The high cost is in keeping with SNK console past.
Terrible grounds for the price, I'm afraid. That's like paying £££ for a DVD, because it allows you to relive a film you can pay mega-bucks for on genuine cinema celluloid reel. It makes no sense.
I have no idea about it's internals, but I do know SNK don't make hardware of any kind these days, they're purely a software developer now.
Indeed, everyone knows that. SNK would have thorough hardware documentation, though. With this, a good SOAC Neo Geo could be made. I'm hedging my bets with some generic CPU running an emulator, though.
It's well known that the MD's soundchip is difficult to emulate, particularly on today's tech.
The FM synthesis sound chip of the MD often has been emulated inaccurately, as it bears no relation to MIDI or other sampled instrument protocols. The SNES and later machines all used such protocols, which is why their sound is usually emulated very well. I don't think that means it's 'difficult' in relation to other areas of emulation that must be done. It's simply that sound is often a low priority, as emulator developers often strive for accurate graphics and speed above all else. A distorted instrument in the sound channel does not make a game unplayable. Horrible graphical glitches and bad performance can.
KEGA Fusion (multiple SEGA console/arcade emulator) has emulated the Mega Drive's soundchip with nigh-on 100% accuracy for a number of years now. Try it yourself. By the way, the Neo Geo sound chip also uses FM synthesis, with more channels and complexity at that. If most Mega Drive emulators can't get the sound right, you can believe that a generic Neo Geo emulator running on a single general-purpose CPU won't.
I highly doubt a company like SNK would give them the go ahead to create poorly emulated versions of their classic games, you don't see it happening on Wii or any other consoles download service.
But on those services you're paying for the games, which gives them an incentive to make sure they run correctly. They're also running on comparatively-powerful systems (not just an ARM chip). This product gives you free reign to run illegal ROMs. I personally think the opposite to what you say, there - I think SNK couldn't give two shits about this product. Blaze simply approached them, said "Look, we've done this with other retro consoles to some success, can we do it to yours if we give you money?" and SNK replied "Money? Sure. Go nuts. Knock yourself out".
PS: The price is justified among fans, who this product is aimed at. Neo Geo owners aren't going to care about spending £100 or so quid when they have collections worth thousands of pounds.
Then they're complete idiots. Gold bullion is awesome, but I wouldn't pay one thousandth of the value of a real 1KG bar of gold bullion for an imitation made of fool's gold. I'd pay what it is worth in materials and labour to get it into my hands, not the ethereal value of the thing it is imitating.
For the price they're charging, I would want a Neo Geo SOAC. If this comes out and it's just an emulator, and not an especially good one at that, lulz will be had by me towards those who have bought this product. The reason we get that kind of shit is because idiots pay for it in their droves.
Please, SNK, make this literally worth the price. Don't give us a generic ARM chip with an average-at-best emulator with a fake face-value just because the value of the real thing is in that range. Give Blaze all the hardware documentation you have, and ensure they develop a Neo Geo SOAC. If it must be an emulator then make sure they use a damn fine one, not some generic one on a general-purpose low-grade CPU, just barely powerful enough to run it.
It's basically a licensed branded version of what you see all over the place these days (in crude Chinese made form)
If this is being made by Blaze, you can bet both of your testicles that it's being made in China extremely cheaply. Open yours up when you get it. You'll probably see a tiny PCB in the middle of it with one lonely ARM chip (probably with a ROM for the built-in games), totally dominated in size by the LCD screen (which is where the vast majority of the production cost will have gone).
The first clue will be when you get it out of the box and it weighs nothing at all, and has a very cheap and nasty 'plasticy' feel to it. Have fun spending £120 on something that cost 5p to make because it has a high-brow name cheaply screen-printed on it!
P.S. You may have noticed that I don't have particularly high hopes for this product. That's because I've had a few pretend retro consoles (emulators in shells) from Blaze before, and they've always been utter shit. In some cases, well-known games would not even boot, let alone not run correctly! I beg you to treat this product with with extreme caution, my dear 'Shinks. I personally think you're going to end up feeling like your pants have been pulled down to your ankles when you get it. It won't even look like it does in those photos.
( Edited 02.09.2012 06:15 by Martin_ )