Neo Geo CD | Front Loader | Boxed | Plug & Play ready
Japanese version, near mint.
Including near mint box (matching serial), inner cart, AV and power cable, step-down converter, controller.
Out of stock
The Neo Geo CD was first unveiled at the 1994 Tokyo Toy Show. The console uses the same CPU set-up as the arcade and cartridge-based Neo Geo systems, facilitating conversions, and SNK stated that they planned to release Neo Geo CD versions of every Neo Geo game still in the arcades.
Three versions of the Neo Geo CD were released:
A front-loading version, only distributed in Japan, with 25,000 total units built.
A top-loading version, marketed worldwide, as the most common model.
The Neo Geo CDZ, an upgraded, faster-loading version, released in Japan only.
The front-loading version was the original console design, with the top-loading version developed shortly before the Neo Geo CD launch as a scaled-down, cheaper alternative model. The CDZ was released on December 29, 1995 as the Japanese market replacement for SNK’s previous efforts (the “front loader” and the “top loader”). The Neo Geo CD had met with limited success due to it being plagued with slow loading times that could vary from 30 to 60 seconds between loads, depending on the game. Although SNK’s American home entertainment division quickly acknowledged that the system simply was unable to compete with the 3D-able powerhouse systems of the day like Sega’s Saturn and Sony’s PlayStation, SNK corporate of Japan felt they could continue to maintain profitable sales in the Japanese home market by shortening the previous system’s load-times.
In response to criticism of the Neo Geo CD’s long load times, SNK planned to produce a model with a double speed CD-ROM drive for North America (as opposed to the single speed drive of the Japanese and European models). However, on the eve of the North American launch SNK announced a change of plans. Their Japanese division had produced an excess number of single speed units and found that modifying these units to double speed was more expensive than they had initially thought, so SNK opted to sell them as they were, postponing production of a double speed model until they had sold off the stock of single speed units.
The CDZ was only officially sold in Japan during its production. However, its faster loading times, lack of a “region lock”, and the fact that it could play older CD software, made it a popular import item for enthusiasts in both Europe and North America. The system’s technical specs are identical to the previous models except that it includes a double-speed CD-ROM drive.
Criticism of the system’s generally long loading times began even before launch; a report in Electronic Gaming Monthly on the Neo Geo CD’s unveiling noted, “At the show, they were showing a demo of Fatal Fury 2. The prototype of the machine that they showed was single speed, and the load time was 14-28 seconds between rounds. You can see that the screen[shot] on the right is a load screen.”
Roughly a month after launch, SNK reported that they had sold the Neo Geo CD’s entire initial shipment of 50,000 units.
Reviewing the Neo Geo CD in late 1995, Next Generation noted SNK’s reputation for fun-to-play games but argued that their failure to upgrade the Neo Geo system with 3D capabilities would keep them from producing any truly “cutting edge” games, and limit the console to the same small cult following as the Neo Geo AES system in spite of its less expensive games. They gave it 1 1/2 out of 5 stars.
The Neo Geo CD had standard A/V outs, as well as a multi port for RGB video.
Main Processor: Motorola 68000 running at 12 MHz
Although the original 68000 CPU was designed by Motorola, there are many clones of this CPU found in the Neo Geo hardware. The most common CPU is the TMP68HC000 manufactured by Toshiba.
Coprocessor: Zilog Z80 running at 4 MHz
Colors On Screen: 4,096
Colors Available: 65,536
Resolution: 304 x 224
Max Sprites: 384
Max Sprite Size: 16 x 512
Number of Planes: 3 (128 sprites per plane as the Neo Geo does not use bitmaps for its planes like with most game systems at the time)
The system is also capable of reading Redbook standard compact disc audio.
In addition to the multi-AV port (almost same one as used on the Sega Genesis model 1, though they are not interchangeable), all Neo Geo CD models had composite RCA A/V and S-Video out jacks on the rear of the console.
The CD system’s 56 Mbit / 7 MB of RAM was split accordingly:
68000 Program Memory: 2 MB
Fix Layer Memory: 128 KB
Graphics Memory: 4 MB
Sound Sample Memory: 1 MB
Z80 Program Memory: 64 kB
VRAM: 512Kb (For graphics attributes)
SRAM: 2 KB (For high scores / general save data)