top of page


Release Date: 8/29/89

New Price: N/A


Hudson designed the PC Engine as a successor to Nintendo’s Famicom. The system uses a custom 8-bit CPU developed from the same CPU family as the Famicom, though much faster and more capable, and with improved audio capabilities. The CPU is paired with a 16-bit graphics chip. Despite the CPU’s 8-bit design, it is just as fast as the CPUs in the Super NES and the Sega Genesis when performing game-relevant operations. Because the PC Engine was the first system of a new generation, it lacks some of the special hardware capabilities of its later competitors, but due to solid design principles and the PC Engine CD ROM it was able to remain competitive.


  • First CD ROM Console: The PC Engine CD ROM add-on was the debut of CD ROM discs as a game medium in the home console market. Sega eventually released a CD ROM expansion for the Mega Drive in 1991, several years after the PC Engine CD ROM had already demonstrated the viability of the technology. Famously, Nintendo partnered with Sony to release a Super Famicom CD ROM drive, only to see that partnership collapse. Sony’s work with Nintendo laid the groundwork for Sony’s own Playstation console.

  • Built-In Turbo Button: All TurboGrafx-16 controllers and all but the first generation of PC Engine pads featured turbo functions for buttons I and II. The basic pad, one of the most comfortable pads made to date, has 2 simple toggles with off, slow, and fast. The TurboStick, a joystick resembling a lighter-weight, rounded-edged, black NES Advantage, featured two sliders for variable turbo and buttons to turn turbo on and off.

  • First Controller Multitap: The PC Engine Multitap was released in 1987 and was the first peripheral of its kind. It allowed up to 5 controllers to be attached to the PC Engine.

  • First Fully-Powered Portable: The Turbo Express, released originally in Japan as the PC Engine GT, was a hand-held version of the TurboGrafx-16. It was not the first portable system on the market. It was, however, the first portable system designed to run the exact same games as the home console.

bottom of page