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NOTE: This console itself was actually good. This article will focus primarily on what caused it to flop.

The first CD add-on that had some missed potential.
Developer: NEC
Release Date: JP: December 4th, 1988
NA: November 1989
Successor: PC-FX
Competitors: Sega CD
Generation: 4th
Discontinued: 1994

The TurboGrafx-CD was a console add-on for the PC Engine/TurboGrafx-16, allowing the console to play games in a CD-ROM format as well as its standard games. This makes it the first CD add-on, and makes the TurboGrafx-16 the first system ever to play CD-based games. In Japan, it was sold in two models, the CD-ROM² (pronounced as CD Rom-Rom), and a revised model which integrated the Super System Card. There was also a combo unit called the PC Engine Duo, which was sold in North America as the TurboDuo. The Duo itself in Japan would get two revisions, the Duo R, which had better build quality and also gave it a white streamlined casing, and the Duo-RX, which was also the last revision for the console itself. It changed the controller to a 6 button controller but was largely the same otherwise.

Although it was a hit in Japan, due to a number of factors (including the release of the Sega Genesis and eventually its CD based add-on) the TurboGrafx-CD would never pick up in sales in North America, and eventually be history.

Bad Qualities

  1. Much like other CD add-ons, you needed the base console to play it; meaning that in order to play the TurboGrafx-CD, you need a TurboGrafx-16 console and a TurboGrafx-CD System Card, though you could get a TurboDuo, which combined both of these systems and had a built-in version of the Super System Card.
  2. Very high price of $400 when it first came out, and stayed at that price throughout its selling time. At least when Sega released the Sega CD, they eventually released a cheaper version.
    • Because of its $400 asking price, and the fact that you need a TurboGrafx-16 (which costed $300 at that time) to use it, in total it would cost $700. And this was back in the early 90's.
  3. Demand for the add-on was very low, as a majority of gamers either owned a Sega Genesis or a Super Nintendo.
  4. Instead of being on the side or on the top of the console, it was in the back. Fortunately, this wasn't the case in Japan.
  5. Audio quality on the system was sub-par at best, but voice audio quality were horrendous, with Castlevania: Rondo of Blood as an exception, which used Red Book audio.


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