The Hyper Neo Geo 64 is an arcade system created by SNK, and released in September 1997, as the successor of the Neo Geo MVS, within the Neo Geo family.
It is the first and only SNK hardware set capable of rendering in 3D, and was meant to replace SNK's older MVS system on the market. 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 sparse, 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 nearly identical whether a given game was played at home or in the arcade. It is unknown what media the home system would have used.
However it never managed to match the huge success of the MVS, and 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 the project was discontinued. The proposed home system never got beyond initial planning stages and only one of the arcade games, Fatal Fury: Wild Ambition, has been ported to home systems.
The Hyper Neo Geo 64 was conceived to bring SNK into the 3D era as well as to replace their aging Neo Geo home system.
The system was first announced in late 1995, and planned for release in late 1996. It was officially unveiled at the February 1997 AOU show, though all that was demonstrated at the show was a videotape containing a few seconds of footage of Samurai Shodown 64, which SNK announced would be the first game for the system. By mid-1997 test units were on display in Japan.
The arcade version of the 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. None were particularly well received.
By 1999, the system was discontinued, with only seven games released in total. Fatal Fury: Wild Ambition was ported to the Sony PlayStation home system.
When powering a Hyper Neo Geo 64 board all four +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.
The board has four versions: one which only plays the four fighting games; one which only plays the two driving games; one which only plays Beast Busters: Second Nightmare; and one which only plays the two Samurai Shodown games.
The fighting game board has two revisions. While looking like one, the first revision is not true JAMMA, as the sound does not come from the JAMMA edge but from a JST VL 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 an 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 second board revision is true JAMMA and also has a switch to select between JAMMA output as well as MVS output, which has stereo sound.
Revision 1 has a volume port and JST YL/VL connectors on the front, while the Revision 2 board has only JST YL and VL connectors (21 pin YL, 4 pin VL, 15 pin YL, 12 pin YL, 9 pin YL) on the front of the board.
Seven games were released, all developed and published by SNK.
|Beast Busters: Second Nightmare||Rail Shooter||September 11, 1998|
|Buriki One||Fighting||May 21, 1999|
|Fatal Fury: Wild Ambition||Fighting||January 28, 1999|
|Road's Edge||Racing||September 10, 1997|
|Samurai Shodown 64||Fighting||December 19, 1997|
|Samurai Shodown 64: Warriors Rage||Fighting||October 16, 1998|
|Xtreme Rally||Racing||May 13, 1998|