Sony has no plans to "bifurcate the market", only that gamers playing on the Neo will "have the same experience, but one will be delivered at a higher resol
Hepburn romanization is a system for the romanization of Japanese that uses the Latin alphabet to write the Japanese language. It is used by most foreigners learning to spell Japanese in the Latin alphabet and by the Japanese for romanizing personal names, geographical locations, other information such as train tables, road signs, official communications with foreign countries. Based on English writing conventions, consonants correspond to the English pronunciation and vowels approximate the Italian pronunciation; the Hepburn style was developed in the late 19th century by an international commission, formed to develop a unified system of romanization. The commission's romanization scheme was popularized by the wide dissemination of a Japanese–English dictionary by commission member and American missionary James Curtis Hepburn, published in 1886; the "modified Hepburn system" known as the "standard system", was published in 1908 with revisions by Kanō Jigorō and the Society for the Propagation of Romanization.
Although Kunrei romanization is favored by the Japanese government today, Hepburn romanization is still in use and remains the worldwide standard. The Hepburn style is regarded as the best way to render Japanese pronunciation for Westerners. Since it is based on English and Italian pronunciations, people who speak English or Romance languages will be more accurate in pronouncing unfamiliar Japanese words romanized in the Hepburn style compared to Nihon-shiki romanization and Kunrei-shiki romanization. Hepburn is based on English phonology and has competed with the alternative Nihon-shiki romanization, developed in Japan as a replacement of the Japanese script. In 1930 a Special Romanization Study Commission was appointed to compare the two; the Commission decided in favor of a slightly-modified version of Nihon-shiki, proclaimed to be Japan's official romanization for all purposes by a September 21, 1937, cabinet ordinance. The ordinance was temporarily overturned by the Supreme Commander for the Allied Powers during the Occupation of Japan, but it was reissued with slight revisions in 1954.
In 1972 a revised version of Hepburn was codified as ANSI standard Z39.11-1972. It was proposed in 1989 as a draft for ISO 3602 but rejected in favor of the Kunrei-shiki romanization; the ANSI Z39.11-1972 standard was deprecated on October 6, 1994. As of 1978 the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Ministry of International Trade and Industry, many other official organizations used Hepburn instead of Kunrei-shiki. In addition The Japan Times, the Japan Travel Bureau, many other private organizations used Hepburn instead of Kunrei-shiki; the National Diet Library used Kunrei-shiki. Although Hepburn is not a government standard, some government agencies mandate it. For example, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs requires the use of Hepburn on passports, the Ministry of Land and Transport requires the use of Hepburn on transport signs, including road signs and railway station signs. In many other areas that it lacks de jure status, Hepburn remains the de facto standard. Signs and notices in city offices and police stations and at shrines and attractions use it.
English-language newspapers and media use the simplified form of Hepburn. Cities and prefectures use it in information for English-speaking residents and visitors, English-language publications by the Japanese Foreign Ministry use simplified Hepburn as well. Official tourism information put out by the government uses it, as do guidebooks, both local and foreign, on Japan. Many students of Japanese as a foreign language learn Hepburn. There are many variants of the Hepburn romanization; the two most common styles are as follows: The Traditional Hepburn, as defined in various editions of Hepburn's dictionary, with the third edition considered authoritative. It is characterized by the rendering of syllabic n as m before the consonants b, m and p: Shimbashi for 新橋. Modified Hepburn known as Revised Hepburn, in which the rendering of syllabic n as m before certain consonants is no longer used: Shinbashi for 新橋; the style was introduced in the third edition of Kenkyūsha's New Japanese-English Dictionary, was adopted by the Library of Congress as one of its ALA-LC romanizations, is the most common version of the system today.
