Back in April, we posted a news story with SNK confirming that it was working on another home system for players to enjoy its classic Neo-Geo games, after the Neo-Geo X failed to find a palce in the market. At the time, no other details were confirmed, and we only saw the unit under a sheet. However, a new video posted on the Spawn Wave YouTube channel has reportedly revealed details on what players can expect -- and it's designed like a mini-arcade cabinet.
If you may recall, when the Neo-Geo first hit arcades back in the 90's, it did so with an arcade cabinet that featured multiple slots for games, ranging from classics like Magician Lord and Metal Slug to devoted fighting games like Samurai Shodown and the King of Fighters series. That's apparently the design the publisher is going for with the Neo-Geo Mini, based on what Spawn Wave's video has shown off.
The Neo-Geo Mini features a small joystick, along with four of the buttons and a select/start buttons. In addition, it has a mock-up design that features a number of Neo-Geo games on display, along with a small, around 3 1/2" screen. The system can also be outputted to a television with an HDMI cable, so you can play them on the big-screen if the smaller one isn't getting the job for you.
There's a Neo-Geo sticker on each side of the small cabinet, along with a power button and USB-C based jacks on the rear side, as well as an HDMI out port. It doesn't look like it uses batteries at all, instead resembling a "charge and play" unit. No word yet if it will include an adapter or if you have to go purchase your own.
For those thinking, "Well, this is no good for two-player games, now is it?", hang on. SNK will also be offering controllers that appear to be similarly designed to the classic Neo-Geo CD pads, with four buttons, select/start buttons and a multi-directional joypad that you can comfortably place your thumb on. This should make it easy to get around games as well as perform special moves in fighting games.
Rather than using game cards like SNK's previous Neo-Geo X console/handheld did, the Neo-Geo Mini appears to have 40 games built in, including a number of titles that aren't available through the Arcade Archives lineup. Not yet, at least. The full game list can be seen below and there are a number of fighting games available, along with oddities like Ninja Master's, Mutation Nation and Crossed Swords. You may notice some favorites are missing but there's some decent variety here. There could be a possibility of expansion, depending on how the final system looks.
There's no word on the pricing of the system or its accessories, but Spawn Wave believes it'll be around $100-$150, though that's obviously not final. As for availability, that's also up in the air. Since the 40th anniversary is this year, we could see it in time for the holiday season.
SNK hasn't officially said a word, but all of this does look pretty official. Maybe we'll see a reveal in a couple of weeks or perhaps even at E3, where the company expects to have some presence at NIS America's booth with SNK Heroines: Tag Team Frenzy.
For now though, this could be a dream unit for arcade and Neo-Geo fans. It's just a matter of seeing how much it'll set you back.