Why the TurboGrafx-16 failed in North America




The TurboGrafx Mini is coming out in 2020, but not nearly as many people know about that “other” 16-bit console that once valiantly stood up against Nintendo during the console wars…..a full two years before the Sega Genesis was even a thing!

The TurboGrafx, however, did not do well in the United States and WHY has always been a kind of mystery. Was it the corny box art? Was it lackluster games? Did it have poor marketing? A bad name?

After much reflection, and a little bit of research, we feel as though we have the best and most obvious solution…..one which very few people have ever put to words….for some reason.

The following links provided much of the information that went into our summary of events.

Thank you for watching!

https://archives.tg-16.com/EGM_1989_07.htm#EGM_First_Preview_of_TG-16

https://necretro.org/PC_Engine

https://www.giantbomb.com/turbografx-16/3045-55/

https://www.theguardian.com/technology/gamesblog/2013/apr/02/turbografx-16-machine-that-time-forgot

http://www.nintendolife.com/news/2012/11/interview_the_trouble_with_the_turbografx-16

https://www.gamasutra.com/view/feature/225466/stalled_engine_the_turbografx16_.php

source

24 thoughts on “Why the TurboGrafx-16 failed in North America

  • November 30, 2020 at 10:38 am
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    I was born in 1980. I remember TG-16 when it came out. I didn't own it. I seen the ad's, but I didn't know any of the games. Nintendo had the cool titles. I only knew one person that had Sega Master System. I wouldn't get my Genesis until 1992.

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  • November 30, 2020 at 10:38 am
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    bakura man is also keith courage in the usa market. its just different sprites man!

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  • November 30, 2020 at 10:38 am
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    Last battle horrible it's the only good fotn game from that error the nintendo version was bad

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  • November 30, 2020 at 10:38 am
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    CDs were known in 1989, your average parent would have seen CD decks at Sears for a few years yet the idea of giving your kid a CD player when most where still rocking tape decks and turn table would be a very hard sell in 1989. Even if the parent was an audiophile, the TurboGrafx CD player would seem inferior to normal CD players and impractical to use in a stereo tower (like the SegaCD after it).

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  • November 30, 2020 at 10:38 am
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    Yup, still my favorite video on YouTube

    I’d love to know which TG16 games the music in this video is from. I can recognize Bonk and Dungeon Explorer, but not the other music

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  • November 30, 2020 at 10:38 am
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    Compelling argument. I was one of the very few that got the CD add on and I only knew only one other kid in school who had it. It was a very lonely place.

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  • November 30, 2020 at 10:38 am
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    I was born in 1979, and I definitely remember all of these consoles. My parents were very well off (we weren't anything close to "1% rich" but we never lacked money) and we owned a ton of consoles: the NES, SNES, Sega Genesis (w/ Sega CD), Panasonic 3D0, and Sony PlayStation (1 and 2). This was in addition to owning two gaming computers. In other words, my brother and I were set, and it helped that my Dad (a Boomer) was really into technology, computers, and gaming in general. Anyway… the reason I mention all of this isn't to brag, but to say that I never stopped to think about the money they spent. Honestly, as a 40 year-old adult, I feel a little bad about it, so I think I'll call up my Dad and say thanks. 🙂

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  • November 30, 2020 at 10:38 am
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    Great video/upload. “The genesis Nintendo!!!” Priceless.
    Nintendo has a stronghold on the market & it appeared that TG16 prices w/ less amount of games didn’t help.
    As for the mini versions. Gen-X’ers will enjoy the nostalgia. Along with a few hardcore gamers.
    Hopefully companies will break even. In this time of a pandemic, with everyone stuck indoors, this should lead to selling more consoles.

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  • November 30, 2020 at 10:38 am
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    I asked for tg16 for xmas in 1990 (the one with bonks adventure with it) and ended up returning it at toys r us for Sega genesis lol

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  • November 30, 2020 at 10:38 am
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    I bought the Turbo Duo from Turbo Zone Direct back in 2002, because it was the only game console during the time to have Fighting Street (Street Fighter 1).

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  • November 30, 2020 at 10:38 am
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    I think I just found the most slept on channel on YouTube. Great stuff btw man subbed and bell ringed 👌🏻

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  • November 30, 2020 at 10:38 am
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    FINALLY – an explanation that makes sense!

    Everyone always blames the failure on marketing – but I call shenanigans on that. All I got was marketing on TV and comics for the Turbo and Bonk. They pushed it hard.

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  • November 30, 2020 at 10:38 am
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    I can see how the scenario with the tech-illiterate dad in the store with the period-appropriate sales clerk would make plenty of sense. I can say that I am old enough to have witnessed something similar as a kid!

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  • November 30, 2020 at 10:38 am
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    I just got the PC Engine mini yesterday and gotta say love it over the SNES and Genesis mini. I like the cult of personality around the little white box as seen in the menu screen and within some of the games themselves (one in which the console itself is a playable character). The controller is tight and very comfortable. It is a pity the TG-16 did not localise many of its games.

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  • November 30, 2020 at 10:38 am
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    Dont think it ever even existed in the UK………..certainley not in the mainstream……..due to the release of the mini, Ive just found out about it, I love the games for it……so random and weird, but quality at the same time…….and then some total normal games like fantasy zone, new adventure island (wonderboy) etc. Graphics are like right in between sega and nintendo.

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  • November 30, 2020 at 10:38 am
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    Great content!! Really well done. You should have tons of subscribers.

    I only knew one kid that had a TG16 growing up. I played it a few times and loved it, but they were hard to find, where I lived and expensive.

    I had an NES, Genesis and Game Boy and then eventually a PS1 by the time I was in high school. I've been a Sony guy since.
    I went for the Genesis to be different from my friends. I did regret having to trade systems with friends to play Final Fantasy games, but I loved the Genesis.

    I'm waiting on a TG16 mini. I missed out on it back in the day, and I am stoked to experience it now.

    Anyhow, I've watched a few of your videos now, and they are quality content!

    Reply

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