This Day in History: PC Engine (TurboGrafx-16) Releases in Japan (October 30th, 1987)


Before the Super Nintendo and before the Sega Genesis, the first 16-bit video game system available to consumers was the PC Engine (later sold in the US as the TurboGrafx-16) and it launched on this day in 1987.

Before the Super Nintendo and before the Sega Genesis, the first 16-bit video game system available to consumers was the PC Engine (later sold in the US as the TurboGrafx-16) and it launched on this day in 1987.

Before the Super Nintendo and before the Sega Genesis, the first 16-bit video game system available to consumers was the PC Engine (later sold in the US as the TurboGrafx-16) and it launched on this day in 1987.

In the mid 80s, after the video game crash from years earlier, the 8-bit Nintendo Entertainment System (Famicom in Japan) dominated the market thanks to titles like Super Mario Bros. Developed by HudsonSoft and NEC, the PC Engine launched in Japan to compete against that system. The 16-bit graphics were touted as a step above the competition.

Unlike the large EEPROM cartridges of the Nintendo Entertainment System, the PC Engine used HuCards for game storage (or Turbochips as they were called in the US) that were about the size of a modern-day credit or debit card.

While the system was an initial success in Japan, it would later fall into competition with other 16-bit consoles. One limitation of the system was that only one controller could be used out of the box due to a lack of a secondary controller port. However, the system continued to have new titles released for it, however, over the next few years.

A variety of titles for the system can be purchased and downloaded through the Nintendo Wii's virtual console service.


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