The PC Engine was a joint venture between Japanese software house Hudson and electronics giant NEC. The machine was released at the height of Nintendo's dominance and surprised many by outselling the Famicom in Japan a short time after it hit the shelves. With a successful Japanese launch out of the way, the two companies decided to bring the machine to the US as the Turbografx-16, but poor marketing and a terrible choice of software resulted in the console losing out to Sega's freshly released Genesis (AKA Mega Drive) and Nintendo's aging NES.
The story was much different in Japan where the PC Engine (aided by a revolutionary CD-ROM add-on) beat Sega into third place, with Nintendo remaining dominant thanks to the Super Famicom.
Amazingly, the console was never launched officially in Europe, although many keen gamers imported systems and the console was a firm favourite with 'hardcore' elements of the European gaming community. The Virtual Console therefore represents the first chance many gamers will have to experience this underrated machine.
Read our TurboGrafx-16 hardware focus