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Knyte has been playing video games, since the age of 6 when he starting rocking on the Famous Commodore 64 & Mattel Intellivision. Since then, he has played and collected everything under the sun, or at least, what he can get his grubby little hands on.

He has a soft spot in his heart for all the underdog systems. But, that's probably because he always owned them, instead of the mainstream ones.

When all his friends had Atari 2600s, his parents bought him an Intellivision.
When all his friends had Nintendo Entertainment Systems, he had a Sega Master System.
When all his firends had Sega Genesis, he had a Turbo Grafx 16.
When all his friends had Playstations, he had an Amiga CD32.

See a pattern?

Now, he enjoys sharing his plethora of knowledge in the history of videogames, by opening the doors to "Knyte's Video Game Museum." So welcome, and enjoy your stay.

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Here are three videogame systems from the 90's that you may have never known existed. Two were never released outside of Japan, and the third disapeared before it had a chance to get off the ground, due to it's company's bankruptcy.

So without further ado, let me introduce them:

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FM Towns Marty



The FM Towns Marty, a.k.a. "FM Towns", a.k.a. "FM Marty Towns. A brief glance at this system, and you might mistake it for a white Turbo Duo, but on closer inspection, you'll notice that the slot on the front isn't for a HuCard, but instead for an actual 3.5" floppy.



The Fujitsu Company decided to make an attempt to penetrate the console games market by taking their popular FM TOWNS line of computers, and adding in some special components to create a stand alone video game console. The plan was for the software designed for the FM TOWNS computers to be modified slightly so that the games would work on both the computer and the console. The FM Towns Marty has the distinction of being the first 32-bit video game console.

This system was compatible with most of the Fujitsu line of computers, so it could use the 3.5" slot to play many of computer games. The 32-bit system's CD reader was used mainly to play games made specifically for this system, although some computer software at the time also came in CD format. The system was released in 1991 with a 386 processor that was later upgraded to a 486 (The FM Towns Marty 2). The first version is much rarer, but more limited. Since the system can play games designed for the FM Towns PC, it's library is larger then what you might expect.

It came with a two button controller and had a port for a second controller as well. A mouse and keyboard were also available to play compatible PC games.
The price does climb.

Now let's talk about the real reason to get a FM TOWNS MARTY.

Porn. Loads and loads of anime porn. Some of the best anime porn games were made for the FM TOWNS, and it's one of the reasons the MARTY series sold well. Adult content was allowed and even welcomed.
The famous "RANCE" and "LA Blue Girl" games were on the Marty. 3rd party support was enormous for porn, and it's to the point you're hard pressed to find a non-porn game you really want.

An overall great system, and with some of the best conversions of 80's and 90's games. The only 32 bit version of operation wolf, etc.

Fujitsu supported the units for many years, and some third party games supported the systems as late as 1999. Fujitsu wisely discontinued the console line with the arrival of the more powerful 32bit Sony Playstation and Sega Saturn.

CPU: 32bit AMD 386 processor

CPU Speed: 16 MHz for Marty 1, 25 MHz for Marty 2

Graphics:

Resolution: 352x232 up to 640x480
32768 color palette - 256 onscreen
Sound:

6 channel FM
8 channel PCM

RAM:

2 MB
Data Storage:

CD-ROM, Single-speed (1x)
Internal 3.5" HD floppy drive

Controllers:

digital, 2 fire buttons, select, and run
2 standard controller ports
keyboard port

