The American name for NEC's PC Engine console. It was created by NEC to get a chunk of Nintendo's video game pie. It was released to the Japanese public in September of 1987. NEC did not think the
United States was very important videogame-wise, and did not release it on this side of the Pacific until 1989. And yes, it really is spelled "grafx", although it is commonly shortened to TG16, due to spelling problems (grafx is usually misspelled graphx or graphics).
Because of Nintendo of America's 3rd party monopoly, NEC could not release most of its software. Thus, the TurboGrafx 16 was not successful in the United States, but remained #1 in japan until 1994.
It was the first videogame console to have a CD-ROM drive, which it called CDROM2. It also saw a later incarnation as the Turbo Duo.
Many net flame wars have sprung up over the belief that the Turbo Grafx 16 was not 'really' a 16 bit console. Sega and Nintendo fans usually win such wars because their large following in this country allows them to drown out all 12 of us TG16 fans.
Arguments against the 16 bitness of the TG16 include:
- Core (main) processor bus width (8 bits)
- Controller simplicity (only 8 buttons - directions, run, select, I, II)
- Similarities to the NES - controller, gameplay style, appearance
- Acceptance - TG16 'failed' because it was 8-bit
Arguments for the 16 bitness of the TG16 include:
- Graphics processor, color depth, bitmap size (impossible for 8-bit systems)
- Controller complexity - expanded to directions, run, select, I, II, III, IV, V, VI, theoretically more
- Competition - it stood up well agains the Genesis and Super NES - if it walks like a duck...
- Popularity - the PC Engine, the Japanese TG16, was the #1 16 bit system there)