Released in 1990 by the Shin Nihon Kikaku Corp. (SNK), The Neo Geo AES was basically a home version of the popular MVS arcade board. This allowed arcade perfect games as the cartridge contained both the arcade and home version of a game, an EPROM on the motherboard selecting which version to use. Only a slightly different cartridge slot prevented MVS cartridges from working in the AES and vice versa.
The Neo Geo's arcade origins were evident in its controllers. Arcade style joysticks and buttons set in a rather large (11.5" x 8") base meant they were best suited for table top use rather than with your feet up on the sofa.
Originally only released for rental in the United States, SNK made the console available for sale when it became apparent that people were willing to spend money on a home arcade machine. Despite its high price tag, the machine sold over a million units, with well over one hundred games released, costing from $200 each.
With support for the machine officially ended in 2004, the Neo Geo has one of longest lifespans in console history, second only to the Atari 2600. Independent games were still being released in 2006, proving the consoles long term appeal with fans.