* CPU: HuC6280 (7.16MHz) (1.5 Million Instructions Per Second [MIPS])
* Video: HuC6270 - 16 bit
* Color Processor: HuC6260
* Resolution: 256 x 216
* Sound: 8 bit PCM stereo / 6-channel stereo
* Ram: 8 Kbyte (64Kbit)
* Video Ram: 64Kbyte (512 Kbit)
* Cart Size: 256Kbit - 20 Megabit Max. (S.F. 2) Normally 8 Mbits
* Colors Palette: 512 - (256 for sprites, 256 for the background.)
* Max # of sprites: 64
* Sprite Size: 16 x 16 , 32x64
Currently, MESS supports both the Japanese and the US version of the NEC console
* pce [NEC PC Engine]
* tg16 [NEC TurboGrafx-16]
Both driver require a cart dump (in .pce or .bin format) in the "cartridge" (cart) device to run. You can launch emulation using, at command line
mess pce -cart "C:\pathtogame\gamename.pce"
MESS also supports CD-ROM images in .chd format, using the "cdrom" (cdrm) device (read this tutorial by Guru -- http://www.mameworld.net/gurudumps/tutorials/dumping_cds_&_hdds/index.html to learn how to create an accurate CHD from your PCE CD-ROM).
Emulation of the CD-ROM add-on is in progress. The internal audio CD player works perfectly and some games work as well (e.g. "Dracula X: Rondo of Blood").
History and Trivia
The TurboGrafx-16, known as PC-Engine in Japan, was released by NEC in 1987. The system reached North America in 1989 and was never officially imported in Europe (even if an importer provided a very limited release in the UK and continental Europe in 1990 as Turbografx, not including the "16" in the title, and with lowercase "g" in "grafx").
The PC-Engine was a collaborative effort between Japanese software maker Hudson Soft (which maintains a chip-making division) and NEC.
This console uniquely used, as support for the games, a new media in place of the carts used by most of the other consoles: the "HuCard" (Hudson Card; also referred to as "TurboChip" in North America), cards of the size of a credit card (but slightly thicker).
It was also one of the first consoles to have an optional CD module (the first in the US, although in Japan there had been the FM Towns Marty with built-in CD-ROM), allowing the standard benefits of the CD medium: more storage, cheaper media costs, and redbook audio. The efficient design, the support of many important Japanese software producers, and the additional CD-ROM capabilities gave the PC Engine a very wide variety of software.
The PC-Engine was extremely popular in Japan. It was also graphically much more powerful of Nintendo's Famicom: it was capable of up to 482 colors at once in several resolutions, and it featured very robust sprite handling abilities, allowing games to be converted very faithfully from the arcade to the console. New games were released for the PC-Engine up until 1999.
Despite its success, PC-Engine started to lose ground to the Nintendo Super Famicom. NEC made one final effort to resuscitate the system with the release of the Arcade Card expansion, bringing the total amount of RAM up to 2048K and allowing conversions of popular Neo Geo titles. The additional memory even allowed the system to display 3D polygon graphics well beyond what the competing Super Famicom and Megadrive/Mega-CD could offer. By this time, however, it was too late: only a relative handful of Arcade Card games were ever produced, and the expansion was never released in the US.
In North America, the TurboGrafx-16 was first marketed by NEC Home Electronics. Later, the platform was handed over to a new company called Turbo Technologies Incorporated (TTI). This company was comprised mainly of former NEC Home Electronics and Hudson Soft employees, and it essentially took over all marketing and first-party software development for the struggling system.
A problem for the TG-16 was the lack of a second controller port: TG-16 users were required, to enjoy simultaneous multiplayer modes in their games, to buy the Turbo Tap (a multitap accessory which permitted up to five controllers to be plugged into the system).
The CD add-on for the TG-16 wasn't able to help the system as much as it did in Japan. It was indeed difficult to find outside of large cities, and it was widely considered to be overpriced. TTI tried to address this issue by releasing a combination system called the TurboDuo, as well as dropping the price of the CD add-on. Unfortunately, the cost of the TurboDuo was still too steep for most American consumers, even when NEC took the bold step of including seven pack-in titles and a coupon book with the system. Despite all these efforts, the company failed to attract much of a mainstream audience.