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NEC PC-FX



The PC-FX was designed based on a new 32-bit development kit by NEC called "Iron Man". Iron Man was designed in 1992, while the PC Engine was still quite popular in Japan. It was around the time of the first running demonstration units in mid 1992 that NEC started discussing an imminent release of an Iron Man based system with its many third party developers. Many PC Engine developers seemed upset and disinterested since the PC Engine market was still growing, and as a result NEC halted work on the Iron Man and continued making modifications to the PC Engine. By 1993 the 32-bit 3DO platform was released with lots of the developer interest and Sega and Sony let it be known that the Sega Saturn and Sony PlayStation would be ready for the Japanese marketplace in late 1994, and Bandai was also readying the release of their 32-bit Playdia system. Now in a rush to keep the large development base that made the PC Engine so successful, NEC had to make a decision. Rather than spending the time to develop a new, more powerful platform capable of standing up to their competitors, they marched out the now dated 32-bit Iron Man architecture to be used in the PC-FX. The result was that NEC wound up with a severely underpowered system that failed to impress either developers or consumers, and ultimately led to its demise.

The NEC PC-FX strayed from the common console design. The console resembled a PC desktop tower, and even included 3 expansion ports for additional upgrades, and peripherals. NEC decided not to load it up with 3D generating hardware, and instead focused on making PC-FX a killer 2D machine. Focusing on FMV (Full Motion Video) and 2D capabilities, the PC-FX used a custom chip capable of Run Length JPEG compression technology. The result was animation and FMV using full screen true color at 30 frames per second.
The PC-FX is one of the most unique video game systems ever made. Instead of the usual flat & square designs associated with most game systems, NEC decided to use a different approach when designing the PC-FX. One main factor was making the system expandable. Taking a card from the PC market, it was decided to create a tower shaped video game system that offered 3 expansion ports for upgrades and peripherals.

The front expansion slot was to be used for the FX-BMP, a memory expansion module that allowed you to save games to it, rather than the FX internal memory.

The rear and bottom expansion ports were available for connections to the PC-9800 series of computers made by NEC. One of those connections were used for a PC-FX-to-SCSI adapter which allowed the FX to be used as a SCSI CD-ROM drive. To the rear of the unit, you can also find direct A/V, S-VHS connections and the power cord. Voltage and other power information can be found to the top of the rear panel.

In addition to playing PC-FX games, the unit could also play audio CDs (with an expansive CD menu control screen), CD+Gs, and Kodak CDs for viewing your home photos.

The NEC PC-FX was released in Japan on December 23, 1994 to a lukewarm reception. The Sega / Sony consoles shadowed an otherwise impressive system. Most software development was done by NEC and Hudson Soft with a total of 50 game releases.

NEC supported the PC-FX till 1998, and never released the console outside of Japan. A total of about 100,000 units were reported sold.

FACT: In 1995, NEC took a similar concept as the Creative Labs version of 3DO Blaster. The PC-FX Game Accelerator (PC-FX GA) was a card that would allow PC-FX games to be played on computers. The card came in 2 flavors. The C-Bus interface card was compatible with NECís Japanese line of PC-98xx computers. The other has an ISA interface for IBM / AT compatible computers. The ISA card however requires the DOS/V operating system (DOS/V is a special version of DOS for the Japanese market). The package contained the card, a PC-FX controller, a driver CD, game development software (Basic fighter / RPG game type engines). The card itself supported S-Video, Composite, multiple audio in/out, and requires external power. It is an interesting device that can be imported or purchased on eBay.

CPU
32Bit NEC V810 RISC Microprocessor
Clock Frequency: 21.5MHz
MIPS: 15.5
MEMORY
Main RAM: 2MB
VRAM: 1.25MB
CD-ROM Data Cache Memory: 256KB
Back-up RAM: 32KB
ROM: 1MB
VIDEO
Television Output Type: NTSC
Video Output: 1.0Vp-p 75 ohm
S-Video Output
Bright-Signal: 1.0Vp-p 75 ohm
Color-Signal: 0.286Vp-p 75 ohm
GRAPHICS
Maximum On-screen colors: 16,777,000
Resolution: 640x480
Maximum Parallax: 9 layers
Effects: Rotation, magnification, reduction, cellophane, fade, priority
Image Compression: JPEG w/Run Length compression, full-screen/true color decompression at 30fps, Kodak Photo CD compatible.
SOUND
16-Bit Stereo w/2 ADPCM channels and 6 sample channels at 44.1kHz.
Sound Output: 1.0 Vrms (0db)
Sound Frequency: 20Hz~20kHz
CD-ROM DRIVE
Standard 2x CD-ROM drive compatible with 12mm/8cm CD
INPUTS/EXPANSION
2 PAD Terminals
EXT1 (for Back-up memory)
EXT2 (for extra functions)
EXT3 (for main memory expansion)
DIMENSIONS:
132mm (width) x 267mm (depth) x 244mm (height)
FORMATS:
FX-CD, CD-DA, CD+G, CD+EG, Photo CD
POWER CONSUMPTION: 16W / AC 100V
WEIGHT: Approximately 2.9kg


