Gaming at the 2013 San Diego Fair

San Diego Fair Sign Custom (1)Game On Gaming Area (13)Star Trek Captain Kirk's Chair Tribble

If you live in the San Diego area and love gaming, today is the last day to Game On at the San Diego Fair!  Besides all the rides, great food, pig races, and other goofy fair stuff, this year’s theme was perfect for us electronically minded folks.

Our favorite part?

Collections!  Little did we know that the Fair allows people to display their collections.

Hand-made Items!  Created by adults and students, we were blown away by the talent and creativity of these gaming-inspired creations.

Retro Arcade!  Let’s be honest, shouldn’t every fair have a retro arcade?

 

Shrinking a Neo Geo MVS into the Omega Entertainment Machine

Every kid dreams…

Some kids dream about arcades…

Some kids named Quan dream about shrinking arcades and putting them in their backpacks!

Neo Geo Omega Entertainment Machine (27)While I may have been awestruck by the Neo Geo MVS as a kid, Quan at ArcadeWorks.net took his dream to an entirely different level. He’s one of those nutty, mad-scientist guys who loves to do things to old arcade machines that even their own creators couldn’t have imagined. Plenty of guys consolize arcade machines.  The Neo Geo MVS is a pretty popular consolization project.  However, Quan did something that no one else has been nuts enough to do.  While the one ring was being forged in the depths of Mount Doom by his elven buddies, Quan was using a bit of lava, magic, and that childhood dream to forge his own “precious.”

Creating a 100% custom casing, Quan painstakingly designed his dream casing.  Additionally, he invested a boatload of cash (we’re talking many thousands of dollars) into setting up a custom mold and into the first production run.  The creation was his Omega Entertainment Machine, and boy is she pretty!

Why consolize an arcade machine?

Neo Geo Omega Entertainment Machine (19)Back in the day, if you were interested in the Neo Geo, you basically had two options.  If you were the average kid, you’d look for that cherry red Neo Geo MVS cabinet at your local arcade, and you’d pump quarters into it until your pockets were dry.  And, afterwards, we’d head home to our NES or Sega Genesis and dream of being rich.  Because, we knew if we were rich enough, we’d have enough money to buy the incredibly expensive Neo Geo AES home system.  It did something unheard of.  The Neo Geo AES played the exact same games as the MVS although it had a slightly different cartridge shape.  Even now, the Neo Geo AES is one of the most expensive gaming systems to collect.  AES cartridges are just terribly pricey.  Yet, with arcades closing down all over, the MVS cartridge counterpart always seems to be cheaper by a landslide.  Bummer is, most people can’t fit an entire Neo Geo MVS arcade machine in their apartment, condo, etc.  That’s why a consolized MVS is so brilliant.  It’s the size of the AES but plays the cheaper MVS games.  It’s the best of both worlds.

Geek or Artist?

People get pretty creative consolizing an MVS.  It’s where geeks get to shine.  It always starts the same.  There are some pretty minimalistic designs in which you basically have a franken-system that works but looks about as good as, well, Frankenstein.  Then, there are people who create gorgeous woodworking to fit around that ugliness to create a better presentation. Finally, there are people who modify existing plastic casings or make their own.  Quan seems to blow this third category out of the water with the Omega. If you haven’t already, check out my hands-on video taking a look at this Neo Geo marvel…

Neo Geo Omega Entertainment Machine (1)
AES and Omega Side By Side

Appearance:  Its shape, size, color, and even the texture of the plastic closely match that of the Neo Geo AES.  If you saw this hooked up to your buddy’s TV, you might do a double take before you realize it’s a consolized MVS.

Graphics:  As if the magic of putting a Neo Geo on your home’s TV isn’t enough, the Omega’s graphical output looks beautiful!  (See the video above for footage.)  The colors are rich, and the picture is clear and super clean.  I just hooked it up with the s-video cable, and I was amazed at how great everything looked.

Neo Geo Omega Entertainment Machine (9)
Simple Setup and Switch

Setup:  Setting up this system was as easy as plugging in any other home console I have.  It came with an AV cable and a standard power cable (the same type that you have on the back of your desktop computer).  The power switch is located on the back.  That’s about it: simple.

Sound:   I piped the sound through my TV and out my receiver, and was absolutely pleased.  Quan explained to me that he uses the MV-1C PCB, which doesn’t natively have stereo sound.  He mods it to make sure that the final product does.

Neo Geo Omega Entertainment Machine (23)
Compatible with AES Joysticks

Compatibility:  I tested it out with several of my MVS games, specifically Blazing Star, Metal Slug, and Metal Slug 2.  Each looked and worked great.  I used both my full sized AES joystick and my Neo Geo CD controller, and both worked perfectly.  Remember that this system doesn’t come with a controller, so make sure you have one of those two options.

