Hyper Neo Geo 64

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A Hyper NeoGeo 64 board.

The Hyper Neo Geo 64 was an arcade system created by SNK, and released in September 1997, as the successor of the Neo Geo MVS as part of the Neo Geo family.

It was the first and only SNK hardware set capable of rendering in 3D, and was meant to replace SNK's older MVS system. Company executives planned for the project to bring SNK into the new era of 3D gaming that had arisen during the mid-1990s, and had planned for a corresponding home system to replace the aging and expensive AES home console.

Although details regarding the planned home system are sketchy, it is believed that like the AES console, much of the hardware from the Neo Geo 64 arcade platform would also have been present in the home system, meaning gameplay would be identical or near-identical whether a given game was played at home or in the arcade. It is unknown what media the home system would have used, as cartridges had become expensive and small compared to CD-ROM media.

The arcade reached its end of life in 1999. Only seven games were produced for the arcade variation of the system, none of which proved particularly popular, and as a result the project was discontinued. The proposed home system never got beyond initial planning stages and only one of the arcade games, the PlayStation version of Fatal Fury: Wild Ambition, was ported to home systems.

History[edit]

The Hyper Neo Geo 64 was conceived to usher SNK into the 3D era as well as to provide the hardware basis for a home system that would replace their aging Neo Geo, one that SNK hoped would be capable of competing with the Sega Saturn, Sony's PlayStation, Atari Jaguar and the Nintendo 64 as well as systems such as the REAL/3DO and Phillips CD-i.

The arcade system was released in September 1997, featuring a custom 64-bit RISC processor, 4 megabytes of program memory, 64 megabytes of 3D and texture memory, and 128 megabytes of memory for 2D characters and backgrounds. The first title released for the system was Road's Edge, with Samurai Shodown 64 and Fatal Fury: Wild Ambition following soon after. Although all three games looked great, none were particularly well received: hardcore SNK fans preferred the 2D versions of Samurai Shodown and Fatal Fury and newcomers were seldom interested at all; Namco and Sega had superior arcade hardware and a larger catalog of 3D games to tempt them with.

By 1999, the system was dead, with only seven games released in total. Fatal Fury: Wild Ambition was ported to the Sony PlayStation home system, with graphics that were slightly below the original's performance.

Specifications[edit]

CPU #1 (main): 100 MHz NEC VR4300 (64-bit MIPS III)

CPU #2 (auxiliary, handles audio I/O): V53@16 MHz 16-bit microcontroller (V33 superset)

CPU #3 (auxiliary, handles communications I/O): KL5C80A12CFP@12.5 MHz 8-bit microcontroller (Z80 compatible)

0x00000000..0x00FFFFFF: mainboard RAM (16 MiB)

0x04000000..0x05FFFFFF: cartridge RAM (16 MiB)

0x1FC00000..0x1FC7FFFF: ROM (512 KiB)

Cartridge ROM mapping is variable.

Display[edit]

  • Maximum Colors On-Screen: 4,096
  • 3D Branch: 96 MB vertex memory, 16 MB maximum texture memory
  • 2D Sprite Branch: 60 frames per second animation, 128 MB character memory
    • Main Functions: Scaling, montage, chain, mosaic, mesh, action, up/down, right/left reverse
  • 2D Scrolling Branch: Up to 4 game planes, 64 MB character memory
    • Main Functions: Scaling, revolution, morphing; horizontal/vertical screen partitioning and line scrolling

Powering the Board[edit]

  • When powering a Hyper Neo Geo 64 board all (4) +5v pins on the JAMMA connector (3,4,C,D) must have +5v going to them. This is due to the double layer board design of the Hyper Neo Geo 64.
  • Correctly powered boards will display a blue screen with white text as the board and game boot up. If not powered properly, only a blue screen will be displayed.

Board Versions[edit]

  • Fighting - Only plays the 4 fighting games
  • Driving - Only plays the 2 driving games
  • Shooting - Only plays Beast Busters: Second Nightmare
  • Korean - Only plays the 2 Samurai Shodown Games

Board Revisions[edit]

The fighting game board has 2 revisions. The first revision looks to be JAMMA but is not true JAMMA as the sound does not come from the JAMMA edge but from an AMP connector mounted on the front of the board which is controlled by a potentiometer. There is a modification available to get mono sound off the JAMMA edge which involves removing a jumper and setting another. There is also a mysterious extra +5v connector that is supposed to be connected to the back of the board to "prolong" the life of the board per SNK. It is still unconfirmed if having the extra +5v connector connected actually does increase the board's life. Some say it is to divert the heat of the high amps going through the JAMMA edge.

The 2nd board revision is true JAMMA and also has a switch to select between JAMMA output as well as MVS output which has stereo sound.

It is easy to tell each revision apart, Revision 1 has a volume port and amp connectors on the front where the Revision 2 board has only amp connectors (around 5) on the front of the board.

List of games[edit]

Release date Developer English title Japanese title Genre
1998-09-11 SNK Beast Busters: Second Nightmare Beast Busters: Second Nightmare
(ビーストバスターズ セカンドナイトメア)
Rail Shooter
1999-05-21 SNK Buriki-One Buriki-One
(武力 ~BURIKI-ONE~)
Versus Fighting
1999-01-28 SNK Fatal Fury: Wild Ambition Garou Densetsu: Wild Ambition
(餓狼伝説 WILD AMBITION)
Versus Fighting
1997-09-10 SNK Road's Edge Round Trip RV
(ラウンドトリップ RV)
4X4 Racing
1997-12-19 SNK Samurai Shodown 64 Samurai Spirits
(侍魂 ~SAMURAI SPIRITS~)
Versus Fighting
1998-10-16 SNK Samurai Shodown 64: Warriors Rage Samurai Spirits 2: Asura Zanmaden
(SAMURAI SPIRITS 2 アスラ斬魔伝)
Versus Fighting
1998-05-13 SNK Xtreme Rally Off Beat Racer!
(オフビートレーサー!)
Rally Racing game

External links[edit]