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What is JAMMA and MAME

For the most part, arcade machines are either built on top of JAMMA or MAME platforms.

Both have their purpose, and it's important to understand the difference before choosing one platform over another.


JAMMA Stands for Japan Amusement Machine and Marketing Association, Inc. formerly Japan Amusement Machinery Manufacturers Association. JAMMA is a wiring standard which was created in the mid 80's, this allowed arcade owners to easy repurpose old unprofitable machines by putting new art work on cabinet and swapping out the JAMMA board. Previously the arcade board and power supply would have to been rewired to work with the newer JAMMA cartridge. The standard made it quicker and cheaper for the owners to get new games in on older cabinets.

Below shows an example of our JAMMA Harness, This model is a full two player six buttons. It also has quick disconnects to plug in to the joysticks, buttons, coin mechs, sound and so on. It might look confusing with all the wires but once you split them into logical bundles it's as simple and pushing on the connectors. 


JAMMA Harness

Below is the JAMMA board showing where you slide the JAMMA harness onto.  Making sure you line the 12v GND to the connect pins so the board powers correctly. Don't worry we will go over this in more detail later on.


JAMMA Board Connected



MAME Stands for Multiple Arcade Machine Emulator simply put this program recreates arcade system using software on a PC. Put simply, MAME is a piece of software which you can install on a Windows PC. MAME is available in other formats such as Raspberry PI, Mac, Linux.

A MAME system uses ROMs to play games. ROMS are individual files that are loaded for play through the MAME system.

MAME Controller

Once MAME is downloaded and configured with some games (ROMs) you will want to connect it to an arcade joystick and buttons, to do this you wil need to get an interface device to connect all the parts up. We provide pre-bundled MAME KITS providing everything you need in the one product.



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