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Neo geo AES system (cart system)


Neo geo CD with gamepad style controllers



What I wouldn't give for one of these. Back when the SNES and Genesis had their pathetic 8 meg carts this thing was pumping out games 330 megs in size. While the rest of us had to suffer through sad, scratchy sound and sorry arcade translations with low-res graphics the Neo Geo was piling on high quality Digitized audio, voice samples, and music, and had incredible graphics with tons of animation and  millions of colors. This system was nothing less than pure arcade games in your home, but it came at the arcade price. Retailed for like $699 when it first came out, so sales were practically non-existent. But what made this system last was a brilliant arcade marketing strategy and awesome quarter pumping games. Years after the home system dropped from competition the  Neo geo was still in the arcades giving cool titles like Samurai Showdown, King of the fighters, The Fatal Fury series etc.  Anyone who doesn't know these games obviously hasn't left his house in the last ten years. And yes, all those cool games are available to play in your home system, if you can afford it. If you were rich enough to own the home system you could save your game onto a memory card and load it onto the arcade machine to do things like unlock hidden characters. The only person  I've met who has one of these is my good friend Tom "The Lord," who had an arcade cabinet with Samurai showdown III, Bust a move, some soccer game which I never played, and Samurai Showdown IV. I have fond memories of getting drunk at his studio and long marathon matches on SSIV. 

As time went on the Neo Geo finally started to show it's age, although it took like ten years. SNK released the Neo Geo CD in the late 90's but there were some problems (Ironically) getting the huge carts to fit inside the CD. Thus most of the CD games are missing frames of animation, voice samples, etc. But the CD format actually made the Neo Geo affordable for a change, and some games were released only to the CD system. The CD system also suffers from horrendous load times as the first version was only a single speed CD rom (later revisions got up to a 2x speed CD rom, still antagonizingly slow but good enough for a home game system, I guess. ) Extra add-ons like memory cards and Ram help the problem, but if you're going to drop the $300-plus it takes to get one of these then don't bother, go for the cart based system.