For more information about the Japanese version of this console, see: PC Engine
This sytem would later be marketed by Turbo Technologies Incorporated, or TTi for short, a joint venture between NEC and Hudson Soft.
The TG-16 was an 8-bit system (contrary to their misleading ad-campaign), capable of 482 simultaneous colors, released in 1989 in North America. It was in competition with the Sega Genesis. The most notable feature of the Turbografx 16 console was its thin memory card storage medium, similar to that of the Sega Master System. It was also the first console to have a CD-ROM peripheral.
Initially, the TG-16 sold well, but there were a lot of bad quality games, such as Keith Courage in Alpha Zones, Impossamole, and Darkwing Duck. Almost all of the TG-16 library was made in the United States, while many games in the Japanese system's library weren't imported. Plus, the CD-ROM peripheral was widely considered overpriced, and hard to find outside of large cities. As a result, the TG-CD sold poorly.
In 1992 because of the failure of the TG-CD peripheral, TTI released the Turbo Duo, which combined the TG-16 and an enhanced version of the CD-ROM drive (the "Super CD-ROMē") into a single unit. TTI began printing Johnny Turbo comic-like ads.
They feature Johnny Turbo, a crime fighter, pitted against the evil Feka (a parody of Sega) who cheats kids out of their hard-earned money. Feka tricked kids into thinking that the Feka CD, a parody of the Sega CD, was a stand-alone console (even thought Sega never actually said this once). Johnny Turbo then came to the rescue saying that the Turbo Duo was the world's only complete CD system.
Johnny Turbo was way over confrontational and actually backfired; their argument was based on a false premise. The Turbo Duo sold poorly in the long run. The system only lasted 4 years.
Many of the US-made games for the Turboduo were considered bad. However, the Japanese PC-Engine was considered to have very good games, such as Dracula-X and Snatcher. These games were never translated and marketed in North America.
There was also a portable version, the Turboexpress. It was the most advanced handheld of its time and could play all the TG-16's games, but suffered from horrible battery life and a hefty price tag. Furthermore, it was fairly common for TurboExpress systems to have missing pixels in their displays, due to the fact that TFT LCD manufacturing technology was still in its infancy at the time.
Another variation of the hardware is the SuperGrafx, an improved, backward-compatible version of the PC Engine with two sets of PC Engine hardware. This allowed for two background planes instead of one, and twice as many sprites. However, very few SuperGrafx-enhanced games were made, and the system fell into obscurity.