In Japan itself, there are some variants mandated for various uses: Railway Standard, which follows the Hyōjun-shiki Rōmaji. All Japan Rail and other major railways use it for station names. Ministry of Land, Infrastructure and Tourism Standard, how to spell Roman letters of road signs, which follows the modified Hepburn style, it is used for road signs. Ministry of Foreign Affairs Passport Standard, a permissive standard, which explicitly allows the use of "non-Hepburn romaji" in personal names, notably for passports. In particular, it renders the syllabic n as m before b, m and p, romanizes long o as oh, oo or ou. Details of the variants can be found below; the romanizations set out in the first and second versions of Hepburn's dictionary are of historical interest. Notable differences from the third and versions include: エ and ヱ were written as ye: Yedo ズ and ヅ were written as dzu: kudzu, tsudzuku キャ, キョ, キュ were written as kiya, kiy
SNK Corporation is a Japanese video game hardware and software company, successor to the Shin Nihon Kikaku and current owner of the SNK video game brand and Neo Geo video game platform. The Shin Nihon Kikaku Corporation was founded on July 1978 by Eikichi Kawasaki. Called Shin Nihon Kikaku, the name was informally shortened to SNK Corporation in 1981 before becoming the company's official name in April 1986. SNK is most notable as creator of the Neo Geo family of arcade and handheld game consoles, beginning in 1990; the Neo Geo line was halted in 2001, when financial troubles forced SNK Corporation to close on October 22, 2001. Anticipating the end of the company, Kawasaki founded Playmore Corporation on August 1, 2001. By October, Playmore had acquired all of the intellectual property of the former SNK Corporation. On July 7, 2003, Playmore Corporation was renamed to SNK Playmore Corporation, to more establish itself as the successor to the SNK brand and legacy. Traditionally, SNK operated as a video game developer and hardware manufacturer, focusing on arcade games but working on console and PC games.
In 2004, the company started manufacturing pachislot machines, which the company leaned into before withdrawing from the market in 2015. In 2009, the company entered an active wave of mobile game development. Classic SNK franchises like Metal Slug, Samurai Shodown and The King of Fighters feature in its recent offerings. On April 25, 2016, SNK dropped the "Playmore" name from its logo and reintroduced its old slogan, "The Future Is Now", as a means to signify "a return to SNK's rich gaming history". On December 1, 2016, SNK Playmore changed its corporate name back to SNK. SNK was founded in 1973 as "Shin Nihon Kikaku" and reorganized in 1978 as a stock company under the name of "Shin Nihon Kikaku Corporation"; when Eikichi Kawasaki noticed the rapid growth, occurring in the coin-operated video game market, he expanded Shin Nihon Kikaku to include the development and marketing of stand-alone coin-op games. The first two known titles released were Ozma Wars, a vertically scrolling space shooter and Safari Rally, a maze game.
Game quality improved over time, most notably with Vanguard, a side-scrolling space shooter that many consider the precursor to modern classics such as Gradius and R-Type. SNK licensed the game to Centuri for distribution in North America, who started manufacturing and distributing the game itself when profits exceeded expectations. SNK begins to make itself known, and know well thanks to Vanguard. The latter is a great success, so an American branch opened on October 20, 1981, its name is "SNK Electronics Corporation". Around 1980, it took the initial letters from Shin Nihon Kikaku' as the company's nickname, "SNK"; the copyright notation of the alphabet was "SNK CORP.". It established itself in Sunnyvale, with the intent of delivering its own brand of coin-operated games to arcades in North America; the man chosen to run the American operation was John Rowe, one of the eventual founders of Tradewest and current president and CEO of High Moon Studios. In April 1986, Shin Nihon Kikaku Corporation became SNK Corporation.
In November 1986, SNK Electronics Corporation, the US branch, became SNK Corporation of America and moved to Sunnyvale, still in California. SNK staff moved in March 1988 to the building, it is located in Suita City, always in Osaka. SNK Corporation in Japan had at this point shifted its focus toward developing and licensing video games for arcade use and for early consoles. Between 1979 and 1986 it produced 23 stand-alone arcade games. Highlights from this period include Mad Crasher, Alpha Mission, Athena, a game that gained a large following when it was ported to the NES in 1987, its most successful game from this time frame was Ikari Warriors, released in 1986. Ikari Warriors was so popular that it was licensed and ported to the Atari 2600, Atari 7800, Commodore 64, Commodore Amiga, Amstrad CPC, Apple II, ZX Spectrum and NES, it followed up the game with Victory Road and Ikari III: The Rescue. At this point, the home market was still suffering from the fallout caused by the North American video game crash of 1983.
One console manufacturer, seemed to weather the crash unscathed. SNK signed up to become a third-party licensee for Nintendo's Famicom system in 1985 and opened a second branch in the United States, based in Torrance, California. Named SNK Home Entertainment, it handled the North American distribution and marketing of the company's products for home consoles. By this time, John Rowe had left the company to form Tradewest, which went on to market SNK's Ikari Warriors series in North America. Subsequently, both halves of SNK America were now being presided over by Paul Jacobs, known for having helped launch the company's Neo-Geo system outside of Asia. In response to strong sales of the company's NES ports, SNK began to dabble in the development of original software designed for the NES console. Two games came out of this effort: Baseball Stars and Crystalis. 1989 marked the release of two new home video game consoles in North America: the Sega Genesis and NEC's joint project with Hudson Soft, the TurboGrafx-16.
