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Turbografix 16 ...The Beginning

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Essay title: Turbografix 16 ...The Beginning

In Japan, shortly after the introduction of Nintendo's Famicom (Japan's version of the NES), the electronics giant NEC entered into the videogame market with the introduction of their "next generation" system, known as the PC Engine (PCE). The PCE boasted a 16-bit graphics chip capable of displaying up to 256 colors on screen at once, at a number of resolutions. Although its CPU wasn't much more powerful that of the NES, its spectacular graphics chip and six-channel sound bettered the Famicom in every way. It utilized a sleek new card format (PCE games are either HuCards or Turbochips) to hold its software, rather than bulky cartridges. It was also the first console to boast a CD-ROM drive, for full orchestral soundtracks and even (gasp!) full motion video. The PC Engine was immensely popular in Japan, outselling the Famicom by a significant margin.

In 1989, two years after its Japanese introduction, NEC announced plans to bring the PC Engine overseas, to the booming videogame market of the U.S. With a huge library of Japanese software, it seemed to many as though the system couldn't possibly fail.

At the time, the NES was the #1 system in the US. Games were no longer being made for Atari's 7800, and despite the popularity of the Sega Master System in Europe, it failed to capture the hearts of the U.S. gaming public. Arcade and computer games began to set new standards in visual and aural excellence, making the NES seem primitive in comparison. Although MMC (memory mapper) chips allowed the NES to do some pretty spectacular things, the game-buying public was hungry for a new system.

Shortly after NEC stated its intention to bring the PC Engine to the U.S., Sega announced that its Mega Drive system (released in Japan a year after the PC Engine) would also be coming to the U.S. as the Sega Genesis. The Mega Drive was slow to catch on in Japan, as the installed user base of PC Engine was so large. In fact, the Mega Drive was spectacularly unpopular with our Japanese friends. Although the Mega Drive boasted superior graphics and sound, the absence of a CD-ROM drive was a definite minus in

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