A list of of known games:
http://www.pcenginefx.com/PC-FX/html/pc-fx_world_-_game_overviews.html

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Amiga CD32



The Amiga CD32 was Europe and North America's first 32-bit CD-ROM based game console. It was first announced at the Science Museum in London, United Kingdom on 16 July 1993 and released in September of the same year. The CD32 is based on Commodore's Advanced Graphics Architecture chipset, and is of similar specification to the Amiga 1200. Using 3rd-party devices, it is possible to upgrade the CD32 with keyboard, floppy drive, and mouse, turning it into a personal computer.

A hardware MPEG decompression module for playing Video CD was also available, however, as few as 400 modules made it to market. Often regarded as a failure, the CD32 managed to secure over 50% of the fledgling CD-ROM market in the UK in 1993 and 1994 outselling the MegaCD, Philips CDi and even PC CD-ROM sales.

The CD32 was released in the United States and Canada, but was not successful. Commodore was not able to meet demand for new units because of component supply problems. The success of the CD32 in Europe was not enough to save Commodore, and the bankruptcy of Commodore International in April 1994 caused the CD32 to be discontinued only months after its debut.

Like all Amiga computers, the CD32 has a hidden boot menu that can be accessed by plugging an Amiga mouse into port 2 and holding both buttons down while turning the system on. Most of the options in this menu aren't useful on a CD32, but from this menu you can choose to boot in either NTSC or PAL mode. This is important, as there are some games that will refuse to work if the system is in the wrong mode, also since most games don't advertise what video mode they were developed for. It should also be pointed out that despite the naming, the menu really only allows a choice of 60Hz or 50Hz video output; a PAL system booted in NTSC mode will still output a video signal using PAL color encoding, which will usually result in a black and white picture when connected to an NTSC television.

While the console was fairly successful during its lifespan and managed to be the best-selling CD format console in 1993, it was not able to sustain its growth, with Commodore filing for Chapter 11 just a year after its release after not being able to secure additional CD32 shipments for the holiday season. It was speculated that the holiday season could have kept Commodore afloat for another six months. Another problem was the lack of original games, which had also plagued the CDTV before it. Most CD32 titles were simply A1200 games on a CD, with the occasional full motion video sequence or CD audio tracks added on.

I accually own this system, my aunt was a huge Commodore fan, and she had a VIC 20, then a C=64, then an Amiga 500. She preordered the CD32, and after owning it for a couple of months she gave it to me, as it was more of a console system then she was expecting, and no games interested her. (She was big into RPGs such as Ultima, Might & Magic, etc)

I remember showing this system off to all of my friends, blowing them away with the stunning 2D graphics, and the Full motion video scenes in games. At this time, everyone still had SNES and Genesis consoles, and the CD32 blew SegaCD games out of the water.

Processor
68020 @ 14 MHz

Memory
2 MB Chip RAM
up to 64 MB Fast RAM on processor boards
1 kB Flash ROM

The CD32 has 2 MB 70 ns Chip RAM soldered to its motherboard which could not be expanded further.
Although the CD32 is an entirely 32 bit machine, the 68EC020 processor has only 24 bit address space (16 MB) besides its 32 bit data path. This allows 8 MB for Fast RAM expansion which can be added via the expansion slot. Further expansion of the Fast RAM requires the use of a processor board.
The 1 kB flash ROM is intended to store game high-scores.