An interesting feature of the CD add-on was that there was no region protection on TG-CD / PC Engine CD-ROM software, so that North American units were capable to run Japanese software. Many mail order (and some brick-and-mortar) import stores advertised Japanese PCE CD and HuCard titles in the videogame publications of the era.
Another version of the system was also marketed, the handheld version called TurboExpress. Unfortunately, it suffered from short battery life, a hefty price tag, and a large number of units with missing pixels in their displays.
== Variations ==
* Stand-alone systems
* PC Engine (1987) - White, only RF output
* PC Engine Shuttle (1989) - UFO-shaped system, unique expansion port (no CD option), AV output
* PC Engine SuperGrafx (1989) - This system is very nearly the same as the original PCE, except it has a duplicate set of video chips (and an extra chip to coordinate the two) and four times as much RAM. Since the CPU was not upgraded most developers were unable to utilize the extra graphics capability, as the CPU just could not keep up. Only five games were released for it (two regular PC Engine releases, Darius Plus and Darius Alpha, were enhanced to utilize the extra sprite capability of the SuperGrafx).
* PC Engine CoreGrafx (1989) - Dark grey, blue label, AV output
* PC Engine CoreGrafx II (1991) - Light grey, orange label, AV output, Identical in function to the CoreGrafx
* CD-ROM accessories
* PC Engine CD-ROM2 (1988) - Designed for the original PC Engine
* PC Engine Super CD-ROM2 (1991) - Designed for the CoreGrafx II
* Portable systems
* PC Engine GT (1990) - Portable system, identical in shape and function to the US-released TG Express
* PC Engine LT (1991) - Semi-portable system (no battery option) similar in size to a normal PC Engine or CoreGrafx. Uses a very large attached screen, and folds up like a laptop (hence the LT moniker)
* Duo systems
* PC Engine Duo (1991) - Combination PC Engine + CD ROM system, dark grey, has a CD door lock and headphone port
* PC Engine Duo R (1993) - Same as the Duo, but white/beige, shaped differently, and lacks the lock and headphone port.
* PC Engine Duo RX (1994) - Same as the Duo R, slightly blue in colour. The only PCE packaged with a six-button pad.
* X1 Twin - Combination of Sharp X1 computer and PC Engine. Only played HuCards.
* Pioneer LaserActive - Pioneer + NEC released a Laserdisc player with video game modules. One module allowed the use of PC Engine games.
* Other region variations
* TurboGrafx-16 - North American version of the PC-Engine
* TurboGrafx-CD - North American version of CD-ROM2
* TurboExpress - North American version of PC-Engine GT. Released in 1990, it was the most advanced handheld of its time and could play all the TG-16's HuCard games. It had a 2.6" screen, the same as the original Game Boy. It shared the capabilities of the TurboGrafx, giving it 512 available colors (9-bit RGB), stereo sound, and the same custom CPU at 7.16 MHz. The optional "TurboVision" TV tuner included RCA audio/video input, allowing the user to use TurboExpress as a video monitor, while the "TurboLink" allowed two-player play simultaneously (even if only a couple of games were developed to use this feature).
* TurboDuo - North American version of PC-Engine Duo. The system combined the TurboGrafx-16 and an enhanced version of the CD-ROM drive (the "Super CD-ROM2") into a single unit. The system could play audio CDs, CD+Gs, CD-ROM2 and Super CD games as well as standard HuCards. The Super System Card required for some games when using the original CD add-on as well as some of the Japanese variants of the TurboGrafx was built into the Duo (rather than requiring the card to be inserted when playing CD games).
* Turbografx - (Unofficial) European version
* Vistar 16 - Korean version
(info based on Wikipedia)
* NECstasy -- http://www.necstasy.net/
* Universo PCENGINE -- http://upce.netfirms.com/index.html
* Turbo Station 16 -- http://pcenginefx.com/TS/
* Wikipedia page -- http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/TurboGrafx-16
* MagicEngine (commercial) -- http://www.magicengine.com/
* Hu-Go! (for DOS, Windows, Linux, BeOS, Solaris) -- http://www.zeograd.com/
* Hu6280 -- http://www.hu6280.com/
* Mednafen -- http://mednafen.sourceforge.net/
* Ootake -- http://www.ouma.jp/ootake/
* GPengine (for GP32) -- http://www.gp32x.com/gpengine/