While SEGA and Nintendo battled it out during the 1990s, there was another company taking part in the “console wars” – but SNK’s Neo Geo was on an entirely different level.

SEGA’s Mega Drive and Nintendo’s Super Nintendo played hosts to conversions of arcade machine games to fit the fortmat’s capabilities, but SNK’s Neo Geo brought the exact same games that you played in the arcades to your home – for a price. The machine even had a memory card that allowed you to save progress from the arcade and bring it home!

This console was expensive, and the massive games cartridges often cost close to the same as either of the two main rival consoles – each. It was a niche machine that still has a dedicated fan-base, with the rarer cartridges now changing hands for big bucks.

2012 saw the officially licensed release of the Neo Geo X, a handheld device that used emulation to recreate the system’s classic games. It came with a hinged docking station that looked like the original console, which enabled users to plug it into their telly, as well as a replica joystick to match. To be honest it was a bit crap, but we still have ours. However, only 36 games ever emerged for it before the whole project went belly-up, when SNK ordered the licensee, Tommo, to cease production, reportedly due to a lack of quality.

Now that the history lesson is over, great news is that to celebrate its 40th anniversary, SNK appear to have something cooking along the lines of the other shrunken consoles and classic home computers that have become a big small thing over the past couple of years. Our evidence? This tweet…

 

For the benefit of those who can’t read Japanese, it translates (at least according to Google) as…

This year, SNK brand celebrates 40th anniversary. A new game machine that contains popular titles of NEOGEO will emerge, expressing gratitude to all fans who support SNK’s works such as “KOF” “Legend of fatal Family” “Samsupi” “Metasura” ! Please stay tuned. The Future is Now!

A couple of those series appear to have been lost in translation, but as well as King of Fighters we suspect that they’re Fatal Fury, Samurai Shodown and Metal Slug.

We’ll be following this with great interest, hopefully in readiness to add another shrunken beauty to our collection.

Meanwhile, this was the launch trailer for the ill-fated Neo Geo X…