Custom chips
Alice - AGA display controller
Lisa - AGA display encoder
Paula - audio and I/O controller
Akiko - system address decoder, CD-ROM controller, chunky to planar conversion acceleration

Although the CD32 has the same AGA chip set as the A1200, there is no output provided for the doubled productivity screen modes. This limits the available resolutions of the base model to:

All screenmodes offer up to 256 colors from a 24 bit palette, or 262144 colors in HAM8 mode.
Chunky to planar pixel conversion is hardware accelerated by Akiko's built-in corner-turn memory.
Audio output is 8 bit, 4 channel stereo up to 28 kHz.
All CD32s shipped with Kickstart 3.1 ROM.

Expansion slots
1◊ expansion slot

The 182 pin expansion slot allows the connection of the FMV module, processor boards or other system expansions.

CD-ROM drive
The CD32 features a double speed (330 kB/sec) top-loading CD-ROM drive. The supported CD formats are ISO-9660 CD-ROM, Audio CD, CD+G.
With the addition of the FMV module CD-i Digital Video and Video CDs can be played.

Interfaces
2◊ mouse/game DB9 male
1◊ aux, 6 pin female mini-DIN
2◊ stereo audio, RCA jack
1◊ stereo headphones, 3.5 mm jack
1◊ composite video, RCA jack
1◊ CD-ROM header
American / European version
1◊ RF Out
1◊ S-VHS, 4 pin mini-DIN
French version
1◊ Scart, 8 pin mini-DIN

Two games that I highly recommend:

Defender Of The Crown 2

This was basically a remake of the original Cinemaware title, except with higher res graphics, a full orchestrated soundtrack, and voice over work for all the game's text.






Pirates! Gold

This was the best version of Pirates! Gold by far. The controls were tight, the graphics were great, and the best part is, you could save your game at any point, on the system's built-in memory.










"Mattel Electronics Presents"*: Intellivision!



Intellivision was released in 1979 by Mattel. It was also released under different names to expand its market. The Intellivision was released in Sears stores as the Super Video Arcade, at Radio Shack as the Tandyvision I, and as the GTE/Sylvania Intellivision.

Intellivision was the main competitor of the Atari 2600. It's graphical capabilities were much better than Atari's console.It was the system to own for playing sports games, but also had a fair amount of action games and strategy games thrown into the mix as well. While Intellivision excelled at graphics and sound, the Atari 2600 was more capable of handling action games due to its superior speed.

So why didn't the Intellivision surpass the Atari 2600 in popularity? For one thing, the Intellivision had little 3rd party software developer support until late in it's life (nowhere near the amount the Atari 2600 had). Also many people did not like the disc controllers, which may have been great for sports games, but made other games difficult to play. Atari also had nailed down almost every popular arcade / movie license they could get their hands on. This left Mattel scrambling for less popular arcade games from Data East and other developers. So what better way to expand your game library then to add your competitor's consoles games! Mattel released a Atari 2600 adapter which gave the Intellivision an even greater library of games.

In 1982, the console would be remodeled (Intellivision II) with a lockout feature that prevented Atari 2600 (and unfortunately some of their own games) from being played. Also in July of this same year, Mattel approached Bandai to distribute Intellivision in Japan. The Bandai Intellivision retailed for 49,800 yen.

