> > That makes total sense. I just wish there was a way with existing ones that there
> > could be some kind of data extrapolated from them without it having to be booted.
> > Guess it will simply be a waiting game until someone can emulate some of these
> > enough to show a boot-up and go from there.
> If you extract the data from the chd then you may see it in a hex editor, it's likely
> that people haven't bothered to do it.
> You could also write it to a hard drive and boot it on real arcade hardware. This is
> a good test of whether the dump is good as well.
there tend to be leftover files / data from previous versions, so finding the correct version information can be a bit trickier than you might imagine, also for some games there are plenty more build date strings in files, sometimes newer than the build date that is displayed / the main code build date simply because of how the build / deployment system worked.
in other words, without them booting, it's not actually that easy to know which dates will be shown for a decent number of the hdd based games.