As someone who grew up in the 90s, there were a number of different consoles that came out for people to own. Atari had the Jaguar, Nintendo had the SNES, Sega had the Genesis (along with the CD, and 32X add-ons for that system), and Sony would have the PlayStation release as early as 1995. One console, in particular, made its mark in the United States on August 29, 1989 (just four months shy of 1990) and the duo behind the system was Hudson Soft, who created video game software, and NEC, a major company which was dominant in the Japanese personal computer market with their PC-88 and PC-98 platforms. These two created and released the TurboGrafx-16 or the PC-Engine as it was known in Japan.
While the platform did well in Japan and beat out the NES in sales, the TurboGrafx-16 failed to break into the North American market and sold poorly — which has been blamed on inferior marketing. But Konami is looking to change that.
In a surprise E3 announcement, the company is releasing a miniature version of the classic 90s Turbografx-16 console called the Turbografx-16 mini.
Now I know some people will be wondering why Konami is handling this project when the original console was a joint effort between NEC and Hudson. Well, back in 2005, Konami became Hudson’s parent company and then absorbed its operations in 2012 … meaning it owns the brand and all its properties (yes, even Bomberman).
Six titles have been announced so far for North America/Europe:
- Ys Book I & II
- New Adventure Island
- Ninja Spirit
- Alien Crush
- Dungeon Explorer
The Japanese version, meanwhile, has an almost entirely different set of games:
- Bonk’s Adventure
- Castlevania: Rondo of Blood / Castlevania: Dracula X
- The Kung Fu / China Warrior
- Ys I & II
- Super Star Soldier
- Dungeon Explorer
Interestingly, Ys and Rondo of Blood are CD-ROM games, meaning we could be seeing more titles not just from the Turbografx-16 but the TurboGrafx-CD as well, which is a huge plus to this mini console contender. So far though, there’s been no exact number given as to how many games will be available on the system when it launches.
To accommodate the console’s different histories across regions, Japan and Europe will be getting a PC Engine mini instead.
As of this writing, there is no price for the TurboGrafx-16 Mini as well as no release date.
Looking at the current list of games, I already see two games that I know fans of the system will want in the North American release — and that is Bonk’s Adventure and Rondo of Blood. While Bonk’s Adventure was released in the US, Rondo of Blood wasn’t until two years later on the SNES as Dracula X. While the plot is similar to Rondo of Blood and it uses many of the game’s graphics, it features a different art style, redesigned levels, and altered gameplay elements. Including the original version in the mini for the US would make the system an instant buy for a lot of fans. Other games that could be added is the original Splatterhouse, Cadash, Legendary Ax, Neutopia, Military Madness, Cosmic Fantasy, and others. The game list is off to a good start … let’s hope more titles, and possibly some of the games I listed, will be announced.
For now, though, keep it right here with us at GamingLyfe.