In 1983 Mattel introduced a new peripheral innovative for the time: Intellivoice, a voice synthesis device which produced speech when used with certain games, most of which would not work without the add-on component. Top Mattel programmers including Bill Fisher, Steve Roney, Gene Smith and John Sohl were diverted to the project, slowing the previous initiative to counter Atari with new arcade-style games. Voice titles included:

Bomb Squad
B-17 Bomber
Intellivision World Series Baseball (Intellivoice optional since the game already required the ECS keyboard)
Space Spartans
TRON Solar Sailer



Many users waited patiently for the promised release of the "Keyboard Component", an add-on computer upgrade unit touted by Mattel as "coming soon" even when the original console was first shipped. The unit featured a built-in cassette tape drive for loading and saving data. The Keyboard Component would plug into the cartridge slot on the Intellivision, and had an additional cartridge slot of its own to allow regular Intellivision games to be played in the usual way.

The keyboard component became so notorious around Mattel headquarters that comedian Jay Leno, when performing at Mattel's 1981 Christmas party, got a huge response with his joke, "You know what the three big lies are, don't you? 'The check is in the mail,' 'I'll still respect you in the morning,' and 'The Keyboard will be out in the spring.'"

After its limited release, four thousand units were sold; many were later returned for a full refund when Mattel recalled the unit in 1983 due to various support problems, including the then-innovative cassette tape unit which had never proved to be reliable. According to the Blue Sky Rangers web site, users who opted to keep theirs were made to sign a waiver absolving Intellivision of all future responsibility for technical support. In addition, the Keyboard Component could be modified into a development platform for the Intellivision, and such units were used internally for game development during the latter portion of the system's lifespan.

By this time, Mattel had set up competing internal engineering teams, each trying to either fix the Keyboard Component or replace it. The rival Mattel engineers had come up with a much less expensive keyboard alternative. The Entertainment Computer System (ECS), was much smaller, sleeker, and easier to produce than the original Keyboard Component. While the original Keyboard Component had some advantages over the small computers of its day, the new Keyboard Component was designed to be inexpensive, not functional, and was far less powerful than emerging machines like the Commodore 64. The two keyboard units were incompatible, but owners of the older unit were offered a new ECS.

To maintain secrecy in a toy industry where industrial espionage was a way of life, many projects had code names, so documents and casual discussion did not reveal company secrets. With the video games business already staggering by the time the new Keyboard Component was planned, Daglow suggested the new device be code-named LUCKI (for "Low User Cost Keyboard Interface.") The name stuck but the good fortune did not: the cheaply manufactured ECS keyboard add-on was a retail failure.



In 1984, the rights to the Intellivision were sold for 16.5 million dollars. The new company called INTV Inc began rumors of the release of the INTV III, or Super Pro System. This redesigned unit was identical to the original console, except that it had a black plastic case with silver plates, and also had a Power LED indicator between the Power and Reset switches. The console was released in 1985, and appeared in Toys R Us, Kiddie City, and mail order catalogs. The console continued to sell into the 1990's with 35 new game titles released. INTV Inc continued to sell out it's stock in 1991, and it eventually became a piece of gaming history.

All in all The Intellivision was an impressive machine that sparked the first real console rivalry in console history. For example, Mattel used television advertisements demonstrating Intellivision graphics outperforming Atari 2600. These rivalries would be duplicated by other companies in later years. Intellivision is also the only 2nd Generation console to have survived the "Videogame Crash of 1984."

General Instrument CP1610 16-bit microprocessor CPU running at 894.886 kHz (i.e., slightly less than 1 MHz)
1352 bytes of RAM:
240 ◊ 8-bit Scratchpad Memory
352 ◊ 16-bit (704 bytes) System Memory
512 ◊ 8-bit Graphics RAM
7168 bytes of ROM:
4096 ◊ 10-bit (5120 bytes) Executive ROM
2048 ◊ 8-bit Graphics ROM
160 pixels wide by 196 pixels high (5◊2 TV pixels make one Intellivision pixel)
16 color palette, all of which can be on the screen at once
8 sprites. Hardware supports the following features per-sprite:
Size selection: 8◊8 or 8◊16
Stretching: Horizontal (1◊, 2◊) and vertical (1◊, 2◊, 4◊ or 8◊)
Mirroring: Horizontal and vertical
Collision detection: Sprite to sprite, sprite to background, and sprite to screen border
Priority: Selects whether sprite appears in front of or behind background.
3 channel sound, with 1 noise generator (audio chip: GI AY-3-8914)

FACTS: No the stats are not typos...The GI 1600 processor had 16 bit registers, used 16 bit RAM, and has 10 bit instructions. So in an odd way you could call Intellivision a 16 bit system.

