Breaking the new Neo Geo handheld wide open

neo

In case you weren’t aware, there’s a new Neo Geo console on the block. It’s called the Neo Geo X and brings back more than a few pains of nostalgia for classic arcade games of the 90s. After receiving their brand new Neo Geo portables, members of the Neo Geo forum decided to do a teardown on one of their newest consoles and found something interesting: this thing was made for hacking.

Officially, the Neo Geo X will get new games released on SD cards. The first run of these consoles – the gold edition – have 20 games preloaded onto the system convientently stored on a microSD card buried underneath the screen. After looking at this microSD card, forum user [Lectoid] discovered the 20 preloaded games and the bios for the system, all completely unlocked and ready for hacking.

Already a few forum members have  the AES Unibios running on this tiny portability Neo Geo, giving them the capability to play every Neo Geo game ever made. Since the Neo Geo X uses the same processor as some other handhelds, there’s great hope for completely unlocking this new console and running emulators on it.

Comments

  1. joeisi says:

    Awesome Read. Burnt 2 hours off of my empty day.

  2. peter says:

    1. Stealing OpenDingux without crediting anyone
    2. Stealing FBA Dingux Version and countless other open source emulators
    3. Closing a system based on OpenDingux

    I hope people hack the shit out of this expensive Dingoo.

  3. pod says:

    sure that forum suffers from a bad case of shitty moderators….

    • Um.. dude here’s some background: http://www.Neo-Geo.com, to which the forums are attached, was the OFFICIAL online distributer for Neo●Geo AES (home) and MVS (arcade) cartages, until a little before the Playmore buyout. While the store still exists, it isn’t the official distributer anymore, the forum still kept rocking, funded by donations by members.

      The forum is still very friendly and supportive of SNK/Playmore and REALLY wants the company to be paid for the work they do, and therefore; R0MS are taboo (also, it’s an open secret that SNKP employees monitor the boards for possible IP violations, and the site-admins feel that it’s better to self-police than lawyer-up). In the old days, posting links to R0Ms or R0M-sites was an insti-ban, now you get your post edited and a warning by a mod.

      A side note: The mod babysitting the NeoGeoX-break thread, R0T, normally is a really.. odd… (REALLY odd. Google: “Neo Geo dance”.) but fun guy, however he has to be harsh on new, but enthusiastic, members who don’t know the forums rules and traditions (He’s really… REALLY… comfortable in his own skin. I’m serious. YOU HAVE BEEN WARNED!)

  4. asdf says:

    It was pretty certain even when this thing announced that this would use the same basic hardware as the other retro handhelds from Blaze, the only question was whether they would bother trying locking it down.

    • cantido says:

      Just from the look of it you can see that it’s pretty closely related to the handhelds dealextreme etc sell too. There are some reviewers (generic neogeo hoarder types) that seem to have expected this not to be an emulator and got all hurt about it.

  5. JD says:

    I think you mean “pangs” of nostalgia.

  6. _phnx_ says:

    1 – So is it a console or handheld? The terms are NOT interchangeable.
    2 – convientently = conveniently… if you use Firefox the red squiggly underline is for spell-check.
    3 – “on this tiny portability Neo Geo”… it’s called proof-reading. HaD needs more of it.

    • You’re making a distinction that only exists in your mind. A handheld is a console… that brings it’s own screen and battery-power along for the road. Anyway, the unit-itself plugs into a dock, which looks just like the Neo●Geo AES (home) console unit, which allows for video-out via HDMI or A/V out and connectors for the joysticks.

    • mjrippe says:

      4 – “pains of nostalgia” = “pangs of nostalgia” but I gave up trying to get them to proofread months ago ;-)

    • m1ndtr1p says:

      It’s both, you can use it as a handheld or as a full console by connecting it to a TV set using the included HDMI port… The Gold limited edition version comes with an arcade stick and a case that houses the handheld, looks like the old Neo Geo console and has external ports for the arcade stick and TV/Sound outputs.

  7. h_2_o says:

    so what your saying here is pay 200 for something you can get on dx for 75 and the one on dx you don’t have to tear apart to get to the sd card…. just making sure i’m understanding this post.

  8. pfh666 says:

    I think Luke Morse says it best: Neo Geo X = expensive junk!

    He also did a tear down video where he compares a real Neo Geo stuck to the one in the X package and the actual internals of the console:

    Luke may be a little bit of a purist, but all of what he is saying about the qualoty of the emulation is pretty spot on. I think the mainly positive review the X gets is more to do with people not having used real hardware or trying to justify buying, essentially, a reasonably cheap handheld with really sucky TV out capabilities.

    • cantido says:

      Considering how Luke has no understanding of hardware, electronics (his repair videos are basically butchering boards) or of how not to hoard so many games that your family leave you.. I would take his opinions on anything with a pinch of salt.

      • pfh666 says:

        Ignoring your opinion on his ability to fix hardware, the X is still a cheap device being sold for a premium. The emulation is still glitchy and imperfect. The TV out is still far inferior to the actual 20 year old hardware. One think Luke *is* is a freaking Neo Geo purist, and as you also point out, extremely knowledgeable about the actual game play – being that he owns the original hardware and most of the games. If he says it is a cruddy emulation, that we can all believe. In his side by side comparison, it looks awful. Good enough for me.

        • cantido says:

          >the X is still a cheap device being sold for a premium.

          That isn’t hard to tell really. You would have to be missing a few marbles to think that this wasn’t just a way of using the NeoGeo brand to make some dosh.

          >The TV out is still far inferior to the actual 20 year old hardware.

          The quality of the video on the AES machines is variable.. some of them are pretty bad.. and then you need to get the poor RGB signal from the AES on to a modern display.. decent upscalers are expensive and no one in the NeoGeo hoarding community has the brains to come up with something like the indivision (http://www.jschoenfeld.com/news/news130_e.htm). The MVS has the best video quality anyhow.. it’s a shame SNK messed up the audio path on the later boards. There again I don’t really care about some random noise the picture and mono sound as I actually play the games..

          >One think Luke *is* is a freaking Neo Geo purist,

          Luke is a massive hoarder. He hates emulation because it lowers the e-penis value of his hoard. He is the arcade game equivalent to an audiophile (money > sense).

          >he owns the original hardware and most of the games.

          Lots of people have “the original hardware”. MVS boards are very cheap..

          >If he says it is a cruddy emulation, that we can all believe.

          He has a thing against emulation without understanding it … i.e. he has no idea how accurate emulation can be and no idea how even the “original hardware” can vary.

          >In his side by side comparison, it looks awful. Good enough for me.

          It might be crap but it’s good enough for a lot of people.. Maybe some people want to be able to legally play NeoGeo titles on the road? Maybe some people want something that looks enough like a NeoGeo and can be hooked up with modern displays..

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