Here is a pic of my rare countertop version of Nintendo's Playchoice 10 arcade game.


The Playchoice 10 FAQ ver. 1.4
Written 5/1/99
Updated 6/5/99
By Paul Chiles
(C) 1999 Paul Chiles
Disclamer: I am not assoicated with Nintendo in anyway. What you decided to do with this info is up to you. I am not responsable for damage to your machine or yourself. Please feel free to copy this FAQ as long as you give me credit for it.

Section I: A little history of the Play Choice 10 System

In Late 1983 Nintendo released the NES in Japan (called the Familicon in Japan) a home gaming system. Nintendo with a sucessful system at home turned there eyes towards the US in 1985. Somewhat weary of the dead video game market on our shores, Nintendo was rumored to have offered the system to Atari Corp. now under the owener ship of Jack Tramiel. Atari is rumored to have turned it down in favour of it's own Atari 7800.
So in late '85 Nintendo set out own it's coquest of the US home video game market with the NES (or Nintendo Entertainment System) Despite two rival companies offering systems (Sega's Master System and Atari's 2600,7800.. and later the XEGS) the NES soon gained a lions share of the market.
To give a little more promotional boost to the NES, Nintendo offered arcade operators the Playchoice 10. Kind of a NES jukebox, it would let the patron select from 10 games. 25 cents got you about 3 mins of play time or any game you selected (you could even switch games as long as you still had time on the "meter") Games are exact versions of the NES home releases except for the on-board instructions at the push of a button.

Section II: The Game itself

Q:Cabinet styles?

A:The Playchoice came in three..,maybe four formats. The first was a dedicated from the factory two screen model. The screens are stacked one on top of another. The top screen houses the menu for game selction and instructions, the actual gameplay takes place on the bottom. A UK version of this exists with a smaller monitor on top, a larger on the bottom. The second format was a conversion kit for single monitor games. I've seen many of these kits used in older Nintendo products (Donkey Kong, Popeye, VS. System..ect.) A rare countertop version of the game also exist. (like the one I have) Somone from Nintendo emailed me about a year ago and estimated the run of countertop models somewhere from 1250-2000 units. I've seen some of the cabinets now converted into poker and touch screen games. I've also heard of a Playchoice 5 countertop, which was possibly smaller than the standard countertop unit, but have never seen one. Wanna see pictures of the different cabinets? Click here.

Q:How much are they worth? How much do they cost?

A:Some collectors shun these units so prices aren't that high at auctions. Prices tend to go higher for the two screen models and units packed with good games. I've seen working units go at auction for as little as 25 bucks and as much as 400. Prices as of late seem to be in the 125-200 area. Expect to pay a higher price for the countertop versions.

Q: When did these units come out?

A: The Playchoice kits and deciated two screen models came out in 1986, the Countertop in late 1988.

