Year of Release: 1990, stopped production in 1997
Quick overview: Produced by Japanese game publisher SNK, the Neo Geo enticed the curious with the fact that it was basically the same hardware that ran popular arcade titles like Samurai Showdown in the stand-up coin-operated machines. After a steep initial investment, hardcore gamers could save their quarters and play to their hearts’ content.
Best Game on the System: The King of Fighters
The cast of characters in SNK’s fighting game was wackier than most and they all executed their deadly styles in gorgeously animated sequences. KoF games continue to come out, with KoF XII having hit American consoles in 2009.
Reason for Downfall?: Price and changing tastes
The 649.99 price tag for the American version is among the highest ever for a home video game console. But, gamers’ tastes were moving away from 2D sprite-based graphics and the Neo Geo never got the kind of support from other game developers that would have made it a hit.
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