Nintendo followed suit with a new system in 1991, the Super NES. Rather than become involved in the early 90s system wars, SNK Corporation in Japan, along with SNK Corporation of America, chose to refocus its efforts on the arcade market, leaving other third parties, such
Super Nintendo Entertainment System
The Super Nintendo Entertainment System known as the Super NES or Super Nintendo, is a 16-bit home video game console developed by Nintendo, released in 1990 in Japan and South Korea, 1991 in North America, 1992 in Europe and Australasia, 1993 in South America. In Japan, the system is called the Super Famicom. In South Korea, it was distributed by Hyundai Electronics; the system was released in Brazil on August 1993, by Playtronic. Although each version is the same, several forms of regional lockout prevent the different versions from being compatible with one another; the SNES is Nintendo's second programmable home console, following the Nintendo Entertainment System. The console introduced advanced graphics and sound capabilities compared with other systems at the time; the development of a variety of enhancement chips integrated in game cartridges helped to keep it competitive in the marketplace. The SNES was a global success, becoming the best-selling console of the 16-bit era despite its late start and the intense competition it faced in North America and Europe from Sega's Genesis console.
The SNES remained popular well into the 32-bit era having sold 49.1 million worldwide by the time it was discontinued in 2003.. It continues to be popular among collectors and retro gamers, some of whom still make homebrew ROM images, in addition to its popularity in Nintendo's emulated rereleases, such as on the Virtual Console and the Super NES Classic Edition. To compete with the popular Family Computer in Japan, NEC Home Electronics launched the PC Engine in 1987, Sega followed suit with the Mega Drive in 1988; the two platforms were launched in North America in 1989 as the TurboGrafx-16 and the Sega Genesis, respectively. Both systems were built on 16-bit architectures and offered improved graphics and sound over the 8-bit NES. However, it took several years for Sega's system to become successful. Nintendo executives were in no rush to design a new system, but they reconsidered when they began to see their dominance in the market slipping. Designed by Masayuki Uemura, the designer of the original Famicom, the Super Famicom was released in Japan on Wednesday, November 21, 1990 for 25,000 yen.
It was an instant success. The system's release gained the attention of the Yakuza, leading to a decision to ship the devices at night to avoid robbery. With the Super Famicom outselling its rivals, Nintendo reasserted itself as the leader of the Japanese console market. Nintendo's success was due to the retention of most of its key third-party developers, including Capcom, Tecmo, Square and Enix. Nintendo released the Super Nintendo Entertainment System, a redesigned version of the Super Famicom, in North America for $199, it began shipping in limited quantities on August 23, 1991, with an official nationwide release date of September 9, 1991. The SNES was released in the United Kingdom and Ireland in April 1992 for £150, with a German release following a few weeks later. Most of the PAL region versions of the console use the Japanese Super Famicom design, except for labeling and the length of the joypad leads; the Playtronic Super NES in Brazil, although PAL-M, uses the North American design.
Both the NES and SNES were released in Brazil in 1993 by Playtronic, a joint venture between the toy company Estrela and consumer electronics company Gradiente. The SNES and Super Famicom launched with few games, but these games were well received in the marketplace. In Japan, only two games were available: Super Mario World and F-Zero. In North America, Super Mario World launched as a bundle with the console; the rivalry between Nintendo and Sega resulted in what has been described as one of the most notable console wars in video game history, in which Sega positioned the Genesis as the "cool" console, with games aimed at older audiences, advertisements that attacked the competition. Nintendo however, scored an early public relations advantage by securing the first console conversion of Capcom's arcade classic Street Fighter II for SNES, which took over a year to make the transition to the Genesis. Despite the Genesis's head start, much larger library of games, lower price point, the Genesis only represented an estimated 60% of the American 16-bit console market in June 1992, neither console could maintain a definitive lead for several years.
