Neo Geo

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Neo Geo
Neo Geo logo.svg
Product type Arcade system board
Video game console
Handheld game console
Owner SNK
Country Japan
Introduced 1990-04-26 (1990-04-26)
Discontinued 2004-04-22 (2004-04-22)
Markets Japan (Worldwide)
Registered as a trademark in Japan (1989–2001)

Neo Geo[a] 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, and TurboGrafx-16. However, the MVS arcade became very successful in stores in Japan and North America.

Years later, 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 increasingly 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 later extended the brand by releasing two handheld consoles, the Neo Geo Pocket, and later Neo Geo Pocket Color, which briefly 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 officially being discontinued in 2004, ending the brand.

Regardless of the failure of later Neo Geo hardware, games for the original MVS and AES have been well received. The system spawned several long-running and critically acclaimed series, mostly 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.[1] As of March 1997, the Neo Geo had sold 980,000 units worldwide.[2] The Neo Geo Pocket Color also has been given praise for multiple innovations, and a very substantial library, despite its short life.

SNK will debut new hardware that features a collection of popular Neo Geo titles as part of its 40th anniversary celebration, the company announced. "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!"[3]

Neo Geo MVS and AES[edit]

The original Neo Geo logo
Neo Geo MVS

SNK's first two products using the Neo Geo name are an arcade system called the Neo Geo Multi Video System (MVS) and a companion console called the Advanced Entertainment System (AES), 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 basically consists of an add on board that can be linked to a standard JAMMA system.

Neo Geo AES

The Advanced Entertainment System (AES), originally 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 (later ADK).[4]

Initially, the 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 US$650 console, SNK expanded sales and marketing into the home console market. The Neo Geo console was officially launched on 31 January 1990 in Osaka, Japan.[5] The AES is identical to its arcade counterpart, the MVS, so arcade games released for the home market are nearly identical conversions.

Neo Geo CD[edit]

Neo Geo CD toploader model

The Neo Geo CD, released in 1994, was initially an upgrade from the original AES. This console uses CDs instead of ROM cartridges like the AES. The unit's (approximately) 1X CD-ROM drive was slow, making loading times very 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 also 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 (top loader, front loader and CDZ, an upgraded version of the CD console, that was only released in Japan), instead of the included control pads.

Hyper Neo Geo 64[edit]

Hyper Neo Geo 64 arcade board

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.

Handheld consoles[edit]

Neo Geo Pocket

The Neo Geo Pocket was SNK's first handheld in the Neo Geo family. Featuring a monochrome display, it was originally released in late 1998 exclusively within the Japan and Hong Kong market. Lower than expected sales resulted in its discontinuation in 1999, whereupon it was immediately succeeded by the Neo Geo Pocket Color, which had a color screen.

The Pocket Color is the final console release of the Neo Geo family. This time it was also 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 closed to emulate Neo Geo games, with 20 built-in games, called the Neo Geo X.[1] Effectively October 2, 2013, in order to protect its intellectual property such as 'NEOGEO' and 'SNK', SNK Playmore decided to terminate the license[6] given to Tommo and ordered to immediately cease sales of the Neo Geo X Arcade Stick. SNK added that "decisive measures will be taken against all unapproved NEOGEO X products not subject to the License Agreement."[7]

In June 9 2018, SNK announces Neo Geo mini, a miniature size of portable arcade cabinet which features built-in 40 SNK titles released in July 24, 2018 in Japan. Titles of the game are AES version as they're consoles version with limited continues but as a drawback, Neo Geo mini features the save/load state system which allows the players to save and load the game at anytime to continue the game. Neo Geo mini also allows it to connect to the TV screen by connecting it with it's very own HDMI cable (sold separately), including a headphone jack and two ports for external Neo Geo mini Pad controllers (also sold separately), which are the re-design of Neo Geo CD controllers, allows it to play two players mode for the game. SNK also announces Neo Geo mini International Version which will be released outside of Japan, contains the same features as the Japanese Neo Geo mini but with 14 out of 40 different titles. As such, both versions has 14 different SNK titles.

Neo Geo Mini Japan includes;

Neo Geo Mini International includes;

See also[edit]


  1. ^ In Japanese: Neo Jio (ネオジオ). Stylised as NEO・GEO and also written as NEOGEO


  1. ^ a b "New console out today as NEO GEO X hits EU/US". Games Radar. Future Publishing. December 18, 2012. Retrieved January 28, 2013. 
  2. ^ Consoles +, issue 73[better source needed]
  3. ^ "SNK Officially Announces The Neo Geo Mini, An Adorable Arcade Throwback". Nintendo Life. Dom Reseigh-Lincoln. May 10, 2018. Retrieved May 11, 2018. 
  4. ^ "ADK". Retrieved 2017-03-26. 
  5. ^ "Retrieved on 2010-03-39". Retrieved 2012-01-23. 
  6. ^ "SNK Terminates License Agreement With Tommo; All Neo Geo X Consoles & Software Discontinued". Retro Game Network | The One-Stop Retro Gaming Community. 2013-10-05. Retrieved 2017-03-26. 
  7. ^ Good, Owen. "SNK Orders NeoGeo X Maker to End Production and Stop Selling It". Kotaku. Retrieved 2017-03-26. 

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