Jump to content

I finally got a TG-16!

Recommended Posts

Someone didn't plan that very well.  Japanese misunderstood Americans a LOT.  I thought the PCEs looked much better than the TG-16.  I actually preferred the smaller, more compact, size.  It's why I have been leaning more for the INTV II over the original INTV.  The smaller size is more practical and takes up less space.  Bigger is not always better and in the case of gaming consoles big things can come in small packages.  The smaller size just made more sense.  Our TG-16 is nice but I believe the smaller model would have done better.  And they should have stuck with the smaller controller port.  

I also believe that the TG-16 would have surpassed the NES if it would have got games that mattered over here.  It also seems that the TG-16 was not released where it would have made more of an impact on the gaming market.  In the midwest it was hard to find.  I searched for a long time and only found them at TRU in Springfield, Missouri on clearance for $30 at the end of the system's shelf life.  An employee mentioned that the only reason why that store got those in was so the company could get rid of overstocked inventory.  I should have grabbed a couple of them at that price then but I simply couldn't justify it when I couldn't even find any games for it.  Why buy more than one of a system if you can't find anything for it?  In my area and surrounding areas the Genesis and NES were king, nothing else seemed to matter nor exist.  And in my area collecting video games was unheard of.  You had one or the other, you sold/traded off old for new.  It was common practice.  I think I was the only one out of everyone I knew that held on to most of my gaming stuff as long as possible.

So, yea, RickR ... if you really want to see what all that system is capable of when you get your Everdrive in download and try out some of the Konami games.  Those games pushed that system's abilities the most in my opinion.  Especially in the music department.  Play Salamander on the PCE and then compare it to the arcade original.  You can barely tell the difference.  I'm sure there are other great titles for the system but those are the games that had the largest impact for me.  As soon as I started playing those in an emulator I kept asking, "Why in the hell didn't they ever release those over here?"  Surprise, surprise, Sega's Space Harrier made it, too.  Not sure if it made an American release or not but it is on the PCE.  Come to think of it, I believe Sega is the only game maker that made/licensed games for consoles besides their own.

Link to post
Share on other sites
3 hours ago, kamakazi20012 said:

I don't see a TG16 in my future anytime soon.  Online prices are too high.  I stand a better chance getting a PS3.  I should have never parted with my TG16.

I did see a good one go on ebay (almost complete...missing that back cover thing) for about $120 shipped.  That's about as good as it gets price-wise.  Keep on looking and hopefully one turns up for a price you like. 

Link to post
Share on other sites
17 minutes ago, Justin said:

@RickR now that you've had your TurboGrafx-16 and EverDrive for a little more than a week, I'm curious to hear what your overall impressions are on this system so far?

My overall impression:

Before owning a TG-16, my mind thought it would be somewhere between the NES and SNES performance wise, based on when it was released.  But what I've found is that the system is a lot more advanced that I thought it would be.  Devil's Crush is a lot prettier to look at on the TG over the Genesis version.  Games like Galaga 88 show graphics that are really colorful and fast and don't flicker.  I'm very impressed.  I want to spend more time exploring all the games.  It compares very well to Genesis and SNES. 

I'm also lucky to have a perfectly working controller.  The TG-16 they have for the various shows here in Portland has a very wonky pad, and that makes it hard to evaluate any games.  I like the little turbo switches.  It's a good controller.  But it would have been nice to see more than 2 buttons. 

Keith Courage was NOT a good pack-in game.  It looks good, but it is very unoriginal.  A rehash of other better games.  Reminds me of "Super Breakout" being the pack-in for the 5200.  Bleah.  I do like the tiny "credit-card" style game carts and the CD cases they stored them in. 

My final thought is one you've already mentioned.  The system itself is already very small.  I think they should have taken that further and made it as small as possible.  I don't really get the plastic piece that snaps on the back.  Simplifying the system would have made it even better.  And include a second controller port.   

Right now, I'm in a tough spot.  We are re-doing flooring in the house, so I have to put stuff away for now.  So the TG-16 is going into a box for a few months.  I will get back to it ASAP.  I'm looking forward to it. 

Link to post
Share on other sites

That plastic cover is strictly for visual purposes to hide the expansion port.  If you can find the add on that gives the TG-16 composite video and stereo audio outs it will have the same shape but actually have a functional purpose.  I personally think that NEC should have stayed with the PCE design but gave it the TG-16 color and logos for a NA release.  

I should have gave the TG-16 I had more of a chance but when you can't find the games for it, and you are stuck with Keith Courage as the only game to own, it doesn't give a good impression of the system.

Link to post
Share on other sites
49 minutes ago, RickR said:

OH!  There's an add-on for composite out?  I should try to get one of those.  Is there a name for it that I can search for? 

From the linked site : " https://www.game-tech.us/mods/turbografx-16/ " Composite Video + Stereo:
The TG16 already has composite video and stereo outs, but you have to find one of the attachments to have the jacks: TurboBooster, TurboBoosterPlus, or a CD dock station. All of which are rare and expensive. 

I think a mod can also be done fairly cheaply though not the most fancy looking. I have a couple TG-16 consoles packed away (like most of my collection 😛 ) and I think at least one had a composite mod done. I will post an image if I come across it. 


