MAME stands for Multiple Arcade Machine Emulator. When used in conjunction with an arcade game's data files (ROMs), MAME will more or less faithfully reproduce that game on a PC. MAME can currently emulate over 2600 unique (and over 4600 in total) classic arcade video games from the three decades of video games - '70s, '80s and '90s, and some from the current millennium. MAME's purpose is to preserve these decades of video-game history. As gaming technology continues to rush forward, MAME prevents these important "vintage" games from being lost and forgotten.
Important Note: As of this release of MAME, several important things about the system have changed. Please read the following items before attempting to compile this new version.
A new tool chain for Windows, based off of gcc 4.4.3 prerelease, is now REQUIRED. Go to http://mamedev.org/tools to get the new tools. The code included with 0.137 WILL NOT BUILD with the old tools. The new tool chain has support for building 64-bit MAME builds with gcc, as well as built-in DirectX headers, and C++ support, which was missing from the old tools.
Non-Unicode builds of Windows MAME are no longer supported. The options to turn this off in the makefile have been removed, and future changes are likely to solidify this requirement. If you are still (God forbid) running on Win9x, you will need the unicows.dll library to run MAME. Download unicows from Microsoft.
All code in MAME is now compiled as C++, plus there have been a few small changes that take advantage of the C++ language. For the most part, there is no effect on how drivers are written, except for some nicer accessors to devices and address spaces. Future improvements to take advantage of the C++ syntax will evolve slowly, and will be done internally. We are not interested in outside attempts to do this work
The SDL OSD for MAME is now shipped as part of the main source package. SDL builds for Windows are now regularly built as part of the validation sequence for a new release. Thanks to R. Belmont, couriersud, and Olivier Galibert for their work on the SDL port over the years.