DECO Cassette System

DECO Cassette System

DECO Cassette System

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The DECO Cassette System was introduced in 1980 by Data East and was the first standardised arcade system that allowed arcade owners to change games.

The arcade owner would buy a cabinet, while the games were stored on standard audio cassettes. The arcade owner would insert the cassette and a security dongle (This was an early form of copy protection, to ensure the tapes would not be copied) into the cabinet. When the cabinet was powered up, the program from the tape would be copied into the cabinet's RAM chips. This process took about two minutes. After this, the game could be played. It was revolutionary for its time, but arcade owners complained about the poor reliability of the cassettes, which could be demagnetized easily, corrupting the game data, and the poor quality of the games offered, as well as long load times. Most of the DECO cassette games are playable in MAME.

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