NEC PC Engine / Turbografx 16
|4th Generation Competitors|
|Neo Geo CD||Megadrive||Super NES||Neo Geo AES||CDTV||Philips CDI||NEC SuperGrafx|
|Region||Release Date||Discontinued||Lifetime Sales|
|Japan||30th Oct 1987||1994||3.9M|
|North America||29th Aug 1989||1994||500K|
|Europe||22nd Nov 1989||1993||1.4M|
The PC Engine is an unfortunately forgotten piece of gaming history. For a long time in Japan it was the second place console and is one of the few consoles to successfully straddle two generations, selling in the 8 bit and 16 bit eras.
Enter HudsonSoft. HudsonSoft were a successful software company in Japan, they’d developed a hardware platform involving thin card sized cartridges nicknamed HuCards. Realising they couldn’t develop it, they approached NEC to partner with them.
The resulting console was incredibly powerful for it’s time and managed to hold second place in the Japanese console market, holding off Sega. They eventually released in the US and Europe, with a larger remodelled version called the TurboGrafx 16.
At the beginning of the 16 bit era, NEC realised their machine could still compete, software development was mature and the initial titles being released on the SNES and Megadrive were not especially more impressive.
But this was a losing battle. As developers got to grips with the newer machines the PC Engine started looking less and less powerful. Eventually NEC tried to reclaim some market by releasing a slightly improved version in the SuperGrafx, but it was too little too late.
The PC Engine also received a CD Rom addon. This was only a single speed drive and suffered from developers cramming the discs with unskippable film sequences, but it had some very impressive titles and was certainly the most successful of the CD Rom addons.
One of the biggest flaws the PC Engine had was a reliance on a single joystick port, this meant any multiplayer required purchasing a multitap device.
The PC Engine is considered to be the best platform for shoot-em-ups and also had some of the most impressive arcade conversions of either the 8 bit or 16 bit eras.
|Processor||8 Bit HuC6280 @ 1.79 or 7.16 MHz|
|RAM||8K Work Ram, 64K Video Ram|
|Custom Chips||1 x HuC6270A 16 bit video chips|
|Video||9 bits 482 colours on screen from a palette of 512|
|Audio||6 x PSG Channels|