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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.

Some truly amazing games were released on the Neo Geo such as the King of Fighters series, the Metal Slug series, the Samurai Shodown (Spirits) series and the Sengoku series.  If only the Neo Geo AES console and cartridges had cost less, it would have definitely been a winner and sold more units than it did.

The Neo Geo AES picture below has serial number 047813.  The significance is that the first range of AES units (about 100,000) have crisp RGB output, whereas units after that suffer from lesser quality RGB output in favor of composite video output.

Technical Specs:

CPU: 16-bit Motorolla 68000 (12MHz) and 8-bit Zilog Z80 (4MHz)
RAM: 64KB (68000) + 2KB (Z80), Video RAM: 68KB
Colors: 64K (4K on screen)
Sprites: 380
Game Media: Cartridge
Resolution: 320x224
Sound: 3 PSG, 4-FM synthesis, 7-digital, 1 noise channel

Neo Geo AES Neo Geo AES Neo Geo AES
Neo Geo AES Neo Geo AES Neo Geo AES

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