Software:  The Omega came with the Unibios software installed.  If you haven’t already heard about this, check it out!  It has a ton of options including the ability to soft reset from your controller, switch regions, use built in cheat codes, and a ton of other stuff.  This is how the Omega is able to boot into freeplay mode to look like a home system rather than an arcade machine.

Price: It costs $499.00 USD.  Ok, at first glance, this is a big number.  Right now I’d price the AES or an MVS into the $350-500 range depending on what each comes with.  So really, they’re all in the same ballpark.  If you’re trying to decide between an AES and an Omega, I’d say that the cost savings of MVS carts solves that one.  And if you’ve though about throwing cash at the Neo Geo X that recently came on the market, here’s a way better use of that cash.

Weaknesses:  I’ve fallen so in love with the Omega that it almost feels wrong to raise any criticism, and in all honesty my suggestions for its improvement are little details.  Unfortunately, the MV-1C PCB doesn’t come with the option for a memory card, which is why there isn’t a slot for one on the system.  I’m guessing some fancy modding would make this possible, but it would also obviously drive up the price quite a bit.  Last, when I tried out the component cables, I couldn’t get it to work with my HD LCD TV. Quan explained that some modern TVs have trouble displaying 240p over component, the native resolution of cart systems in that era including SNES and Genesis. However, it looks amazing when hooked up to a CRT TV, which he was able to demonstrate for me.

Final Impression

There’s a Neo Geo MVS in my living room.  It’s called the Omega Entertainment Machine, and it’s beautiful.  Plus I didn’t even have to wrestle Gollum for it!  If you love the Neo Geo and have ever thought about buying a consolized system, this one knocks it out of the park.  I’m impressed by Quan’s dedication to the Neo Geo can’t wait to see what project he comes up with next!

(As a note, Quan’s presently having ArcadeWorks.net redesigned.  If the site looks like it’s presently under construction, that’s because it is.)

 

 

Rare Games Spotted: Super Famicom Hotel System, N64 Fiber Optic Sign, etc

Hide your wallets and feast your eyes!  Here’s a list of fantastic rare video game items on eBay right now.

GAMES

NES – Devil World (Good Condition) PAL Version.  This isn’t the rarest game out there.  It’s just fun to see, since it wasn’t released in the US.

SNES AERO FIGHTERS COMPLETE MINT!!!

Magical Chase Turbo Grafx 16 North American Version!

Dynastic Hero CD Game Turbo Grafx Turbo Duo US version

SYSTEMS

SUPER FAMICOM BOX Nintendo Hotel System +5 games Apparently growing up in Japan meant getting sweet little gems like this system in your hotel room.  I’m jealous…  Anyone know how common these were?

Nintendo NES Console “DELUXE SET” Complete Rob Robot

ACCESSORIES

Nintendo NES**BRAND NEW**FREEDOM STICK**Nes controller If I had more space, I’d never post this one and would be bidding on it instead.  I’ll admit, I have a weakness for vintage wireless accessories.

Nintendo NES**BRAND NEW**MEGA CONTROLLER**Bandai

Nintendo 64 N64 Custom PINK / WHITE controller ! Look ! Yeah, you know you’re a hardcore collector when you buy a custom pink N64 controller.

Sega Channel Adapter for Sega Genesis Peripheral RARE

COLLECTIBLES

WE LOVE KATAMARI VERY RARE PROMO TOY PS2

VINTAGE SUPER MARIO BOX 16 FIGURES LOT yoshi,luigi,toad I don’t know what’s better, the box or the lot of figures!

1991 Nintendo General Mills Mario Magic Motion Rulers

NINTENDO WII RARE EMPLOYEE ACCESS KEY TO COMPANY DOOR ?

1998 super mario 64 cardboard cutout

original 2004 halo 2 cardboard cutout

VINTAGE Nintendo embroidery pattern, Skateboard Mario +

VINTAGE Nintendo embroidery pattern,Party Mario Bowling

VINTAGE Nintendo iron-on: Mario Madness, Peach + Toad

World of Nintendo Large Retail Sign Nice!!

Ken Griffey Jr.’s Winning Run Autographed Baseball SNES

Back in 1994 or so, Nintendo released a Ken Griffey Jr branded Baseball Game for the SNES. As part of the promotion, they had a contest, with one of the top prizes being official signed Ken Griffey Jr Baseballs.

I was lucky enough to win this contest as a kid. Now I’m ready to part with this baseball and hope it finds a happy home.

