The SD card and the vintage video game revolution
A conservative estimate puts the value of the entire Neo Geo library of games – all European, US and Japanese variants – at around a quarter of a million dollars. Some of the games are so scarce that they come up for sale only once a decade. In October 2009, for example, an anonymous buyer paid $55,045.64 for the European versions of the fighting game Kizuna Encounter and the football game Ultimate 11 (as if guided by a scriptwriter’s pen, the buyer carried a custom-made briefcase to meet the seller, to ensure the games remained pristinely cosy on the flight home). There are, it is estimated, fewer than ten copies of each game in existence. Even for the wealthiest game fanatic, then, there is almost no opportunity to play these games anywhere outside of a PC emulator.
All this changed last year when a group of Spanish game enthusiasts released the NeoSD, a cartridge manufactured to look exactly like one of the chunky Neo Geo originals. As the name implies, the device, whose insides are studded with chips that replicate every foible of every game in the Neo Geo library, houses an SD card that can be loaded with a digital imprint of the entire Neo Geo collection (all 4.4 GB-worth of it), and slotted, with that pleasing, yielding clunk, into an original console. It takes around 30 seconds to load a ROM into the Flash memory, at which point the cartridge becomes utterly indistinguishable from the original.
At 435 Euros, the Neo SD is more expensive than a brand new PlayStation 4 Pro – and that’s before you track down an original Neo Geo console on which to play the games. But despite the price-tag, the device sold out almost immediately. As four million sales of Nintendo’s SNES Mini as well as the recent chart-flying success of Shadow of the Colossus show, the appetite to revisit old games and consoles has never been greater. We have entered the nascent stages of a vintage video game revolution, one fuelled by older video game players who are willing to pay stratospheric prices for products that both exhume and invigorate the past.
Original Post By – Eurogamer