NEC TurboExpress

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NEC TurboExpress
Game Gear US Edition
Developer: NEC
Release Date: 1990
Competitors: Game Boy
Atari Lynx
Generation: 3rd generation

The TurboExpress (Japanese: PCエンジンGT Pīshīenjinjītī PC Engine GT) is a handheld console made by NEC in 1990. It is essentially a portable TurboGrafx-16, capable of playing all of the console's standard TurboChip games. NEC had hoped to compete with Nintendo's Game Boy with this handheld.

Why It Flopped

  1. Its launch price in the U.S. was $249.99 and was briefly raised to $299.99, but it soon dropped back to $249.99. This was extremely high for a portable gaming system at the time and earned it the nickname of "the Rolls-Royce of handheld gaming."
    • Its launch price in Japan was 44,800 yen; it did not sell well in Japan either.
    • It was even more expensive than the standard TurboGrafx-16 console.
  2. The console was very large and bulky, making it awkward to handle and while the screen was in color, it was the same size as the Game Boy's.
  3. Poor battery life, at just 3 hours with new batteries. You can, of course use Ni-MH batteries, such as Eneloops.
  4. Some games can't save or load the player's progress on the system.
  5. There were technical problems with sound and the LCD graphics at the time of release.

Redeeming Qualities

  1. It was the first ever 16-bit portable game console, meaning it was way ahead of the Game Boy Color.


  • There is another, Japan-exclusive handheld model of the TurboGrafx-16, the PC Engine LT, which had a "clam shell" form factor like a laptop or the Game Boy Advance SP. Unlike the TurboExpress, however, the PC Engine LT doesn't run off batteries and instead runs off an external power source.




8 months ago
Score 1
Game Boy is better.


6 months ago
Score 1
Every Nintendo portable consoles are better than every handheld from other companies.

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