Link to post
Share on other sites

Found my TG-16 systems in a box! Well, actually seems one has a really nice composite mod ! Forgot, I must have bought off someone on atariage or something. Along with a nice TurboEverdive (bought off StoneAge gamer in 2012!  according to my receipt I kept with it, BY GOD TIME IS FLYING  😮 ) I REALLY got to make the time to give it some proper playtime, just not enough time in the day, I swear I tested everything back when I got it and made a video and it has been collecting dust in the box since , I need to correct this. 2 TG-16 consoles and a couple turbopads / power supply / RF cable between them. I even got 2 of those piss poor designed back covers 😜



I DO recall though someone selling a much cheaper mod that basically consisted of literally just a composite stereo AV cable but the other end just slipped over / connected to a few pins of the expansion port on the back of the TG16. There are definitely cheap ghetto options that will give you the same result as the rare expensive official add-on or fancy mod. 😉



If you are handy make the cable yourself


If not buy a cheap ready made cable. 



Anyway, this has been a fun distraction and who knows? Might even compel me to play some TG-16 or even make a new video. I am sick with a bad cold or bug right now but this was a fun distraction. 🍻


Link to post
Share on other sites

PS - thank you for all the info Rob.  To be honest, I think I'm just going to stick with RF.  It's tempting to make a cable myself or buy the one you linked from ebay...but I have no desire to take any risks with this console.  I paid a pretty high price for it.  And the RF signal is excellent.  And all of my gaming TV's have the RF in. 


Link to post
Share on other sites
2 hours ago, RickR said:

Check out this item I found on ebay from China.  It says it's for PC Engine, but I assume it will work for TG-16 too?



Sorry not in this case (always read full descriptions) on bottom specifically of listing:

This AV/RGBS booster does work with US Turbografx 16 since the expansion port pinout are same as PC Engine. 



Link to post
Share on other sites
On 2/2/2019 at 12:11 PM, RickR said:

I don't really get the plastic piece that snaps on the back.

This is easily explained. The square base at the back of the TurboGrafx-16 is a vestigial footprint of the Japanese PC Engine. (See photos below) The TurboGrafx-16 retained the PC Engine footprint at the expansion port so the American systems could be compatible with the TurboGrafx-CD and other potential future add-ons without a tremendous amount of redesign or retooling from their Japanese counterparts.

PC Engine, more than most video game brands, had all sorts of different variants and peripherals that were released in Japan. It's unbelievable the different PC Engine items that were available in the Japanese market. I'm sure the the thinking at the time the TurboGrafx-16 was designed was that Americanized versions of many of these items would be released in the US, and keeping the expansion port area on the TG16 similar to the PC Engine would make it much easier to create American versions of these add-ons.  (So why redesign the PC Engine into the TurboGrafx-16 in the first place?)




The plastic piece was added to the TurboGrafx-16 to maintain the design aesthetics of the console while serving as a protective cover for the expansion pinouts. Not only does this keep dust out but it protects the tiny brittle pins at the back which could easily bend or break if bumped against something unprotected.

Imagine buying a TurboGrafx (nearly twice the price of an NES at its release) for your 2nd grader. His friend comes over to play and bangs a Hot Wheel into the back pins, or the system gets pushed into an AC Adapter and even just one pin is bent or broken. Would anybody even notice it right away? Then shelling out another $400 in 1990 dollars for the TurboGrafx-CD add on only to realize it won't connect to your system and won't play. Because a pin got bent. It's probably a good idea to include a hard plastic cover at the back to protect those pins while also maintaining the sleek looks of the video game system.

The protective cover at the back was part of their design initiative to "beef up" the PC Engine for an American audience which they had perceived as being more rough. It was the same reason why they substantially beefed up the PC Engine controller port to the larger American version. The changes in the PC Engine design in becoming the TurboGrafx-16 and the reasons for them is a rabbit hole that we could go down endlessly. I've felt for a long time that they should have released the PC Engine in America keeping the PC Engine design, but updated with black plastic and the neon TurboGrafx-16 branding. Why redesign that high tech little unit to be 3x the size it needed to be? Then there would be no need for a clunky plastic piece at the back.

Link to post
Share on other sites
4 hours ago, RickR said:

PS - thank you for all the info Rob.  To be honest, I think I'm just going to stick with RF.  It's tempting to make a cable myself or buy the one you linked from ebay...but I have no desire to take any risks with this console.  I paid a pretty high price for it.  And the RF signal is excellent.  And all of my gaming TV's have the RF in. 

@RickR there's no need to take any risks with your console by modding it or making a cable. All you need is a TurboBooster Plus. I highly recommend these! The TurboBooster Plus gives you A/V RCA out plus Memory Backup. This is an official NEC TurboGrafx product. I bought one of these from Toys R Us and have used it with my TurboGrafx-16 ever since the system was new!

It's a nifty little expansion module that attaches to the back where the plastic cover would go. The TurboBooster Plus adds composite video and stereo audio RCA ports to the TurboGrafx-16, so you don't need to make your own. Additionally, it adds onboard memory for the "Game Save" feature that is built into the TurboDuo. You can save your games and scores to the TurboBooster Plus and not have to enter codes. 






Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

  • Create New...