Neo Geo CD

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Neo Geo CD is a game console from SNK that was released in 1994, four years after its cartridge-based equivalent, in an effort to reduce manufacturing costs. It is the second console of the Neo Geo family. The system was originally priced at US$300 new.[citation needed] The unit's (approximately) 1X CD-ROM drive was slow, making loading times very long with the system loading up to 56 Mbit of data between loads.[citation needed] Neo Geo CD game prices were low at $50, in contrast to Neo Geo AES game cartridges which cost as much as $300. The system could also play Audio CDs. All three versions of the system have no region-lock.

The Neo Geo CD was bundled with a control pad instead of a joystick like the AES version. However, the original AES joystick could be used with all three Neo Geo CD models, instead of the included control pads.



Three versions of the Neo Geo CD were released:

  • A "front-loading" version; only distributed in Japan, 25,000 total units were built.
  • A "top-loading" version that was marketed worldwide; it is the most common model.
  • The Neo Geo CDZ; this was also in Japan only


The CDZ was released the 29 December 1995[1][2] as the Japanese market replacement for SNK's previous efforts (the "front loader" and the "top loader"). The Neo Geo CD had met with limited success due to it being plagued by slow loading times that could vary from 30 to 60 seconds between levels, depending on the game. Although SNK's American home entertainment division quickly acknowledged that the system simply wasn't capable of competing with 3D-capable powerhouse systems of the day like Sega's Saturn and Sony's PlayStation, SNK corporate of Japan felt they could continue to maintain profitable sales in the Japanese home market by shortening the previous system's load-times.[citation needed]

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