Back when I was young I remember spending many an evening reading through the glossy computer and video game magazines of the time, these were either purchased with pocket money or borrowed from friends at school. From memory one system in particular always seemed to have the best eye popping and jaw dropping candy coloured graphics this was SNK’s Neo Geo AES (Advanced Entertainment System), all of this unobtainable dream machines shoot ’em ups and beat ’em ups were just simply light years ahead of anything I had seen on home systems and easily impressive as the arcade machines I played.
Having been brought up on a staple diet of Atari 400 gaming then advancing onto owning the Atari 800XL and a BBC Micro Model B, the Neo Geo AES appealed to me on a level I find hard to describe, maybe it was at the time the initial astronomically high purchase price of the system or the prohibitively expensive game cartridge costs, or just the realisation of knowing I would never be able to actually afford and own one, who knows? It did strike a chord with me, even though no one I knew owned the Neo Geo home system and only years later did I actually realise I had already been playing the arcade variant, the Neo Geo MVS (Multi-Video System) of this holy grail of games consoles.
Fast forward to 2012, me now being much older and an avid retro gamer and retro console collector, my interest having been recently rekindled in the Neo Geo after seeing all the current retro gaming media sites and forums buzz about the new SNK licensed Neo Geo X handheld, I decided to investigate and catch up on the original old school Neo Geo scene exploring what had evolved, in summary Neo Geo AES systems are fairly cheap, however original collectors condition AES game cartridges are still very expensive, for example Metal Slug can set you back well over a couple of thousand dollars!
On the other hand the Neo Geo MVS motherboard can be purchased for a low price relatively speaking so can the game cartridges for the MVS system. However unless you owned an arcade cabinet to take advantage of the arcade based Neo Geo MVS system you used to be out of luck using one, with the many advances in the Neo Geo community it is now possible to ‘Consolize the Neo Geo MVS’ in essence this means by adding game port controller sockets, a dedicated power supply, an RGB to NTSC/PAL video encoder you effectively convert the MVS into a home system utilizing the MVS hardware and MVS game cartridges.
This is where Project: Consolize the Neo Geo MVS begins, after research I decided on a specific MVS board variant to make my life as simple as possible, this being the Neo Geo MV-1FS the board has a socketed BIOS making it easy to change to UNIVERSE BIOS if required. The MV-1FS also has several other desirable features such as joystick ports, on board volume control and a stereo/mono switch not present on most other single slot MVS boards.
After a search on eBay a suitable auction was found, and my prize was duly purchased as seen in the main picture. As this is the Christmas holidays I have to wait for my MV-1FS board to arrive so I can crack on with Project: Consolize the Neo Geo MVS!