The Intellivision was also the first system to feature downloadable games (though without a storage device the games vanished once the machine was turned off). In 1981, General Instrument (manufacturer of the Intellivision's CPU) teamed up with Mattel to roll out the PlayCable, a device that allowed the downloading of Intellivision games via cable TV.

In 1987, a new Intellivision model called INTV System IV began to surface. This model would have detachable controllers, and some sort of timing device. It never saw the light of day.

For all the Intellivision info you could ever want go here: http://www.intvfunhouse.com/faq/

*Those of you who owned a INTV will remember the primitive voice that use to say that phase when turning on any Voice Game.











Turbografx 16 / PC Engine



On October 30, 1987 the first 16-Bit home videogame console was released in Japan by NEC. The PC Engine was clearly a "next generation" system with it's amazing specs, and wallet sized card games called "HuCards".

The PC Engine was immensely popular in Japan, outselling the Famicom by a significant margin. Two years after its Japanese introduction, NEC announced plans to bring the PC Engine overseas. NEC dubbed the US release Turbografx-16, and prepared to dominate both Nintendo and Sega as they did in Japan.



In 1988, NEC took gaming to the next level. They were the first to use the immense storage capability of Compact Disk. NEC's CD-ROM add-on device was called Turbografx CD or TG-CD (PC Engine CD in Japan). It retailed for an expensive $399.

The console was redesigned several times in Japan (for example the Coregrafx released in 1989 and Coregrafx II in 1991).

In 1989, NEC decided to redesign the console, and upgrade it with more RAM. This new design called Supergrafx was sold in Japan only, and created to compete against the threat of Nintendo's Super Famicom console. NEC stopped distributing Supergrafx when they saw their PC Engine was still selling well. Only 5 games were made to take advantage of the upgraded Supergrafx, and it played all PC Engine games as well as use the CD add-on.

So how is it that a company that produced such state of the art gaming go almost unnoticed by the American gamers? So many factors contributed, but most stems from NEC's lack of marketing. Perhaps their success in Japan made them think the system would sell itself. Whereas you could find commercials and advertisements for Sega and Nintendo, you could not find any for Turbografx.

NEC was also introducing games, titles, and characters that American players simply werenít familiar with, and many truly excellent games were either ignored outright, or subject to Nintendo's "exclusive licensing" policy that was in effect at the time. The gist of this policy was, if a game was already available on NES, then game companies could not produce any versions for any other game system. Although this policy was later ruled illegal, it hurt the TurboGrafx a lot in the early stages of its life.

Hudson Soft, the primary producer of PC Engine software, was also producing games for the huge NES market. Releasing a game on TurboGrafx exclusively (as they would have to do) would restrict its potential sales (as the NES had a greater installed user base).



Even the Turbografx CD with it's amazing potential was marketed poorly. Not only was this item priced at a ridiculous $399, but only two games were even released for it during its first six months of existence. Neither TG-CD game, "Fighting Street" nor "Monster Lair", came anywhere close to taking advantage of the systemís capabilities.

Soon after... word began to spread that the TG-16 was not a "true" 16-bit system, as its CPU was only 8-bit. (The system used two 8-bit processors).

These factors caused the Turbografx to have a small impact in the US. NEC seemed to only focus on their Japanese market. Japan saw many quality games, console redesigns, and accessories. This helped the system to remain successful in Japan for quite some time.

FACT: NEC used the "Hucard" technology to produce "System Cards" that boosted the consoles RAM thus providing better quality graphics. The Arcade Card Pro card in particular added 16 megabits of RAM, and was used to play arcade quality games such as Fatal Fury and other SNK hits. Sadly the card was never released outside of Japan. This would also explain why Supergrafx was discontinued.

