The NEC TurboGrafx-16, also known as the PC Engine in Japan, was a video game console released in 1987. It was developed by NEC Home Electronics and Hudson Soft, and it offered a unique gaming experience, especially in Japan where it gained significant popularity. Here are some key aspects of the NEC TurboGrafx-16:
1. Hardware Design: The TurboGrafx-16 featured a sleek and compact design, especially compared to other consoles of its time. It had a black and gray color scheme and was relatively small, making it stand out in the market.
2. HuCard Format: The TurboGrafx-16 games were distributed on small, credit card-sized cartridges called HuCards (or TurboChips in North America). This format allowed for quick loading times and was more affordable to produce than traditional cartridges.
3. Regional Differences: In Japan, the console was released as the PC Engine and was a commercial success, competing with Nintendo’s Famicom and Sega’s Mega Drive (Genesis). In North America, it was rebranded as the TurboGrafx-16 to compete against the NES and Sega Genesis.
4. CD-ROM Expansion: In addition to the HuCards, the TurboGrafx-16 had an expansion called the TurboGrafx CD, which allowed players to use CD-ROMs for gaming. This was one of the first consoles to support CD-based games.
5. Gaming Library: The TurboGrafx-16 had a diverse library of games, with a particular focus on shoot ’em ups (shmups) and platformers. Some notable titles include Bonk’s Adventure, Splatterhouse, R-Type, Ys Book I & II, and Ninja Spirit.
6. Limited Success in North America: While the PC Engine was successful in Japan, the TurboGrafx-16 struggled to gain a substantial market share in North America, partly due to strong competition from Nintendo and Sega.
7. Legacy: Despite its limited commercial success, the TurboGrafx-16 has gained a cult following among retro gaming enthusiasts. Its unique library of games and pioneering CD-based technology have made it a sought-after console for collectors.
In recent years, the TurboGrafx-16 Mini was released, featuring a selection of classic games preloaded onto a miniaturized replica of the original console. This release brought renewed attention to the console and introduced its library to a new generation of players.