Warp zone: The Playchoice 10

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Who remembers seeing this bad boy in their local arcade or game shop? It’s the Nintendo Playchoice 10, and it was the coolest way to try before you’d buy back in the day.

Some quick stats to start:

Released in 1986, this 2 player arcade cabinet or tabletop offered a few interesting things. Instead of pumping quarters in to play just one game, you had up to ten to choose from and you were buying playtime and could switch games at anytime. The only exception was the standalone cabinet that only played one title.

The arcade guts were not that of a regular Nintendo with cartridges, but a specially designed circuit board that had extra memory, cpu’s, and chips added to include the game timer and the ability to display tips for the games being played.

The games: up to ten games were available for play in each machine. These are the titles that it featured:

1942 (1986 Capcom)
Balloon Fight (1985Nintendo)
Baseball (1985 Nintendo)
Baseball Stars (1989 SNK)
Captain Skyhawk (1990 Milton Bradley)
Castlevania (1987 Konami)
Chip ‘n Dale Rescue Rangers (1990Capcom)
Contra (1988 Konami)
Double Dragon (1988 Technos)
Double Dribble (1987 Konami)
Dr. Mario (1990 Nintendo), or its prototype version Virus in some machines
Duck Hunt (1985 Nintendo)
Excitebike (1985 Nintendo)
Fester’s Quest (1989 Sunsoft)
Gauntlet (1985 Atari)
Golf (1985 Nintendo)
Goonies, The (1986 Konami)
Gradius (1986 Konami)
Hogan’s Alley (1985 Nintendo)
Kung Fu (1985 Irem)
Mario Bros. (1984 Nintendo)
Mario’s Open Golf (1991 Nintendo)
Metroid (1986 Nintendo)
Mike Tyson’s Punch-Out!! (1987 Nintendo)
Ninja Gaiden (1989 Tecmo)
Ninja Gaiden II: The Dark Sword of Chaos
Ninja Gaiden III: The Ancient Ship of Doom
Pin*Bot (1990 Rare)
Power Blade (1991 Taito)
Pro Wrestling (1987 Nintendo)
Rad Racer (1987 Square)
Rad Racer II (1990 Square)
RBI Baseball (1987 Atari)
R.C. Pro-Am (1988 Rare)
Rygar (1987 Tecmo)
Shatterhand (1991 Jaleco)
Solar Jetman: Hunt for the Golden Warpship (1990 Rare)
Super C (1990 Konami)
Super Mario Bros. (1985 Nintendo)
Super Mario Bros. 2 (1988 Nintendo)
Super Mario Bros. 3 (1990 Nintendo)
Tecmo Bowl (1989 Tecmo Inc.)
Tecmo World Cup Soccer (1990 Tecmo)
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (1989 Konami)
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles II: The Arcade Game (1990 Konami)
Tennis (1985 Nintendo)
Track & Field (1987 Konami)
Trojan (1987 Capcom)
Volleyball (1987 Nintendo)
Wild Gunman (1985 Nintendo)
Yo! Noid (1990 Capcom)

There was a fairly wide variety of games to try, Super Mario Bros 3 was originally previewed using the Playchoice before getting a retail release. The Playchoice was a good way to get a look at a game before purchasing especially if there wasn’t a copy at your local video store or it was an yet unreleased title.

Sega eventually followed suit releasing their own arcade cabinets to try new master system/genesis games and NEO GEO/SNK released a cartridge based arcade system to allow players to try up to 4 different games.

These machines are sought out by many collectors and can fetch good prices in auctions. I know I’d love to have one on my game room.

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                           Yeah buddy.
#8bitliving

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