Although I never owned a NeoGeo AES, I had numerous hours (and quarters) invested in their arcade games. The AES was far to expensive for me when it arrived in January 1990. Through some twist of fate, SNK Playmore released a limited edition update to the NeoGeo AES in the form of a handheld device with an elaborate cradle (styled to mimic the look of the original AES) called the NeoGeo X. Released on December 18, 2012, it also came with an arcade joystick also styled like the AES'.
I knew this was likely going to be a very limited run and nostalgia (and retro gaming smarts) kicked in an I pre-ordered the Gold Edition which arrived just in time for Christmas 2012!
SNK NeoGeo X - Technical Specifications
The Neo-Geo X is a handheld video game console licensed by SNK Playmore and the latest console released as part of the company's NeoGeo brand. Information about the Neo-Geo X was first reported in January 2012 and the console was later confirmed in March. It marks the first invented Neo-Geo branded console in 13 years, following the NeoGeo Pocket Color in 1999 and the first produced Neo-Geo in 8 years (handheld in 11 years).
The device runs games that ran on the original NeoGeo AES/MVS hardware and comes with 20 original NeoGeo games pre-installed. Additional titles are to be made available on Game cards. The console was released on December 18, 2012 as part of a bundle called the Neo-Geo X Gold package, which includes a docking station modeled after the original NeoGeo AES console and a replica of the NeoGeo AES joystick that can be used as a controller for the handheld.
Initially, the device was incorrectly rumored by some to retail for about $800, but the price of the Gold package was revealed to be $200, far less than the original Neo-Geo console. The handheld by itself, without the docking station and controller was later priced at $129.99 to come out in Feb 2013. However, links on the official website to the standalone handheld were subsequently removed and the official FAQ now reads that the Docking Station is required in order to charge the device.
A Ninja Master's game card has been offered as a bonus for early buyers. 20 games come pre-loaded on the system including titles from signature SNK series such as Metal Slug, Fatal Fury and The King of Fighters:
3 Count Bout, Alpha Mission II, Art of Fighting, Baseball Stars II, Cyber-Lip, Fatal Fury, Fatal Fury Special, King of Fighters '95, King of the Monsters, Last Resort, League Bowling, Magician Lord, Metal Slug, Mutation Nation, NAM-1975, Puzzled, Real Bout Fatal Fury, Samurai Shodown II, Super Sidekicks, World Heroes Perfect
The device includes a 4.3-inch LCD screen, SD card slot, A/V output, internal stereo speakers with a 3.5mm headphone jack. The screen's 480x272 display resolution is the same as the original NeoGeo X Portable and is close to the 16:9 aspect ratio. The system was released on December 18th, 2012 as part of the "Neo-Geo X Gold" package, which included the Neo-Geo X Station, a replica of the original Neo-Geo AES console that functions as a charging/docking station with its own A/V out and HDMI output along with a functioning replica of the original AES joystick controller. The system will be distributed by Tommo Inc. in North America and Blaze Europe in Europe.
Original NeoGeo AES joysticks, games and memory card for saves are not compatible with NeoGeo X. In comparison to the NeoGeo AES there are new buttons on the handheld - L1, L2, R1 and R2, similar to NeoGeo X controllers.