What Do We Know About the New SNK Console?
SNK may no longer be a leading name in the world of online consoles, but there are still plenty of people who will be excited to know that they are planning to bring out a new console in 2021. What can we expect from this product and how has the gaming scene changed since their last products were launched?
— SNK GLOBAL (@SNKPofficial) December 15, 2020
The History of SNK
This Japanese video game company’s history can be traced back to 1978 when it started life as Shin Nihon Kikaku. Their most popular creations are the Neo Geo consoles that they started making in 1990, initially appearing only in hotels but eventually becoming popular as home gaming consoles as their reputation grew. Among their most famous games are Sengoku, Art of Fighting, and Metal Slug.
Production of the Neo Geo ended in 2001 and since then they have focused on diverse gaming sectors such as pachislot machines and mobile games. Their last product to be launched was the Neo Geo Mini miniature arcade cabinet that they brought out in 2018, while recent moves have seen them receive substantial investment from Saudi Arabia.
The Neo Geo Mini was reasonably well-received, although some reviewers believed that the 40 classic games included with it could have been chosen more wisely, with half of them being 2D fighters. There was also some debate over whether the shape of the cabinet and the control stick was completely suitable for playing their great games.
What Are They Bringing Out in 2021?
For now, the 2021 release from SNK is shrouded in mystery. All we know about it is contained in a tweet that they put out in December, saying that “a new games console from SNK will debut” in the coming year. They went on to say that this product will meet the needs of console gamers as well as igniting the passion of gamers.
Among the interesting details on the tweet, we can see a Wi-Fi signal and a map of the world with the phrase “Who is the best player?” written in front of it. This has led to suggestions that the new machine will allow players to hook up to the internet for online games and possibly tournaments too. It might even have the community feel of games like Warhammer: Chaos and Conquest.
In recent times, SNK has mentioned the possibility of Neo Geo 2 and 3 consoles being released. However, they look set to be based on the original Neo Geo rather than the Mini versions that came out a couple of years ago.
One possible problem with this is that the original Neo Geo machines were very expensive, meaning that they were never quite as popular as the likes of Nintendo and Sega consoles. For the release of a retro console to work it needs to be based on something that lots of people recall fondly, and it is yet to be seen if the SNK device has a broad enough appeal.
It is possible that they will bring out a small retro console that contains emulated versions of their most popular arcade games, like what Nintendo has done with the NES. This appears to be more likely than them attempting to take on high-end, modern consoles like the latest Xbox and PlayStation versions.
How Has the Market Changed Since the Glory Days of the Neo Geo
The Neo Geo was arguably the most powerful home gaming console of its era, giving players a genuine arcade experience in a hotel or their house. These days, the company is unlikely to be able to produce cutting-edge games like they once did, although their existing catalogue stands up to scrutiny pretty well still.
Mobile gaming and online play are now key markets, with players expecting high-quality graphics and smooth gameplay on any device. New types of game have also emerged, meaning that the old-fashioned 2D fighters that SNK specialise in are no longer the mainstay of the gaming market. For example, Legalbetting.com confirms that many online slots with varying themes are available at numerous online casinos. Equally, this is an industry that has also embraced mobile play, as they appreciate the level of convenience it brings. With welcome bonuses and free spins among the benefits of playing online versions of physical slot machines, it is easy to see how this type of game has changed the industry.
Will the new SNK console be a success? The gaming market is hugely diverse and competitive right now, with many options for gamers to choose from. If they get the price, presentation and games selection right it could be a big success, but we will need to wait a bit longer to find out the full details.