It was about 1989-1990. The 8-bit console war was already waging between Nintendo Entertainment System and Sega Master System. The next generation of consoles were on their way out. It was now time for the 16-bit consoles to rise and shine. Sega released their Genesis system and NEC released their Turbo Grafx 16 system. While the Sega Genesis was a true 16-bit system, the NEC Turbo Grafx is a 8-bit CPU with a 16-bit GPU processor. Hence the name Turbo Grafx 16.
I had a choice between the two and chose the Turbo Grafx 16. It had all the great games during launch and it was something new that nobody has heard of before. Little did we know that most of the 3rd party game developers had a silent unwritten agreement at the time with Nintendo for anti-competitive practicing which limited the games for the TG-16 in North America.
The Turbo Grafx controller was the first to equip “turbo” into their buttons. No need to rapid button mash here.
The TG16 also had a port in the back for peripherals which made this console look more attractive. The system had access in the back for a stereo set up with the “Turbo Booster” …or if you were ballin enough to get the Turbo Grafx CD-ROM.
The CD ROM was way too expensive at the time ($399 retail).
The games came in nice little packaging as well. They were fitted in CD jewel cases modified for the “HU CARDS”. Since it was only 1989, CD’s were not even the standard for music, games or media. Having something that looked like it was just cool.
There were many variations of this system in Japan. The PC Engine (TG-16) CoreGrafx, and the SuperGrafx. NEC made this console last as long as it could.
The Turbo Grafx 16 was a great system. It had a huge library of Japanese titles where at the time, the console wars were dueling with arcade hits. TG-16 was on it’s own.