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MAME Project History

What's New?

A project as big as MAME certainly has had its ups and downs during the course of its existence. A comprehensive list of what has changed in the project from a source code point of view is available in the various whatsnew.txt files that can be found on the Previous Releases page. The content of these files has also been extracted into our wiki in the Previous MAME Versions section.

And if you're looking for a comprehensive whatsnew up to version 0.112, you can download the source code for the 10th anniversary 0.112 release, which contains giant combined whatsnew.

Chart of MAME Development

Supported ROMs

An alternate measure of the success of the project is to simply count the number of supported ROMsets. The chart at the right (click for a larger view, and thanks to Fujix for producing the chart) shows the overall trend since the beginning, counting both "unique" ROMsets and total ROMsets. As you can see, the project is still achieving a respectable trajectory given just how challenging it is becoming to find new unemulated arcade systems.

Additional versions:

Daily Work-in-Progress 1999-2004

Another fascinating way to look back at the project's history is to peruse the incredibly detailed Daily MAME Work-in-Progress (WIP) pages. From Feburary 1999 through July 2004, Santeri Saarimaa took on the challenging task of maintaining a detailed daily work-in-progress report of MAME development. These page represent a peek into what was happening during one of the most active times in the project's development.

Project Milestones

However, even just simply counting supported ROMsets, reading the whatsnew files, and looking at the old WIP pages isn't enough to reflect the full history of the project. In an effort to at least touch on some of the highlights and project milestones that generally aren't directly reflected in the whatsnew, the table below lists some important project-level changes and significant new achievements that have impacted the project.

MAME Project Timeline
1997
05 Feb MAME 0.1 released (0.1)
18 Feb First version of MacMAME released (0.4)
23 Mar First support for multiple CPUs (0.12)
26 Mar High score saving support added (0.13)
20 Apr First version of X/MAME checked in (0.18)
26 Apr Mirko Buffoni takes over from Nicola as MAME coordinator (0.19)
02 Jun First FM synthesis-based sound chip supported — but only through a hack to use the OPL on a SoundBlaster card under DOS (0.23)
14 Jul First vector games added to MAME (0.26)
18 Jul First release of MAME32 (0.26.1)
10 Aug Nicola returns as MAME coordinator (0.27)
10 Aug MAME switched away from the GPL license (0.27)
07 Sep First 68000 game emulated (Rastan) (0.28)
1998
08 Jan YM2151 supported added (0.30)
25 Apr Atari slapstic first emulated (0.31)
25 Apr Timer system added (0.31)
25 Apr Built-in ZIP file support added (0.31)
03 May Public betas started; previously users would have to wait several months between releases (0.33b1)
16 Aug First appearance of Neo Geo games, which have been the source of much controversy ever since (0.34b1)
30 Aug First DSP core added: the TMS34010 (0.34b2)
04 Oct Began using CRCs to identify ROMs (0.34b4)
1999
15 Feb Internal tilemap code added — previously many drivers did tilemaps their own way (0.35b3)
24 May Switched to PNG from PCX as the main screenshot image format (0.35b13)
08 Aug Konami 052001/053248 CPU first emulated (0.36b2)
2000
26 Feb Removed Pong and gambling game drivers (0.36rc1)
06 Nov First proper 32-bit CPU added (68EC020) (0.37b9)
2001
17 Jan Initial support for discrete sound emulation (0.37b11)
24 May Windows takes over from DOS as the primary development target (0.37b15)
19 Aug First checkins for AdvanceMAME (0.37b16)
24 Aug First release to call out MAMETesters bugs (0.54)
2002
01 May Removed SoundBlaster FM support as software-based emulation finally became better in almost all cases (0.60)
04 Jul Added initial support for artwork external to games (0.61)
2003
06 Apr First dynamic recompiled CPU core added: MIPS3 (0.67)
15 May David Haywood takes over from Nicola as MAME coordinator (0.68)
15 May Added SHA1 hashes in addition to CRCs to reduce hacks and prevent collisions (0.68)
23 May First release to have intermediate 'u' updates (0.69)
09 Aug First emulation of the SP0250 speech chip (0.72)
12 Oct Removed the concept of TESTDRIVERS, making all drivers available in all builds (0.75)
11 Nov 3dfx Voodoo emulation added (0.77)
2004
24 Oct Sega FD1094 decryption added (0.88)
24 Nov New debugger added (0.89)
2005
27 Feb Major sound system reorganization around streams (0.93)
07 Apr mamedev.org is born
18 Apr Aaron Giles takes over from David Haywood as MAME coordinator
03 May Changed the license to be based off of the BSD license, with commercial restrictions (0.96)
14 Sep Added back support for some gambling games (0.100)
2006
03 Jun First version of SDLMAME released (0.106u1)
23 Jul New video system comes online, focused on letting the video hardware do compositing (0.107)
20 Aug High score support removed (0.108)
2007
05 Feb CPS2 decryption fully implemented (0.112)