SNK Neo Geo AES
NOTE: This console isn't bad. This article will focus primarily on what caused it to flop.
The Neo Geo was a video game hardware platform developed by SNK.
It has the distinction of being the very first video game system to utilize memory cards to let the players save their progress on any game. The memory card could be used on both the arcade and home versions of the system.
Why it Flopped
PLEASE NOTE: This article will focus primarily on the home version, the AES.
- Initially, the AES was only available for rent to commercial establishments in Japan, such as hotel chains, bars and restaurants, and other venues. When customer response indicated that some gamers were willing to buy this console, SNK expanded sales and marketing into the home console market in 1991, and later to the American market. But, due to hardware quality (which is regarded as the best of its time), it dragged its price tag to downright unaffordable for ordinary customers.
- At a price of $650 at launch, it was extremely expensive so it didn't sell too many consoles. It can be hard to find nowadays.
- During the system's retail lifespan, AES cartridges cost about $200 to $240, with the most expensive game, Viewpoint, going for about twice that. With the rise of retro gaming, some Neo Geo cartridges sell for a whopping $1,000. Fortunately, they released the cheaper Neo Geo CD with a more SNES style of controller.
- The giant cartridges can take a lot of space on your shelves, though not as much as the 3DO Interactive Multiplayer cases.
- The huge joystick controllers, while intended to simulate the arcade experience, are as large as the console itself, making them uncomfortable to hold.
- Not many games were made outside of arcade ports, mostly of fighting games.
Despite being a commercial failure, the Neo Geo is a very good video gaming console, so gamers can essentially play video arcade games at home. The Neo Geo's memory cards were also, in the day, compatible with some actual arcade machines using the same hardware architecture. To see its good qualities, click here.