A Tribute To TurboGrafx-16


The TurboGrafx-16 is a home video game console that was joint developed by Hudson Soft and NEC. It released in Japan on 10/30/1987, in North America on 8/29/1989, and in France on 11/22/1989.

The TG-16, also known as NEC PC Engine, was the original console of the 16 bit generation. Originally designed to compete against Nintendo’s NES, it also went on to rival the Sega Megadrive, Sega Genesis, and SNES.


The TurboGrafx-16 was built with a 8 bit CPU, a 16 bit GPU, and is capable of displaying 482 colors simultaneously out of 512. It was held the record for being the worlds smallest game console.

In France it was released under the original Japanese name, PC Engine. In 1990 in the United Kingdom, Telegames released a slightly altered version in limited quantity simply named, TurboGrafx.

z2643uyfuytfThe TurboGrafx-16 didn’t get the results expected in the United States, and sold poorly. However in japan, the PC Engine was climbing mountains. It even briefly outsold the Super Famicom, ending up in second place against the Sega Mega Drive. 2 major versions were released in 1989 and 1991, the PC Engine SuperGrafx and the TurboDuo. All were succeeded by the PC-FX in 1994, which was only released in Japan.

Vid Source - DigThatBoxRETRO


The TurboGrafx-16 was a collaborative effort between Hudson Soft and NEC. NEC’s interest in entering video game market came after Hudson’s failed attempt to sell designs for their advanced graphics chips to Nintendo.

The TG-16 was the original console that had a CD-ROM peripheral, and first game system ever to use CD-ROM as a storage device. NEC released the CD-ROM on 12/4/1988, and released the TurboGrafx-CD in North America on 8/1/1990. The TG-CD’s launch price was $399.99 USD.

The TG-16 series was the first console ever to have a fully self-contained portable counterpart, the Turbo Express. The handheld unit contained identical hardware and played identical game software utilizing HuCard format game software.


The TG-16 was originally marketed as a direct competitor to the NES, and aired television commercials bragging that the TG-16 had superior graphics and sound. The TG-16 also had a rivalry with the Sega Genesis. Sega also aired a commercial mocking NEC’s claim that the TurboGrafx-16 was the first 16-bit console. The original console wars were no laughing matter! or were they?

NEC reported that it sold 750k TG-16 consoles in the United States, and 500k CD-ROM units worldwide, by March 1991. NEC also launched the PC Engine Duo, which could play both TG-16 cards and shinny CDs. In 1992 it was licensed to Turbo Technologies Incorporated, who released it in the United States as the TurboDuo. Turbo Technologies ran comic book ads featuring Johnny Turbo that mocked the Sega CD.

In May 1994 Turbo Technologies announced that it was dropping support for the Duo. The final commercialized release for the PC Engine was Dead of the Brain Part 1 & 2 on 6/3/1999.

Vid Source - Nick Chandler

What are TG-16 games and consoles going for now? Here’s the top 10 highest priced games and consoles according to price charting.

Legend of Hero Tonma

Godzilla [Super CD]

Syd Mead’s Terraforming [Super CD]

Beyond Shadowgate [Super CD]

Ginga Fukei Densetsu [Japan]

Bonk 3 Bonk’s Big Adventure [Super CD]

TurboDuo Black Console

Dynastic Hero [Super CD]

Darius Alpha [Japan]

Magical Chase

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