[ Retro Scan of the Week ] Too Little, Too Late?

April 21st, 2008 by Benj Edwards

TurboGrafx-16 Take Three Ad - 1992TTI took three of these and never woke up.

[ From Video Games and Computer Entertainment, November 1992 ]

Discussion topic of the week: Pretend it’s 1991 and you’re giving advice to NEC executives on how to save the TurboGrafx-16 in the United States. What do you say?

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13 Responses to “[ Retro Scan of the Week ] Too Little, Too Late?”

  1. Kitsunexus Says:

    Well, guys, because American gamers have no sense, no matter what you do you’re hosed. If you get a headstart and fold the company right now, the IRS won’t repossess your children.

  2. Jim Ulrich Says:

    With the release of the Super NES, nothing NEC did was going to help them in America. The HuCards, lack of third party support and only one control port really screwed them. Ironically, with the Wii Virtual Console (and the many TG-16 games on it), Hudson’s profits have grown over the past few years.

  3. Benj Edwards Says:

    Apparently NEC responded to their troubles by forming TTI and releasing the TurboDuo. Do you think that if they had released the Duo earlier that they might have had a better chance of competing with Nintendo and Sega?

  4. Geoff V. Says:

    “Do you think that if they had released the Duo earlier that they might have had a better chance of competing with Nintendo and Sega?”
    That’s a big maybe.

    My advice would have been to push distribution into more stores. I remember seeing SEGA and NES everywhere, but NEC was in Toys R Us and mall game stores (that I can remember). Parents were more likely going to buy it if they saw it when they were out and about.

  5. Geoff V. Says:

    “China Warrior… How could we go wrong?”

  6. Dennis - SGMM Says:

    Nintendo has Mario, Sega has Sonic, and TurboGrafix has?

  7. Zoyous Says:


  8. Guyjin Says:

    Too bad the real HuCards look nothing like the ones pictured. The ones we got were bland and boring.

  9. guyjin Says:

    Also, no Turbografx-16 controller cord was ever that long. The joystick, maybe, but never the turbo pad.

  10. nat Says:

    The console absolutely buried the Megadrive (Genesis) in Japan sales-wise, and stole the #1 spot from the Famicom (NES) shortly after it was released.

    I think TTi actually did a much better job than NEC did in the early days with regards to US marketing. Trouble is, it was too late.

    If the Turbo had the same kind of marketing in the US from the get-go, things might have been different. They also could’ve worked on importing more of the Japanese library’s better games. Most of the games we got were good, but there weren’t enough of them. When you consider in Japan the console had almost 1,000 games over the course of it’s life, this is just unforgivable.

  11. turbo D Says:

    Wow, thats a cool ad, lmao. I like the alternate hucard art, it reminds me of the hk pirates!

  12. John Says:

    “Nintendo has Mario, Sega has Sonic, and TurboGrafix has?” Keith Courage In Alpha Zones.

  13. EllisGL Says:

    @Benj Edwards: They had an accessory to do 4 controllers.

    @Dennis: They had Bonk. But R-Type was the most popular game.

    Even thou that NEC designed a system that could beat other console in the amount of color display (in a frame – it was software hack), it was too expensive. They had some great plans, but NEC America Home Electronics division was hurting from many other things too. Most of their stuff was great – just too damned pricey.

    I did have a tie to NEC thru family and friends and I did work there later on.. But NEC in America has been killing itself off due to the fact they are trying to kiss the ass of NEC Japan.. I could keep going on with all the politics – but I wont..

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