The Neo Geo CD was released shortly after its cartridge-based equivalent in an effort to reduce cost. Despite this, the system cost $300 new. The unit's 1X CD-ROM drive was quite slow, making loading times very long. Neo Geo CD game prices were lowered to a reasonable $50 as opposed to the usual cost for MVS game cartridges, sometimes upwards of $300.
The Neo Geo CD comes with a control pad instead of the joystick that is in other Neo Geo systems. This made the controls more stiff and caused some difficulty in play if one was used to the joystick.
Ultimately, the Neo Geo CD was considered a failure, mainly because of the lack of marketing and the long load times. It was followed by the similarly unsuccessful Neo Geo CDZ.