24 years later, under a tree, was waiting Samurai Shodown 64 as a prototype cart for the Hyper Neo Geo 64

Interesting story.

The Hyper Neo Geo 64 is an arcade system created by SNK, and released in September 1997, as the successor of the Neo Geo MVS, within the Neo Geo family.

It is the first and only SNK hardware set capable of rendering in 3D, and was meant to replace SNK’s older MVS system on the market. Company executives planned for the project to bring SNK into the new era of 3D gaming that had arisen during the mid-1990s, and had planned for a corresponding home system to replace the aging and expensive AES home console.

Although details regarding the planned home system are sparse, it is believed that like the AES console, much of the hardware from the Neo Geo 64 arcade platform would also have been present in the home system, meaning gameplay would be identical or nearly identical whether a given game was played at home or in the arcade. It is unknown what media the home system would have used.

However it never managed to match the huge success of the MVS, and reached its end of life in 1999. Only seven games were produced for the arcade variation of the system, none of which proved particularly popular, and the project was discontinued. The proposed home system never got beyond initial planning stages and only one of the arcade games, Fatal Fury: Wild Ambition, has been ported to home systems.

Samurai Shodown 64, known as Samurai Spirits (SAMURAI SPIRITS ~侍魂~, Samurai Supirittsu) in Japan, is a 3Dfighting game produced by SNK for its Hyper Neo-Geo 64 system. It was SNK’s first 3D fighting game. After having released four Samurai Shodown games on the Neo-Geo, SNK announced that they would be producing a new arcade hardware platform, this one 64-bit and with extensive 3D capabilities. Although it was never ported to home consoles, it was followed by a second 3D installment titled Samurai Shodown 64: Warriors Rage. 64: Warriors Rage was not released outside of Japan.

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