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NEC's portable Turbografx 16

This is actually my own picture for a change. My digital camera sucks as you can see.


THE RANT: My friend Doug had one of these when I was 13. His father was some kind of executive for GM and so his rich ass could afford to get Doug a new game system every year. I thought this was the coolest thing I had ever seen, waaaaay cooler than my Game Boy (which I had only gotten the Christmas before.) I have fond memories of playing Military Madness and R-Type until the wee hours of the morning. 

I myself finally got one of these about a year later when I saw it in my Mom's GTE catalogue. (For those who don't know, as a way of keeping their employees from lynching them GTE (now Verizon) doesn't give commission to their sales representatives but instead rewards them with a point system where they get to order high end electronics, furniture, vacation packages, etc from various catalogs. I got my SNES and 3DO this way too.) What can I say? It's the coolest handheld in existence. It's really neat because I haven't gotten around to getting a TG16 yet (mostly because I want to get a Turbo Duo but have been unwilling to pay upwards of $150 for it) but I still can enjoy all the cool hucards, plus I can do it on the toilet if I want. 

The system is rather large and heavy, which is understandable since it's the same hardware as the PC Engine squeezed into a little design. I suppose today they could make the whole thing on one chip. Has turbo switches mounted on the front. The screen is the best handheld screen ever made, and is more clear in my opinion that even the GBA SP. There is also an optional TV turner and carrying case. Only problem was is that these things retailed for like $250 (which was more than even the home console version did) so they didn't sell too many. But still, if you had one of these things you were THE MAN. I proudly remember showing mine off in eighth grade. 

THE GOOD: Awesome unit. Cool design. Very easy to use, not built out of cheap ass materials. I've dropped mine several times with no damage. Has the best screen ever on a handheld. NEC must have thought that since the thing was going to cost a bundle anyway they might as well not be cheap-asses and just put the best screen on the market. Too bad no one else followed suit. 

THE BAD: The only problem I saw was that sometimes it was hard to read text designed for a large TV screen on the unit. That makes games like Dungeon Explorer kind of  hard to play. 

THE UGLY: $250 for a handheld? I know I've said before "Don't be cheap" but damn, that is kind of steep. Still, you get what you pay for. In this case it was worth it. Glad I got mine for free though. 

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