Nintendo PlayChoice-10

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Nintendo PlayChoice-10
Release date August 1986[1][2]
Discontinued 1992
Predecessor VS. System
Successor Nintendo Super System

The Nintendo PlayChoice-10 is an arcade machine that consists of ten different games that had previously only been available on the Nintendo Entertainment System. It was one of the last arcade machines made by Nintendo before they announced they would stop making coin-op equipment in 1992.[3][4] The PlayChoice-10 was never released in Japan.

Because the home gaming consoles were nearing the popularity of arcade machines, video game companies decided to capitalize on this trend by making stand up arcade machines out of their existing console systems. Nintendo, being the industry leader at the time, was especially successful with this concept. Nintendo packed its most popular games (e.g. Duck Hunt, Excitebike) into a machine case and called it PlayChoice-10. This system served to advertise new NES games, some of which debuted before their western NES release like Super Mario Bros. 3.

The machine was compatible with the NES, but it was actually quite different. Normal NES cartridges could not be used; rather, the PlayChoice used special expansion cards containing usually unmodified NES games along with extra 8KB ROM to display hints for dual-screen machines. Due to the fact that the PlayChoice-10 output RGB video used a slightly different palette, games did not look exactly the same as they did on the NES. Usually, the PlayChoice versions are a lot more similar to the NES version when compared to the VS. System versions, which are usually adjusted to become more difficult. Mario's Open Golf is a rare example of a PlayChoice version that has been altered considerably, in this case slimmed down to a few modes.

The earliest PlayChoice-10 cabinets were dual-screen ones based on the Punch-Out!!-type. There are conversion kits to turn Punch Out!!, Super Punch-Out!!, and Arm Wrestling machines. In Europe, there is also a dual-screen setup with the top screen being much smaller than the bottom.[5] In all versions, the bottom screen is where the game is displayed with the top screen showing the menu, tips, and remaining time.

Starting in 1988, Nintendo started selling both dedicated single-screen upright cabinets and conversion kits for older Nintendo cabinets (Donkey Kong, Donkey Kong Jr., Popeye, and VS. UniSystem). There is also the rarer and more portable PlayChoice CounterTop that appeared in 1989.[6] Finally, conversion kits for the VS. DualSystem were made available also in 1989.[7] Although these systems have two screens, only one is visible from the player's perspective.

Machine operators had the option to purchase a PlayChoice-5 conversion kit when upgrading their machines. These allowed only five games to be played in the machine.