Section III: The games

Q:What are the known Playchoice 10 Game carts?
10 Yard Fight - Nintedno/IREM - Football Game - *
1942 - Capcom/Romstar - Airplane/Shooter - ** 1/2
Ballon Fight - Nintendo - Shooter - **
Baseball - Nintendo - Baseball Game - * 1/2
Baseball Stars - SNK - Baseball Game - ****
Blades of Steel - Konami - Hockey Game - *** 1/2
Captian Skyhawk - Milton Bradley - Airplane/Shooter - ***
Castlevania - Konami - Platform/Adventure - ****
Chip and Dale Rescue Rangers - Capcom/Disney - Platform - ** 1/2
Contra - Konami - Shooter/Combat - ***
Double Dragon - Tradewest/Technos - Fighter/Combat - ***
Double Dribble - Konami - Basketball Game - *** 1/2
Dr. Mario - Nintendo - Puzzle - *** 1/2
Duck Hunt - Nintendo - Gun Game - **
Excitebike - Nintendo - Motocycle - ****
Festers Quest - Sunsoft - Adventure/RGP - ***
Gauntlet - Tengen - Action/Adventure - ***
Golf - Nintendo - Golf Game - * 1/2
Gradius - Konami - Shooter/Space - **
Hogan's Alley - Nintendo - Gun Game - **
Kung Fu - Nintendo/Irem - Fighter/Combat - **
Mario Open Golf - Nintendo - Golf Game - ****
Mega Man ? - Capcom - Platform/Adventure - ***
Mega Man 2 ? - Capcom - Platform/Adventure - ***
Mega Man 3 - Capcom - Platform/Adventure - ***
Metroid - Nintendo - Platform/Sci-Fi - *** 1/2
Mike Tyson's Punch Out - Nintendo - Boxing Game - **
Ninja Gaiden - Tecnos - Fighter/Combat - ***
Pinbot - Rare/Konami/Williams - Pinball Game - *** 1/2
Pro Wrestling - Nintendo - Wrestling Game - *
R-Type - Irem ? Shooter/Space - **
Rad Racer - Sqare/Nintendo - Racing - ***
Rad Racer II - Square ? - Racing - ***
R.B.I Baseball - Tengen - Baseball Game - ***
R.C. Pro Am - Nintendo/Rare - Racing - ****
Rush N Attack - Konami/Capcom - Action/Combat - *
Rygar - Tecmo - Platform/Action - *
Solar Jetman - Milton Bradley - Platform/Action - **
Super Contra ? - Konami - Shooter/Combat - ***
Super Mario Bros. - Nintendo - Platform - ***
Super Mario Bros. 2 - Nintendo - Platform - *** 1/2
Super Mario Bros. 3 - Nintendo - Platform - ****
Tecmo Bowl - Tecmo - Football Game - *** 1/2
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles - Ultra/Konami - Action/Platform - **
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles 2 - Ultra/Konami - Action/Platform - **
Tennis - Nintendo - Tennis Game - **
Track Field - Konami - Sports Game - ***
Trojen - Capcom - Adventure/Platform - * 1/2
Volleyball - Nintendo - Volleyball Game - **
Wild Gunman - Nintendo - Gun Game - **
World Cup Soccer - Technos - Soccer Game - **
Yo! noid - Capcom - Platform - ** 1/2
Note: Even though all the games where manufactured by Nintendo, they where designed by there respected company (or companies)

Q: Which are the best games for the Playchoice?
A: Well that opinion can vary person to person, but Dr.Mario, Castelvania, Excitebike, Super Mario Bros 1-3, Pinbot, and Mario Open Golf always seem to be popular ones.

Q: Which are the worst games for the Playchoice?
A: Well once again, that opinion varies person to person but I would say stay away from Kung Fu, Pro Wrestling, and Trojan.

Q: What was the last game released for the Playchoice?
A: As far as I can tell, Mario Open Golf was the last one.

Q:Does Nintendo still service/support these units?


Q: Where can I buy games, motherboards..ect.
A: Some web based Arcade game companies still have Playchoice carts (and replacement motherboard, monitors..ect) for sale. Web auctions, regular auctions, and other collectors can also be good sources for games. Most Playchoice collectors prefer to trade games rather than sell them. But like most collecting, anything worth having is goning to take a bit of hunting around for.

Q: What's the deal with those little metal signs on top of the game?

A: When operators ordered new carts for the Playchoice, they often came with small metal signs. These signs where actually just a sticker on a bit of bent metal, and where often screwed on top of the machines. Some operators just set them on top, so they often where stolen.

TECH INFO (Coming Soon)

Dip Switches

Cabinet Dimensions / Info

Monitor Types / Info

Wiring Diagrams

Other info/trivia

1) Nintendo also offered a "Super Playchoice" of sorts, with the Nintendo Super System. A simular consept but using the Super Nintendo system as it's base. This unit was not supported as well as the Playchoice and was pretty much a turkey.

2) Ever just going for parts at an auction? If you see a Playchoice 10 dual screen that no one wants bid on it. You get two monitors !

3) Some carts where released only in the UK