PC Engine

The PC Engine was released by NEC, a Japanese company, in 1987. The PC Engine was a collaborative effort between Japanese software maker Hudson Soft (which maintains a chip-making division) and NEC. Hudson was looking for financial backing for a game console they had designed, and NEC was looking to get into the lucrative game market. The PC Engine was and is a very small video game console, due primarily to a very efficient three-chip architecture and its use of HuCards, credit-card sized data cartridges. It featured an enhanced MOS Technology 65C02 processor and a custom 16-bit graphics processor, as well as a custom video encoder chip, all designed by Hudson.

The PC Engine was extremely popular in Japan, beating Nintendo's Famicom in sales soon after its release, with no fewer than twelve systems released from 1987 to 1993. It was capable of up to 512 colours at once in several resolutions, and featured very robust sprite handling abilities. The Hudson-designed chroma encoder delivered a video signal more vibrant and colourful than both the Famicom and the Sega Mega Drive/Sega Genesis and is largely regarded as the equal to Nintendo's Super Famicom, although that system was not released until 1990.

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As graphics technology improved, gamers continued to stick to the PC Engine despite its shortcomings. Erotic games were a key factor in making the PC Engine popular, and this popularity was maintained far past the lifespan of a regular video game console. New games were released for the PC Engine up until 1999.

It was the first console to have an optional CD module, allowing the standard benefits of the CD medium: more storage, cheaper media costs, and redbook audio. The efficient design, backing of many of Japan's major software producers, and the additional CD ROM capabilities gave the PC Engine a very wide variety of software, with several hundred games for each the HuCard and CD formats.

All PC Engine systems support the same controller peripherals, including pads, joysticks and multitaps. Except for the Vistar, Shuttle, X1, GT and systems with built-in CD ROM drives all PC Engine units shared the same expansion connector, which allowed for the use of devices such as the CD ROM unit, game saves and AV output.

The US TurboGrafx and Vistar units use a different controller port than the PC Engines, but adaptors are available and the protocol is the same. The TurboGrafx offers the same expansion connector pinout as the PC Engine, but has a slightly different shape so peripherals must be modified to fit.

Despite the system's initial success, it soon lost ground to the 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 a then-massive 2048K; many Arcade Card games were conversions of popular Neo-Geo titles. The additional memory even allowed the system to display pre-rendered 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 U.S.

In 1994 NEC released a new console, the Japan-only PC-FX, a 32-bit system with a tower-like design; it enjoyed a small but steady stream of games until 1998, when NEC finally abandoned the video games industry.

The PC Engine GT is a portable version of the PC Engine. It had a very crisp screen and an optional TV tuner was available. It could play all of the PC Engine HuCard games, yet had low battery life.

Another variation of the hardware is the SuperGrafx. 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, the CPU just could not keep up. Only five SuperGrafx games (and one hybrid game - Darius) were released, and the system fell into obscurity.

Other members of the PC Engine family include the Shuttle, the LT (a laptop version similar to the Game Boy Advance SP, but considerably larger), the CoreGrafx I and II, the Duo R and the Duo RX. Contrary to popular belief the CoreGrafx is not a European version of the PC Engine. It is simply a reengineered version of the original (white) PC Engine with an AV output instead of the original model's RF output. The PC Engine and its derivatives were never officially sold in Europe, although many systems and most accessories and games were available as imports. The PC Engine and its games had been extensively covered by most major European video game magazines and were surprisingly popular.

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PC Engine Avenue 6 Pad Boxed

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£30.00
Manual: 
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£30.00

This is a boxed Avenue 6 pad - a six button PC Engine Controller. The only third party pads we reccomend are these ones as they rock! This item is fully tested and comes boxed with instructions.

PC Engine Core Grafx 2 Pad Boxed

Box: 
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£25.00
Manual: 
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£25.00

This is a boxed official grey and orange NEC Core Grafx 2 joypad identical to the one that comes with the console. If you are looking for a replacement controller, these are the best - don't buy any third party inferior controllers, make sure you get the official ones! This item is fully tested and comes boxed with instructions.

PC Engine Ten No Koe 2 Boxed

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£20.00
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£20.00

A PC Engine Backup Memory Adapter made by Hudson. Attaches to the PC Engine Expansion port and can be used to backup game saves onto the internal memory which is a staggering 2k! The unit has a menu which can be accessed to oversee the stored data. Requires 2 AA batteries (not included) to operate. This item is boxed and has been tested and works fine.

PC Engine Backup Booster 2 Loose

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£15.00
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£15.00

A PC Engine Backup Memory Adapter. Attaches to the PC Engine Expansion port and can be used to backup game saves onto the internal memory. This item is loose, has been tested and works fine.

Stepdown Converter Boxed

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£15.00
Manual: 
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£15.00

A stepdown transformer to convert 240V to 110V, allowing imported games consoles to be used with a UK power supply. Can be used with any US or Japanese games console. This stepdown has UK plug connector type so it cannot be used in Europe without an adapter. Items is brand new and boxed.

PC Engine RF Leads Boxed

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£10.00
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£10.00

The official Japanese RF Leads for the PC Engine. Used to connect your PC Engine to your TV\\'s RF port. Please be sure your TV can display a Japanese NTSC RF Signal before buying these! This item is fully tested and comes boxed and without instructions.

PC Engine Multitap Loose

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Box: 
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£15.00
Manual: 
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£15.00

So you've just got yourself a copy of Bomberman and you've got two mates with controllers who want to play, but there's only one joystick port! Well here's the solution for you - a PC Engine Multitap. All your problems are solved! Compatible with any four player game. This item is fully tested and comes loose without instructions.

PC Engine Joystick Loose

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£0.00
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£0.00

PC Engine Arcade style controller. This is a tough, solid arcade style joypad, designed to sit on a flat surface, with all the buttons on top of the pad and a joystick instead of directional buttons. Absolutely fantastic for beat-em-up games, you can vent your anger on the control pad as they are very durable (trust me on this one!). This item is fully tested but comes unboxed and without instructions.

PC Engine White Joypad Loose

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Box: 
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£18.00
Manual: 
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£18.00

This is the official white NEC joypad that comes boxed with the console. If you are looking for a replacement controller, these are the best - don\\'t buy any third party inferior controllers, make sure you get the official ones! If you\\'ve got a multitap, why not get a copy of Bomberman and another two controllers and get your mates round for a Bomberman competition - the ultimate multi-player game! This item is fully tested and comes unboxed without instructions.

PC Engine Game Converter Boxed

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Box: 
yes
£75.00
Manual: 
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£75.00

The sad thing about the PC Engine is it didn\\'t do too well on western shores. Thus, many of the excellent games available in Japan have never been seen by the majority of people. Well thankfully, there exists a converter that will allow you to play Japanese Hucards on a non-Japanese console. And we have just one in stock. Awesome! This item is fully tested and comes boxed and without instructions.

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