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The Big Bad Boss

The Life Of The PC Engine

PC engineThe Turbografx-16 had a limited lifespan in North America, but in Japan the console (known as the PC Engine) stood more of a chance at survival.  The system had quite a following back in the early 1990s and while it never came close to dethroning Nintendo or Sega, it did live for several years and spawned several add-ons and enhancements.  Several years ago Chris Tang compiled the history of the PC Engine, and although the article is a little dated it's still an interesting read.

After the phenomenal success of the original PC Engine hardware, NEC released a second batch of PC Engine models in 1990. The first of these new models was the PC Engine Coregrafx. This was basically identical to the original PC Engine, except for a stylish black shell, and A/V output instead of RF. The Coregrafx sold for the same price as the original PC Engine. The next new system was the PC Engine Shuttle. It was shaped like a spaceship, lacked the 69-pin expansion port, and was priced at 18,800 yen; much less than the PC Engine or Core Grafx. The cheaper price was justified because of it's inability to use CD-Rom or Ten No Koe boosters. It also came with a strangely shaped pad that could not be purchased separately.

Although it's remembered as an "also ran", the PC Engine did give the video game world characters such as Bonk and highly sought titles such as Dracula X: Rondo of Blood.  Unfortunately the bulk of the PC Engine library is aimed at flashy graphics and music instead of solid gameplay.  The system enjoys the life of a collector's item today, a victim of poor corporate decisions and a lackluster library of games.