For many SNK’s Neo Geo platform has been a distant dream due to the ever rising price tags its accompanying software demands. Unlike the many other consoles out there the system has lacked a flash cartridge or equivalent method of loading game ROMs on the original hardware, which if anything has kept both the demand and cost of game cartridges high. As of next week though, this may become a thing of the past following the unexpected arrival of the NeoSD.
Hailing out of the depths of Europe, the NeoSD MVS is an MicroSD card enabled flash cartridge for the Neo Geo MVS hardware - the arcade counterpart of the Neo Geo family. Apparently compatible with the entire Neo Geo library and also boasting features for homebrew developers too, initial reviews of the NeoSD are suggesting that this may indeed be the ultimate solution for retro gamers looking at a space-saving and cheap entry into the world of SNK.
When we say cheap though, we’re actually speaking comparatively with the SNK game library. With the likes of Metal Slug on the Neo Geo AES fetching four figure sums, the NeoSD seems somewhat affordable at the massive investment that is €379,99 - a price which doesn’t include an outer case for the cartridge (a separate purchase at €19.99).
NeoSD MVS Technical Specs
- Compatible with all comercial games and homebrew
- 768 Mbits of flash memory, enough to hold the largest officially released games, plus some extra space for system software.
- ARM Cortex M4 at 168MHz, 1MB flash, 128KB RAM. For SD access, Flash programming, cartridge control and original cartridge protections emulation.
- 2x Lattice XP2 FPGA. Flash based, instant-on, low power, high density FPGAs. For bus decoding and multiplexing, flash access, bankswitching, programming help.
- Supports micro SD & SDHC cards up to 32GB. FAT32 with long file names.
- User friendly game selection menu with game screenshots.
- Instant boot to the last flashed game. It appears as an original cartridge to the board, and can use the bios softdips configuration as with the original cart.
- Runs original games unpatched, emulating the original cartridge protections in hardware.
- Ability to boot to the game flash menu from in-game (configurable trigger combination)
- Can be used for game development. Allows the homebrew games to acces expanded hardware features (S rom banking, increased bank area space).
- Updateable system software and firmware for future additions and features.
- Switch cartridge region without needing special bios.
- MVS board AES emulation without needing special bios.
We won’t lie, the cost is very much a big hurdle for many retro gamers including ourselves. That said the NeoSD is perhaps the most affordable way to enjoy the likes of Neo Turf Masters, Windjammers, and the countless fighters the system has to offer without needing to sell off the rest of your collection.
The NeoSD MVS is currently available to purchase via the official NeoSD Store, with the product page promising a November 15th shipping date for those tempted.
NeoSD MVS Flash Cartridge Demonstration
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