NEC TurboExpress Portable Game System
(NEC - 1990)
The main component of the TurboExpress system is the main game system. It serves as the base console where the game cartridges and the various controllers plug into. It was originally released in 1987 in Japan as the PC-Engine, then renamed TurboGrafx for it's USA launch in 1989. It is probably the sexiest 16 bit game console of the era with its sleek lines and well thought out architecture, poised for future expansion modules.
One of the most unique things about the system is that it used game cartridges that were the size of a credit card and twice as thick, the smallest of any system, called HU cards after their developer, Hudson Soft. This was extremely beneficial when the handheld TurboGrafx console was released, the TurboExpress, which used the same Hu Cards... not scaled down ports of the games like other systems that tried to release handhelds at the time (Most notably the Nintendo Gameboy which used scaled down games which were different than their console).
There were 94 games released on either HU card or CD for this video game console, ranging from popular arcade hits like Galaga and Pac Land to proprietary titles produced exclusively for the TG-16, such as Air Zonk and Bonk's Adventure, giving game libraries from other systems a run for their money.
Miscellaneous accessories and controllers were produced for the TurboExpress that expanded its scope broadly. These controllers ranged from a sleek and ergonomic gamepad (TurboPad) to joystick controllers for real arcade action (TurboStick). Other accessories such as the TurboBooster and TurboBooster Plus eliminated the RF connection for high resolution composite video and stereo audio RCA ports as well as memory for saving high scores and game progress.
But the most remarkable add-on for the system was the CD Rom unit (TurboCD) which allowed you to play CD Rom based games as well as listen to your music CDs.
This was my first exposure to 16 bit gaming, and I have a soft spot for it in my heart. It is tied with the Vectrex as my all time favorite game console.
System Specifications for the NEC TurboExpress
Basic system specifications for the NEC TurboExpress gaming console are listed below.
Hudson Soft HuC6280 @ 7.16 MHz
HU Card Game Cartridge ROMs
400 x 270 pixels, 482 color displayable - 512 color pallet
11-3/4"W (298mm) x 7-1/2"D (191mm) x 1-3/4"H (44mm)
Internal Power: (6) AA Batteries
Optional AC Adapter: #HES-ACA-01 - Input 120v 60hz 0.5a AC / Output +9v DC 0.5a
(1) AC power port
(1) headphone port
(1) TurboLink port
(1) HU Card Cartridge port
(1) TurboVision port
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