  • The ball is in MINT condition. (Any scuffs you may see are from the poor photos/ Baseball cube.
  • The ball is Nintendo branded, with green and white colors.
  • So far as I can tell, there is no other branding on the ball (ie, I don’t think it’s a Rawlings ball)

Playstation 2 PS 2 Blue Neon Sign Ex Cond Works 42″

Nintendo Zelda Action Figure Wind Up Rare Original MINT

Mario and Luigi Collectable Dolls

Nintendo Super Mario Bros. Kraft Cheez Whiz Jar 1989 Snubbing your nose at a 20 year-old empty Cheez Whiz Jar?  The last one of these that I saw on eBay ended April 18, 2010 at $124.99 USD.

N64 Fiber Optic Sign So pretty…

Rare Gaming & Collectible Stuff on eBay: Promo Signs, Custom Lego Units, Mario Alarm Clock

Here are some of the listings that caught my eye on eBay this week.  …figured I’d share the gaming/collecting love.

Gaming + Legos

I was a fan of Lego Star Wars, but by the time Lego Indiana Jones & Batman hit, I was over it.  Even if you’re also sick of seeing Lego’s overused in gaming, eBay seller 2gangblank should put a smile on your face.  Just for reference, each of the systems he built out of Legos NES, Game Boy, PS2, Xbox 360 are non functional.  The NES below for example was built out of 23 bricks.  They’re mini dummy systems but, none the less, cleverly constructed.

Video Game Promo Signs

Apparently, a $200.00 USD Buy-it-Now seems to be the magic number for video game signs these days.  Check out these sweet gems:

Official Nintendo 64 Signage
Nintendo/Gamebo​y Adavnce Lighted Display Sign
Rare ?? or scarce Nice Neon Nintendo Gameboy Sign (Ended April 1, 2010 at $199.99 USD)

Sony PlayStatio​n 2 Lighted Sign
Sony PlayStatio​n Light Display Sign NICE!!!
Gold color sign board of Nintendo Entertainm​ent These Japanese Nintendo signs seem to be popping up on eBay lately. (Ended April 9, 2010 at $199.00 USD)
Nintendo Zelda Twilight Princess Standee Store Display!

Random Collectibles & Gaming Stuff

Nintendo Zelda LOZ Donkey Kong DK Employee Pin Rare (Ended April 6, 2010 at $42.50 USD)
HTF Q BERT SERVING TRAY ARCADE VIDEO GAME Q*BERT NR This seller “kimers” has a number of other interesting collectibles up as well. (Ended April 1, 2010 at $11.50 USD)
Super Mario bros ALARM CLOCK nintendo vintage old rare (Ended April 1, 2010 at $63.00 USD)
ATARI CORPORATION 1994 ANNUAL REPORT JAGUAR (Ended April 1, 2010 at $50.95 USD)
Super Mario bros PROMO TIE nintendo nes vintage RARE !! (Ended April 1, 2010 at $41.00 USD)
Nintendo 64 N64 + 36 Games + CD Drive Conker Zelda Rare (Ended April 2, 2010 at $405.00 USD)

Rare Video Game Stuff on eBay: Lego Mario, Bill Gates Signed Xbox, Vectrex Multi-Cart

Sega Master System Ultra!! RARE version with suitcase! This is most likely an old rental unit.  It looks like some real thought went into plan the layout of this case.

Grootste Lego-Mario ter wereld 180 cm 40,000 bricks!  This 1.5 meter tall, 110 pound statue is for sale as the world’s largest Lego Mario.  It’s being sold as a fund-raiser for The Ronald McDonald House Charity in the Netherlands.

THE RAREST NINTENDO NECKLACE AND SHIRT POWERPLAY SAT. ! I doubt this is worth $2k, but it’s simply a hilarious piece of video game history.  I’d love  to see photos of a person actually receiving this at a competition.

Loaner Atari Prototype Cartridges: Cookie Monster’s Munch, Oscar, Raiders’ of the Lost Ark, Star Raiders, Defender

Bill Gate's Signed Xbox Special Edition - Launch Team 2001 - VERY RARE

Bill Gates signed Xbox from Launch Team 2001

And, not on eBay, but a great item for Vectrex lovers:

Vectrex Multi-Cart From GameGavel.com:  “It contains the entire Vectrex library less one title – AnimAction. Many of the recently programmed games are on it as well, including those written by John Dondzilla and others for a whopping total of 60 titles!  If you’ve been lucky enough to find a Vectrex console, you probably know how difficult it is to find it’s games. The Vectrex multi-cart is the answer to all your Vectrex gaming needs!”

And, recently ended on eBay,

VECTREX 3D IMAGER and 3D MINESTORM VERY RARE (Sold on eBay for 650.78 GBP / ~$1063.34 USD on Oct. 26, 2009)

Vectrex Lightpen with Melody Master and Art Master (Sold on eBay for 125.00 GBP / ~$204.24 USD on Oct. 24, 2009)