Mario Week: PlayChoice-10






The Nintendo PlayChoice-10 is an arcade unit that allowed you to play from 10 popular Nintendo Entertainment System titles. It has two CPU’s one to run the games normally and a second to control your game time and the game of which you were playing. However it didn’t use NES cartridges but expansion slots.

There were two versions of the Arcade units one a half/table top unit and one that was a typical standard stand up unit. They also came in two different versions one that had two screens where it listed the current game and time on the second screen and one where there was only one screen and a button would switch between the games.


I’ve only seen one of the standard stand up units with one screen however I didn’t get to play it, it was being operated on in the arcade I saw it in. And recently after returning to the area that had the unit I couldn’t find the arcade in listings or maps. I may have misplaced the name and since it had been many years since I had last been there and a lot of development had occur. I couldn’t remember its exact location based on landmarks.

Why would I have wanted to play and why would anyone else? Well The PlayChoice-10 initially came out in 1986, three years after the NES originally came out in Japan and just one year after it was released here in the United States. It allowed people who didn’t have a NES to play NES titles. Fast forward years later to a trip with the family and me as a kid spying this in an arcade it was a time I was very, very young and yet my families NES at the time was ruined (still have it by the way). I had played SNES for years and I wanted to play the original again but I couldn’t anymore.


This Arcade unit had a variety of game choices (54 in total by the time it was discontinued) however of those 54 titles seven of them were Mario Games; Dr. Mario, Golf, Mario Bros., Mario Open Golf, Super Mario Bros., Super Mario Bros. 2, and Super Mario Bro’s 3. All of these game came out at intervals and the games can be changed out by an Arcade owner, or an owner of the unit at home. Leads us to a final question: Which game did I want to play had I could and it been there? Super Mario Bros 3.  It just so happens to be my favorite Mario game.


To own one of these arcade units for your home today is pretty expensive, if you try an build one yourself your looking at around $390.00 conservative for the pcp and the arcade input (complete console) then you “need” to get 10 games  which depending on the game could cost you “$10.00-100.00” per game and that’s not including the top/screen or the entire cabinet. Of course you could always just drop about $1700.00 (US Dollars) to just outright buy a complete unit.


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