NEO GEO MVS Bubble Bobble played on a single slot motherboard, inside a 1980’s
Australian Lowboy cabinet.
The Neo Geo is a cartridge-based arcade system board and home video game console released on January 31, 1990 by Japanese game company SNK Playmore. Although it was part of the fourth generation of video game consoles, it was the first system in the Neo Geo family, which ran throughout the 1990s before being revived in December 2012 with the Neo Geo X handheld and home system. The original system’s hardware featured comparatively colourful 2D graphics.
The MVS (Multi Video System), as the Neo Geo was known to the coin-operated arcade game industry, offered arcade operators the ability to put up to six different arcade titles into a single cabinet, a key economic consideration for operators with limited floorspace. With its games stored on self-contained cartridges, a game cabinet could be exchanged for a different game title by swapping the game’s ROM-cartridge and cabinet artwork. Several popular franchise series, including Fatal Fury, The King of Fighters, Metal Slug and Samurai Shodown, were released for the platform.
The Neo Geo system was also marketed as a very costly home console, commonly referred to today as the AES (Advanced Entertainment System). The Neo Geo was marketed as 24-bit, though it was technically a parallel processing 16 bit system with an 8-bit Zilog Z80 as coprocessor. The coprocessor was used as a CPU, and for sound processing.
Production of the system was discontinued in 1997, but official production of game cartridges lasted until 2004. The Neo Geo was ranked 19th out of the 25 best video game consoles of all time by the video game website IGN in 2009. There continues to be a homebrew market for the system over a decade and a half after its discontinuation.