When I was a kid EVERYONE wanted a Neo Geo but no one could afford one. There was this one kid, Andy, he had one. His mom got it for him when she went to Japan (they were Japanese) and every time I went over to his house I was in awe of this machine. It was just the coolest thing ever.
At the time consoles were always second best to arcade games. The arcades ruled to power, graphics, everything. You would go to the arcade and play Mortal Kombat and it was AMAZING, then you get the SNES version and it was…well….not as amazing.
The Neo Geo was damn near perfect arcade to home conversions because they used the same board as the arcade games it had. This meant you could buy the cartridges and play an exact version at home, because you WERE playing the same thing.
Everyone wanted one (as soon as they found out about it) but at launch in 1990 is was $649. Compare that to the SNES that launched 1 year later at $199 or even the Turbo Graphix 16 that launched a year before at $199. The Neo Geo was a rich kids system and a pipe dream for all us normies.
Now over the years I’ve played Neo Geo games (Metal Slug is amazing) and I even had a Neo Geo Pocket Color back in the early 2000’s and loved it (though Capcom vs SNK was really the only game I played regularly) but today SNK released they have a new retro system for everyone.
The Neo Geo Arcade Stick
What is this? It’s a controller with 20 classic SNK games pre-installed to it that you can play on your TV or use as a controller for the Neo Geo Mini.
It’s pretty freaking cool if you ask me. I’ve been getting back into gaming, hence going to PAX this year, and there are a few old Neo Geo games that I would love to play and just buying a console (looks like only about $200 on ebay) isn’t too bad, but getting the games seems way more costly than it should be (some well over $100)
No idea on price yet, but the Neo Geo Mini is about $100 so I’m assuming around that for this. They have not officially set a release date, but I’m thinking Holiday 2019 would be a good time to release it, though we will see.
So here’s the full press release from SNK.
Introducing, the NEOGEO Arcade Stick Pro!
A fighting stick with 20 classic SNK fighters pre-installed!
The next in line for the NEOGEO legacy comes the NEOGEO Arcade Stick Pro. It’s an incredibly unique fighting stick in that it comes with fighting games pre-installed! It was inspired by the NEOGEO CD’s controller design and was blown up to fighting stick size. (W 430mm×D 215mm×H 125mm) Additionally, the arcade stick can switch between two modes: Arcade Stick Mode and Console Mode.
At the moment, we have plans for a world-wide release. (However, please understand that the specifics may change based on the country.) Please wait for more updates concerning launch date and price.
In this mode, you can use the arcade stick normally by simply plugging it into a NEOGEO mini or PC. We guarantee a solid experience with this arcade stick.
In this mode, simply connect the stick via an HDMI cable into a TV and get ready to enjoy some of SNK’s finest fighting games. There are 20 pre-installed NEOGEO classics just waiting to be played. You can even rearrange the button layout in the options menu. Also, you can attach NEOGEO mini PAD controllers or even another NEOGEO Arcade Stick Pro for some glorious 2-Player action!