Donkey Kong Country is said to have helped establish the SNES's market prominence in the latter years of the 16-bit generation, for a time, maintain against the PlayStation and Saturn. According to Nintendo, the company had sold more than 20 million SNES units in the U. S. According to a 2014 Wedbush Securities report based on NPD sales data, the SNES outsold the Genesis in the U. S. market. During the NES era, Nintendo maintained exclusive control over games released for the system—the company had to approve every game, each third-party developer could only release up to five games per year, those games could not be released on another console within two years, Nintendo was the exclusive manufacturer and supplier of NES cartridges
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 point for both the AES console and its games prevented it from directly competing with its contemporaries, the Sega Genesis, Super NES, TurboGrafx-16. However, the MVS arcade became successful in stores in Japan and North America. Years SNK released the Neo Geo CD, a more cost effective console with games released on compact discs; the console was met with limited success, due in part to its slow CD-ROM drive. In an attempt to compete with popular 3D games, SNK released the Hyper Neo Geo 64 arcade system in 1997 as the successor to its aging MVS; the system did not fare well and only a few games were released for it. A planned home console based on the hardware was never released.
SNK extended the brand by releasing two handheld consoles, the Neo Geo Pocket, Neo Geo Pocket Color, which competed with Nintendo's Game Boy. Soon after their release, SNK encountered various legal and financial issues - however the original Neo Geo MVS and AES continued getting new games under new ownership until being discontinued in 2004, ending the brand. Regardless of the failure of Neo Geo hardware, games for the original MVS and AES have been well received; the system spawned several long-running and critically acclaimed series 2D fighters, including Fatal Fury, Art of Fighting, Samurai Shodown and The King of Fighters, as well as popular games in other genres such as the Metal Slug and Baseball Stars series. In December 2012, SNK Playmore released a handheld console based on the original AES, the Neo Geo X; as of March 1997, the Neo Geo had sold 980,000 units worldwide. The Neo Geo Pocket Color has been given praise for multiple innovations, a substantial library, despite its short life.
SNK debuted new hardware. "This year, SNK celebrates 40th anniversary," the company said in a tweet. "It is with gratitude towards the fans who have supported SNK's titles, including The King of Fighters, Fatal Fury, Samurai Shodown and Metal Slug, that we introduce a new game machine that compiles the popular titles of Neo Geo! Please look forward to it The Future Is Now!" SNK's first two products using the Neo Geo name are an arcade system called the Neo Geo Multi Video System and a companion console called the Advanced Entertainment System, both released in 1990. The MVS offers arcade operators the ability to put up to six different arcade games into a single cabinet, a key economic consideration for operators with limited floorspace, it comes in many different cabinets but consists of an add on board that can be linked to a standard JAMMA system. The Advanced Entertainment System known just as the Neo Geo, is the first video game console in the family; the hardware features comparatively colorful 2D graphics.
The hardware was in part designed by Alpha Denshi. The home system was only available for rent to commercial establishments, such as hotel chains and restaurants, other venues; when customer response indicated that some gamers were willing to buy a US$650 console, SNK expanded sales and marketing into the home console market. The Neo Geo console was launched on 31 January 1990 in Osaka, Japan; the AES is identical to its arcade counterpart, the MVS, so arcade games released for the home market are nearly identical conversions. The Neo Geo CD, released in 1994, was an upgrade from the original AES; this console uses CDs instead of ROM cartridges like the AES. The unit's 1X CD-ROM drive was slow, making loading times long with the system loading up to 56 Mbits of data between loads. Neo Geo CD game prices were low at US$50, in contrast to Neo Geo AES game cartridges which cost as much as US$300; the system could play Audio CDs. All three versions of the system have no region-lock; the Neo Geo CD was bundled with a control pad instead of a joystick like the AES.
However, the original AES joystick can be used with all 3 Neo Geo CD models, instead of the included control pads. The Hyper Neo Geo 64 is SNK's second and final arcade system board in the Neo Geo family, released in 1997; the Hyper Neo Geo 64 was conceived as SNK's 3D debut into the fifth generation video game consoles. It provided the hardware basis for a home system that would replace their aging Neo Geo AES—one that SNK hoped would be capable of competing with fifth generation video game consoles. In 1999, the Hyper Neo Geo 64 was discontinued, with only seven games released for it in two years; the Neo Geo Pocket was SNK's first handheld in the Neo Geo family. Featuring a monochrome display, it was released in late 1998 within the Japan and Hong Kong market. Lower than expected sales resulted in its discontinuation in 1999, whereupon it was succeeded by the Neo Geo Pocket Color, which had a color screen; this time it was released in the North American and European markets. About two million units were sold worldwide.
The system was discontinued in 2000 in Europe and North America but continued to sell in Japan until 2001. In December 2012, Tommo released a new Neo Geo handheld in North America and Europe, licensed by SNK Playmore, it is an open-source-based handheld like the Dingoo, but