Neo Geo
Image: Nintendo Life

Last year, SNK announced that it was creating a new Neo Geo system, and that it would boast "a modern design and wonderful play feeling".

The company – which can now count the Crown Prince of Saudi Arabia as its largest shareholder – has now revealed via Twitter than the console will arrive in 2021, and that it will "bridge the needs between passionate fans and console gaming enthusiasts".

As you can see from the tweet below, there's a WiFi logo and a picture of the world in the background, which hints that the system will have online capabilities which will presumably focus on competitive play via the firm's stable of one-on-one fighters.

As for what form the machine will take, that's still very much up in the air. It's hard to imagine SNK actually going head-to-head with Sony and Microsoft and releasing a system with the power to challenge the PS5 and Xbox Series X, but we could see a console that's more in line with the Switch in terms of processing power.

Ironically, the console upon which this new machine is based was notable for offering power which was way in advance of what the Mega Drive and SNES could offer at the start of the '90s – the caveat being that it cost a lot more, and games were insanely expensive. It's hard to imagine that SNK would try the same trick again, especially as it now lacks the once-lucrative arcade business which would offset the cost of such a venture.

There's also the question of whether or not SNK will create a system that is capable of hosting its latest games – such as the recent Samurai Shodown reboot – or if it will choose to produce a platform which offers the 'classic' Neo Geo experience. Perhaps the plan is to launch a console which runs the old-school Neo Geo's pre-existing library, but has online play enabled?

SNK has previously released variants of its famous Neo Geo system which are based on emulation, including the Neo Geo Mini and Neo Geo Arcade Stick Pro. It has also worked with external companies to produce other products based on the console, such as the MVSX and Neo Geo X.