SNK NEO-GEO (AES)
Released in 1990
Shin Nihon Kikaku (SNK) first ventured into the arcade market in 1989 and was successful with its unique 2D arcade machine, which was powered by an impressive custom graphics processor, 68000 and Z80 CPUs and offered 330Mbit ROM storage space. This arcade version was known as MVS, or Multi-Video Output and allowed 1 of 6 games to be loaded at any time. The Neo Geo AES (Advanced Entertainment System) was a home version of the Neo Geo MVS and played the exact same games as the ones in the arcades. In fact, even memory cards could be switched between the two, allowing players to save their progress on one machine and load it on the other.
The major weakness of the Neo Geo AES was the high price tag on the cartridges. Most games sold for about $200! The console itself was also fairly expensive, retailing at $650. Its arcade-style joystick and excellent arcade ports made it a very attractive console. A Multi-Link cable was released for the Neo Geo AES that allowed two Neo Geos to be connected together and be played on two separate televisions.
SNK NEO-GEO CD
Released in 1994
The Neo Geo CD is essentially the same hardware as the AES but with a CD drive instead of the cartridge slot. CD's are a lot cheaper to produce than cartridges and SNK passed this saving on to gamers with the Neo Geo CD.
Unfortunately, the CD drive is single speed and it takes a long time for games to load compared to cart based games that load instantly. The loading isn't too bad on level based games such as Metal Slug, but it can be really infuriating on fighting games when it needs to load every couple of minutes.
Neo CD_SDL 0.3.1
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