SNK Neo Geo CD

SNK Neo Geo CD

4th Generation Competitors
PC Engine Megadrive Super NES Neo Geo AES CDTV Philips CDI NEC SuperGrafx
Region Release Date Discontinued Lifetime Sales
Japan 9th Sep 1994 1997
North America Jan 1996 1997
Europe Dec 1994 1997

The AES was SNKs first attempt at a home console, due to it literally being the same hardware as the arcade it meant that the console and games were expensive.  To fix that they decided to release a cost reduced version that relied on optical discs rather than the very expensive cartridges, the Neo Geo CD.

This move was unsuccessful for a few reasons, although the games were far cheaper, the actual console was still expensive compared to the rest of the generation.  The CD was only single speed, meaning it took a long time to load the very large cartridge data.  Because the Neo Geo CD didn’t have much cache memory, it tended to need to reload often.

The failure pretty much finished SNKs home aspirations.  The company as a whole was experiencing financial difficulties due to the diminishing arcade revenues and the home failures piled on to that.

A revised edition, the CDZ, was released later in Japan.  This version featured a faster CD Drive and fixed some of the loading issues, but it was released around the same time as the Playstation and Saturn.  It lacked any 3D capabilities and just couldn’t compete.


Processor Motorola 68000 @ 12MHz, Zilog Z80 @ 4MHz
RAM 64K + 64K Video Ram
ROM 512K
Custom Chips  SNK LSPC2-A2 @ 24MHz
Video 16 Bit 4,096 on screen from palette of 65,536
Audio Yamaha YM2610 4 FM Channels
Removable storage  Single speed CD Drive

Neo Geo CD