The SuperGrafx was NEC
's first spectacular failure
of the PC Engine
legacy. Released in 1990, the SuperGrafx was embarrassing
ly shaped like a car engine
, but much more powerful than the PCE
, boasting three graphics processors
and twice the video RAM
. The SuperGrafx went through three strikes before it was out.
Strike One: Price. At ¥39,800, or just about ¥10,000 more than the PC Engine, the SuperGrafx failed to attract consumers.
Strike Two: Limited compatibility. Like the Shuttle, the SuperGrafx could play all the standard HuCards, but couldn't be attached to a CD-ROM² or Super CD-ROM² unit. To do that, you'd have to buy a similarly expensive adapter.
Strike Three: Software. Since the SuperGrafx was so Super, NEC wanted brand-new games for it. They got 'em, all right. All six of them. Mostly shooters, mostly Capcom arcade ports. Better yet, you could find superior versions of both on the Super Famicom! Awesome!
To make matters worse, a normal PC Engine could not be upgraded to support SuperGrafx games, so consumers were stuck having to buy a new system for new games (a practice NEC quickly trashed until the release of the PC-FX). New games that weren't much better than the old ones, mind you.
These three factors sucked any and all hope out of the SuperGrafx suceeding. But like any short-lived system, everybody wants one now. Go figure.
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