Some kind of new hardware is on its way from SNK, the makers of classic fighting game franchises Samurai Showdown and King of Fighters. “A Next-Gen NEOGEO hardware is coming after NEOGEO Mini,” according to SNK Global’s official Twitter account. “With a modern design and a wonderful play feeling and you can even link it to NEOGEO Mini,” the tweet continues, “the new hardware will provide you a NEOGEO journey that you have never expeirenced [sic].”
I, personally, am hugely intrigued by the “wonderful play feeling” promised by … whatever this is. The tweet beckons the reader to “stay tuned for more information,” but as of yet, no further details have been revealed.
The NEOGEO Mini, if you missed it last year, was SNK’s attempt at cashing in on the burgeoning microconsole market. The tiny arcade cabinet featured a functioning screen, tiny buttons, and for some reason, an arcade stick that didn’t use microswitches and that felt nothing like you’d expect. It also had an Mini HDMI port, as well as USB-C ports for control pads, which were purchased separately. Unlike Nintendo’s microconsoles, the NEOGEO Mini failed to really pop off at retail, mostly due to its lackluster suite of games and poor video quality over HDMI.
A Next-Gen NEOGEO hardware is coming after NEOGEO Mini.
With a modern design and a wonderful play feeling and you can even link it to NEOGEO Mini, the new hardware will provide you a NEOGEO journey that you have never expeirenced.
— SNK GLOBAL @SAMURAI SHODOWN – Available Now! (@SNKPofficial) August 2, 2019
“Even if you can be bothered to track down a relatively uncommon Mini HDMI to HDMI cable,” wrote Sam Byford for The Verge, “the video output and scaling looks terrible and blurry, with no option to render proper pixels like on the NES and SNES Classic Editions.” The NEOGEO Mini didn’t even have an internal battery, meaning that its cute little palm-sized self was useless without an outlet or USB port.
(If you’re interested though, this announcement of new hardware coincides with the release of a Samurai Showdown edition of the first microconsole, which comes in exclusive colors, includes controllers and cables, and features a different slate of games than those seen on the original hardware.)
So! We can all see why SNK might want to get out there and tell folks that something else is coming in the future, even if it can’t say anything else at this point. The idea that this new thing might “link” to the NEOGEO Mini is particularly confusing/interesting — do they mean through the Mini’s USB-C ports? Are they talking about the Mini’s HDMI output? Is the new hardware just a second, larger (but still miniature) arcade cabinet that the first NEOGEO Mini can fit inside of? Why would anyone want to link the new thing to the NEOGEO Mini in the first place, considering that it’s not very good and hasn’t sold well? What about the new hardware will provide me with a NEOGEO journey that I have never expeirenced [sic]? Why do I taste metal all the time? Can anybody hear me??
Anyway, shrieking endlessly into the void about hardware is one of my favorite ways to spend my time, so as soon as there’s any movement on whatever this is, you’ll hear about it from me.