The Neo Geo was a good gaming system, but it was plagued by a large price tag of about $600. The cost of the hardware made the Sega Genesis, Nintendo and even the Atari a more attractive option over the Neo Geo.
The price tag, however, did not prevent the system from garnering a large fanbase, and many individuals hold fond memories of late nights playing the sophisticated system. Working Neo Geo consoles in good condition are getting harder to find – the earliest units are nearly 20 years old, and the devices are naturally beginning to break down.
Luckily, the Neo Geo is able to live on through modern technology using emulators. Emulators are essentially virtual consoles that use your computer as the hardware. Emulators play ROM files, which are digital versions of those old cartridges. Older consoles like the Neo Geo, Nintendo, and Sega Genesis can all run smoothly and easily on any modern computer.
If you would like to play your favorite Neo Geo games on your PC, Mac, or Linux computer, wear your nerdy shirts and read on to find out how.
- JoystickStep 1: To run a Neo Geo emulator smoothly, your computer must have these minimum specifications: 500MHz process, 512MB of RAM, 1024 x 800 resolution.
This is far below what most modern computers are, so if your machine was manufactured in the last few years, it should be fine. Ideally, you the computer would have a 1GHz processor and 1GB of RAM.
You will also need a USB joystick, or a console controller with an adapter for normal USB ports. The joystick should have at lease four buttons and a D-pad to allow for normal game play.
Step 2: Assuming your computer meets the minimum specifications needed, download and install a Neo Geo emulator. The one needed will depend on the operating system you run.
For Windows, I recommend downloading Nebula, a fantastic Neo Geo emulator that even allows Net Play.
If you’re running Mac OS X, then GeoMAME is the best emulator choice for you. It is a port of KBMAME for Mac, and it is compatible with Mac 8 and higher.
For Linux users, the best option is GNGeo for arcade versions of the Neo Geo games, and Mednafen for other Neo Geo games.
Step 3: Now that you have the emulator needed for your system, download some ROMs by doing an Internet search. Be sure to only download legal ROMs.
Step 4: Plug your joystick into your computer and start the emulator your installed. Choose the OPTIONS setting and configure your joystick. Do this by clicking the on-screen button, and then pressing the button on the controller you would like it to control. Repeat until all the relevant buttons are mapped.
Step 5: Now start up a ROM and make sure that it plays correctly.