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NEO GEO



SNK (Shin Nihon Kikaku, translated as "New Japanese Project"), a small third party software developer for the Nintendo NES, decided to try their hand in the arcade market in 1989. It seemed like a bad business decision since gamers no longer flocked to arcades. Nonetheless SNK released the MVS (Multi-Video System). The MVS allowed the arcade operator to house many different video games in a single cabinet.

The MVS's strengths lay in the design of its hardware. Its brain was composed of a 16-bit microprocessor (68000) and an 8-bit microprocessor (Z80). They were plentiful, cheap, and quite powerful for the time. Using them kept production costs down and made coding much easier. Both the 68000 and the Z80 were in common use at the time (Sega's Genesis had the same CPU combination, for example).

The real magic of the MVS lay in its custom graphics chipset, and its ability to hold up to four games at once while switching between them at will. While this multi-game concept had been tried before (one example being Nintendo's Playchoice system), SNK's hardware was far superior to any of the multi-game systems currently available, and its vast ROM storage capacity allowed for detailed graphics.

SNK took another gamble and created a home version of the MVS in 1990. The NEO GEO AES was released at a high cost of $650, and came with either NAM-1975 or Baseball Stars Professional. Other game cartridges came at a cost as high as $200 apiece. These cartridges played the exact same software as it's MVS counterpart, but were quite expensive due to the game' high megabit count.



At first SNK marketed the Neo Geo falsely by calling it a "24-Bit System" (due to its combination of a 16-bit and 8-bit processor). After the initial advertising campaign, SNK decided not to advertise their home system anymore, since games could be seen in nearly every arcade (and kind of advertised themselves).

SNK's gamble of entering the arcade / home game markets eventually paid off. In 1992, an game called Street Fighter 2 brought gamers back to the arcades. SNK took advantage of this by releasing similar arcade games such as Fatal Fury, and Art of Fighting. The games were quite successful, and many more were spawned. Third Party developers such as Data East began also producing titles for the Neo Geo AES / MVS.

SNK also created an innovative accessory that would become quite popular later. The Neo Geo 'memory card' could hold 19-27 save game positions, and worked on both the home and arcade systems. So a gamer could save their place in the arcade and take it home, and vice versa.

The Neo Geo was a phenomenal machine, but the high price tag catered to the hardcore arcade lovers only. Nonetheless it was an amazing machine that stood the test of time. The MVS alone managed to last over eight years in the demanding arcade environment, and its hardware has out-lived every other arcade hardware. Walk into any arcade, and you're bound to see a Neo Geo MVS.

The last game for the Neo-Geo system, Samurai Spirits Zero Special, was released on October 19, 2004. SNK ceased to manufacture home consoles by the end of 1997, but software for both formats and arcade hardware was produced for many years after. Measured from the introduction of the arcade hardware in 1990 to the release of the last home cartridge in 2004, the Neo-Geo's 14-year span of support from its manufacturer makes it the longest-lived arcade system, significantly longer-lived than either the Sega Naomi or the Capcom Play System 2.

FACT: "330 Meg Pro-Gear Spec" always seemed to appear in Neo Geo game intros, and was the ROM addressing technology of the Neo Geo. Truth is that the machine has no such limit. Back in 1990, SNK had to give a certain Megabit count as their maximum, and so 330 was used. However, Neo Geo titles eventually surpassed this 330 megabit standard. For example the game "King of Fighters 2001" was 892 megabits in size. Games over 100 megabits more this this limit, followed this screen by displaying an animation touting "The 100 Mega Shock". The original ROM size spec was later enhanced on cartridges with bank switching memory technology, increasing the maximum cartridge size to around 1 gigabit. These new cartridges also caused the system to display "GIGA POWER" upon startup, indicating this enhancement.