The PC Engine, also known as the TurboGrafx-16 in North America, is a gaming console released by NEC Home Electronics in 1987 in Japan and 1989 in North America. It was a collaboration between NEC and Hudson Soft, and it became a popular console in Japan, offering a unique gaming experience and a diverse library of games. Here are some key aspects of the PC Engine:
1. Compact Design: The PC Engine featured a compact and sleek design, especially compared to other gaming consoles of its time. Its small size and elegant appearance made it stand out in the market.
2. HuCard Format: Games for the PC Engine were distributed on small, credit card-sized cartridges called HuCards (or TurboChips in North America). These cartridges allowed for quick loading times and were more cost-effective to produce than traditional cartridges.
3. CD-ROM Expansion: The PC Engine had an expansion called the CD-ROM² System, which allowed players to play games on CD-ROMs. This was one of the first consoles to support CD-based games, offering improved audio and larger storage capacity for more extensive gaming experiences.
4. Graphics and Sound: The PC Engine boasted impressive graphics and sound capabilities, particularly for its time. It featured a color palette of 482 colors and a superior sound chip, which contributed to the quality of its games.
5. Game Library: The PC Engine had a diverse library of games, including a strong selection of shoot ’em ups, platformers, and role-playing games (RPGs). Some notable titles include Bonk’s Adventure, Castlevania: Rondo of Blood, Splatterhouse, and Ys Book I & II.
6. Turbografx-16 in North America: In North America, the PC Engine was rebranded as the TurboGrafx-16. However, due to strong competition from Nintendo and Sega, the TurboGrafx-16 faced challenges in gaining a substantial market share.
7. Legacy and Retro Gaming: The PC Engine remains a beloved console among retro gaming enthusiasts and collectors. Its library of classic games, innovative hardware, and unique gaming experiences continue to be appreciated by players worldwide.
Despite facing strong competition and limited success outside of Japan, the PC Engine’s impact on the gaming industry and its dedicated fanbase ensure its place in gaming history. It is fondly remembered as an underrated gem and a significant console of the 16-bit era.