The concept was introduced in the early 1980's by only a couple of arcade video game makers. Now, from that small beginning, multi game systems can be found everywhere. Effectively, they have become the norm, especially for home use.
As part of our study of the subject, we have attempted to identify and describe in this Encyclopedia every known multi game system, whether still available or not.
We are aware that a few systems are absent from our Encyclopedia, that others have been modified, and that some have been discontinued. Never the less, we are committed to keeping this enclyclopedic resource as current and comprehensive as possible.
Our Encyclopedia is for informational purposes only. It is not an advertisement or recommendation for any of these multi game systems. And, we are not the maker or distributor of any of these systems.
But, we do have something to gain by compling and publishing all of this information. Our motive is the same as for anyone else who maintains an informational website such as this one - to earn credibility.
Meaning that when you need something related to any arcade video game machine or multi game system machine - such as tech support or repair service - you will think of us first.
All of our contact info is found near top of the right sidebar.
If you find an error or omission in our Encyclopedia, please send us an email. We will reward you for your effort.
Before we get to our Encyclopedia, here are a few helpful explanations:
(1) Horizontal versus Vertical.
For ease of reference, multi game systems are classified as to video game image orientation - horizontal (like Street Fighter), vertical (like Donkey Kong), or horizontal and vertical combined.
For more about game image orientation, read Horizontal versus Vertical.
Game image orientation is a leading descriptive criteria for an arcade video game machine because image orientation will:
- define the video game action,
- determine the monitor orientation,
- affect the cabinet size and style, and
- suggest or limit the game controllers.
In a nutshell -
A horizontal video game image is wider than tall (landscape); thus requiring a wider cabinet, larger control panel, and more controls.
A vertical video game image is taller than wide (skyscraper); thus having a narrower cabinet, smaller control panel, and fewer controls.
(2) Dedicated multi game machine versus multi game software system.
Some multi game offerings are released as dedicated multi game machines - for example, the Nintendo Vs. Unisystem.
Other multi game offerings are released as a multigame software system - for example, the Happy Fish 302-in-1.
For our purpose of including all multi game system offerings in our Encyclopedia of Multicade Systems, you will find that all types and styles of multi game systems are included.
(3) Multicade versus multi game system.
Through common usage, the two terms - multicade and multi game system - have grown to become synomous, both describing an arcade video game software system or machine capable of playing more than one arcade video game.
The term "multicade" was originally coined several years ago by a now defunct company to identify its arcade video multi game machine.
(4) MAME versus Multicade.
I am not an authority on MAME. All that I know is very basic and limited, like that there are multiple 1,000's of video games available for downloading from websites.
For an authentic appearing MAME arcade video game machine, you would need a JAMMA wired cabinet, a JAMMA-to-MAME interface, a computer, the games downloaded, game management software, and a keyboard.
There are many MAME hobbiests and enthusiaists who relish the technological challenge of building their own custom MAME video game machine.
(5) Propietary pinout versus JAMMA pinout.
In the mid 1980's, most arcade video game circuit boards switched from the maker's propietary pinout and cabinet wiring to an industry standard pinout and wiring known by the acronym - JAMMA.
Consequently, you will encounter a mix of propietary pinout and JAMMA pinout multi game systems. JAMMA adapters are available for most circuit boards having propietary pinouts.
To learn more, read - Understanding the JAMMA PCB and Edge Connector Pinout.
Encyclopedia of Multicade Systems:
Example - Street Fighter horizontal game image (shown right).
12. Vs. Unisystem
Example - Donkey Kong vertical game image (shown right).
C. Vertical and Horizontal Image Multi Game Systems.
Vertical and horizontal displayed on horizontal screen.
D. Vertical or Horizontal Image Multi Game Systems.
Vertical displayed on vertical screen, and horizontal on horizontal.