The Neo Star is a video game console design by SNK that was planned for release but was cancelled.
The Neo Star was the tentative name for a next-generation game console that was to be the successor to the Neo Geo, boasting a series of advanced features such as a dual CD-1/CD-ROM drive for playing special games, wireless infrared joystick controllers and a new card disk storage system. The card disk, whose storage capacity is said to be twenty times as that of the original memory card, was also rumored to have been usable in a planned home banking service that would have become available for Japanese users. Another feature of the Neo Star was an expansion port allowing the use of new add-ons to follow the release of the console. The exact specifications of the Neo Star were shrouded in secrecy when it was announced in the gaming magazines at the time.
It was proposed to be a 32-bit system using a RISC (Reduced Instruction Set Computing) CPU that was claimed to be running at 14.5 MHz, making it five times faster than the original Neo Geo (or seven times faster than the other competing consoles on the market at the time). It was also slated to be capable of a 640x480 resolution and used a Super-SCART system that enhanced the resolution of any display that it is plugged into. The Neo Star was also aiming to be a 3D-capable console that could generate polygon graphics, leading to speculation that the Neo Star would become the first 3D games machine to feature truly interactive VR-style games. The Neo Star's CD-1 capability allowed for movie-quality sound and graphics that one would have played with video game interaction via cartridges. The CD-ROM dual feature would have allowed larger-capacity games to have extra content stored on special CDs.
In addition to the infrared joysticks, the Neo Star also had physical ports for standard Neo Geo controllers, allowing for four-person multiplayer gameplay. The machine's infrared joysticks were made to be lighter as well as being more comfortable to hold via palm grips. The controllers also featured headphone jacks. Special surround sound sockets were also included on the Neo Star, allowing it to be hooked up to a Hi-Fi for enhanced sound quality. The expansion port had the most potential especially with suggestions of a cable/TV modem connector for multiplayer gameplay, a home banking service, a 3D goggles system and a keyboard facility that was speculated to be used in conjunction with the aforementioned home banking service.
For Neo Geo AES owners that did not want to give up their machines for the Neo Star, there was also to be a CD add-on system that can be plugged into existing AES consoles. This add-on would've had some of the Neo Star's features and was considered to be launched before the stand-alone Neo Star console was to be released.
Unfortunately and ultimately, neither the Neo Star or the CD add-on for the AES would see the light of day.
- The infrared joystick controllers of the Neo Star have a striking resemblance to the Neo Geo Controller Pro joysticks, except that it is differently shaped, and had three additional buttons above the four face buttons along with a headphone jack on the side. This leads to a possibility that the Neo Star may have been redesigned as the Neo Geo CD, which did not have any of the advanced features mentioned in the above description, but it is still a CD-based console.
- Speaking of the home banking service mentioned in the above description, an early flyer for the Neo Geo MVS and AES (known as the Rental System at the time) detailed a modem cartridge for the latter that would give the user access to various communications services, home banking among them. However, the modem cartridge was never released.