Its been awhile since we’ve seen SNK’s logo on an actual piece of hardware, the last two pieces of hardware to come from the fighting game masters were the Neo Geo Pocket Color and the Atomisware Arcade System but SNK Playmore seem to be changing that with their latest offering, the Neo Geo X. It looks to be a sleek and shiny portable Neo Geo arcade system with 20 games built in. For those of you that have never been involved in the Neo Geo collecting scene or ever followed the platform, this is pretty cool news. Why do I say this? Well the Neo Geo from the get go was a luxury system, with the console costing $600 and individual games costing from $300 – $500. Very steep for any gamers budget. Even with the system having been defunct since the company finally dropped support in 2004, the prices of games for collectors haven’t gotten any cheaper. In comes the Neo Geo X which will provide authentic Neo Geo gaming at a fraction of the cost with two versions, a basic package at $129.99 which only includes the handheld and a gold ‘premium’ package at $199.99 which includes a docking station with AV out functionality resembling the AES console and a replica joystick. SNK Playmore is slated to release the handheld this December, I honestly can’t wait.

The 20 Built in games include:

  • Alpha Mission II
  • Art of Fighting
  • Baseball Stars 2
  • Cyber-Up
  • Fatal Fury
  • Fatal Fury Special
  • King of Fighters 95
  • King of the Monsters
  • J Count Bout
  • Last Resort
  • League Bowling
  • Magician Lord
  • Metal Slug
  • Mutation Nation
  • NAM 1975
  • Puzzled
  • Real Bout Fatal Fury Special
  • Samurai Shodown II
  • Super Sidekicks
  • World Heroes

From a retro gamer’s perspective such as mine this is really cool news, but from a casual or newer gamer’s point of view whats the purpose of buying this? SNK has offered up several collections of most of these games on other platforms including the PS2 and PSP so why would anybody want a dedicated portable platform? Not to mention there are a handful of handheld devices designed with emulation in mind that could be cheaper alternatives. The 20 built in games are nice but it really is a very small portion of the awesome library the Neo Geo has to offer and with only an SD card port as a means of data storage and no word on whether more games will be offered as downloadable purchases or if SNK plans to offer up some new IPs for the hardware leaves little incentive for the more mainstream gamer to invest in it other then as a novelty item. We’ll have to wait and see how things pan out for the Neo Geo X.