Japan Amusement Machine and Marketing Association
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Until 1 April 2012, JAMMA stood for Japan Amusement Machinery Manufacturers Association (社団法人日本アミューズメントマシン工業協会?). The corporation was renamed after they merged with the Nihon Shopping Center Amusement Park Operator's Association (NSA) and the Japan Amusement Park Equipment Association (JAPEA).
Before 2012, JAMMA had been organizing an annual trade fair called the Amusement Machine Show for many years. In 2013, they began collaborating with the Amusement Machine Operators' Union (AOU), who had their own trade show, to promote a new event: the Japan Amusement Expo.
JAMMA is the namesake of a widely used wiring standard for arcade games. An arcade cabinet wired to JAMMA's specification can accept a motherboard for any JAMMA-compatible game. JAMMA introduced the standard in 1985; by the 1990s, most new arcade games were built to JAMMA specifications. As the majority of arcade games were designed in Japan at this time, JAMMA became the de facto standard internationally.
Before the JAMMA standard, most arcade PCBs, wiring harnesses, and power supplies were custom-built. When an old game became unprofitable, many arcade operators would rewire the cabinet and update the artwork in order to put different games in the cabinets. Reusing old cabinets made a lot of sense, and it was realized that the cabinets were a different market from the games themselves. The JAMMA standard allowed plug-and-play cabinets to be created (reducing the cost to arcade operators) where an unprofitable game could be replaced with another game by a simple swap of the game's PCB. This resulted in most arcade games in Japan (outside racing and gun shooting games that required deluxe cabinets) to be sold as conversion kits consisting of nothing more than a PCB, play instructions and an operator's manual.
The JAMMA standard uses a 56-pin edge connector on the board with inputs and outputs common to most video games. These include power inputs (5 volts for the game and 12 volts for sound); inputs for two joysticks, each with three action buttons and one start button; analog RGB video output with negative composite sync; single-speaker sound output; and inputs for coin, service, test, and tilt.
The connector circuitry of some later games, such as Street Fighter II: The World Warrior (1991) and X-Men (1992), implement extra buttons, different controller types, or support more players by adding extra connectors—or even by utilizing dormant JAMMA pins. Circuitry designs that overstep the JAMMA specification in this way are unofficially called JAMMA+.
JAMMA Video Standard
The JAMMA Video Standard (JAMMA VIDEO規格, JVS) is a newer JAMMA connector standard designed for contemporary USB peripherals. The standard specifies communication protocols and physical interfaces for peripheral devices.
Per the first edition of the JVS, published in 1996, peripheral devices connect to a dedicated I/O board. The main board connects to the I/O board via an USB Type-A to USB Type-B interface cable, and peripherals connect to the I/O board via USB-A.
JAMMA published the second edition of the JVS on 17 July 1997, and the third edition on 31 May 2000. The third edition adds support for ASCII and Shift-JIS output; device drivers for secondary and tertiary input devices; a device driver for a mahjong controller; and recommended values for SYNC-code timing.
Amusement Machine Prize guideline
The Amusement Machine prize guideline (アミューズメントマシンにおいて提供される適正景品のガイドライン) is a guide for the type of prize that should be provided by arcade operator. The standard was enacted in 1 November 2004.
It specifies the retail value of a prize item cannot exceed 800 yen. In addition, following items cannot be manufactured, sold, or transferred to arcades as prizes:
- Tobacco and tobacco-themed items
- Alcohol and alcohol-themed items
- Drugs, or items containing material that causes high, dizziness, hallucination
- Medium containing contents that interferes with proper youth growth or good social order
- Items for sex, and items resembling sexual organs
- Coupon or similar items
- Item violating food safety laws
- Counterfeit brand or counterfeit character items, or items violating intellectual property
- Item causing physical or mental harm (e.g., weapons)
- Life forms violating the spirit of animal protection