In 1992 every console manufacturer claimed to bring the arcade experience home, but only one of them could truly deliver on that promise with zero compromise. SNK PLAYMORE’s NeoGeo AES stood above all the rest, giving players exactly what they wanted: accurate, complete, pixel-perfect arcade games right in their own living rooms. In a world of translations, adaptations and sacrifices, the NeoGeo redefined “arcade perfect,” refusing to be anything less than the gold standard to which every other manufacturer aspired but could never reach.
It’s fitting that twenty years later, that standard has made its triumphant return with the NeoGeo X Gold handheld. It’s packing twenty of the most iconic quarter-gobbling titles(*) from its illustrious arcade history, and an expansion card slot so arcade aficionados who burn through that initial score of launch games can experience new ones later on. It’s equipped with a crystal-clear 4.3” LCD screen, a smooth analog control stick, and four face buttons. Expose everyone around you to a pulse-pounding classic NeoGeo soundtrack via the built-in stereo speakers or plug in headphones for a more personalized experience. And since it also comes with a solid arcade-style joystick and the ability to interface with your TV set via HDMI or standard A/V cables thanks to the accompanying control deck, it’s going to dominate you both at home and on the road.
Back in the 90s, the major obstacle to ownership was the price tag―the system itself would set you back almost $800, and every game you purchased was a heavy $90-$200 investment. To equip your living room with everything the NeoGeo X Gold comes with twenty years ago would have cost you in excess of $3,500 with zero portable option. But since nobody’s got that kind of money just laying around, distributor Tommo, Inc. chose $199.99 (USD) as a more competitive way to remind the world, in the words of CEO Jonathan Wan, “Great consoles don’t die; they’re just reborn in much more affordable and convenient packages.”
Arcades today may be few and far between, but that classic arcade experience is right around the corner. And the best part is you won’t have to suffer sticky floors, stale cigarette smoke, broken bill changers, out-of-order signs, or the crushing humiliation of being broken in half by the other player while all of her friends laugh at you. Whether you’re up for a game of baseball, a side-scrolling adventure, or a one-on-one fight to prove who’s the toughest on the block, the NeoGeo X Gold’s got you covered come December 6, 2012.
(*) 3 Count Bout, Art of Fighting II, Alpha Mission II, Baseball Stars II, Cyber Lip, Fatal Fury, Fatal Fury Special, The King of Fighters ’95, King of the Monsters, Last Resort, League Bowling, Magician Lord, Metal Slug, Mutation Nation, NAM-1975, Puzzled, Real Bout Fatal Fury Special, Samurai Shodown II, Super Sidekicks, and World Heroes Perfect