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Turbografx-16 Mini, reviewed: Time travel in a box

  • Street: Ostervoldgade 81
  • City: Frederiksberg C
  • State: Iowa
  • Country: Denmark
  • Zip/Postal Code: 1960
  • İlan Tarihi: Eylül 24, 2020 3:42 am
  • Bitiş Tarihi: 56 days, 10 saat


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The Turbografx-16 Mini’s controller, in my kid’s hands.
Scott Stein/CNET
Looking for a way to stay entertained feels like a full-time job right now, compared to a few months ago. The Nintendo Switch – /reviews/nintendo-switch-review/ is still the hot console to buy, but it’s hard to find one in stock. The PlayStation 4 – /reviews/sony-playstation-4-review/ and Xbox One – /reviews/microsoft-xbox-one-review/ are easier to get hold of, but both are threatened with near-term obsolescence, with new models promised – /news/sony-ps5-vs-microsoft-xbox-series-x-game-on-for-holiday-2020/ by the end of 2020. 


Turbografx-16 Mini

$100 at Amazon –

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How it stacks up

Nintendo Wii U – /reviews/nintendo-wii-u-review/
7.0 – /reviews/nintendo-wii-u-review/

Microsoft Xbox One S – /reviews/microsoft-xbox-one-s-review/
8.3 – /reviews/microsoft-xbox-one-s-review/

$300 –

Nintendo Switch Lite – /reviews/nintendo-switch-lite-review/
8.1 – /reviews/nintendo-switch-lite-review/

$200 –

LikeA ton of faithfully remastered Turbografx-16 gamesRetro case design has a collector’s item feelController has extra-long cableBuilt-in game saves

Don’t LikeOnly comes with one controllerNo AC adapter (use your own)Some games are Japanese-onlyMore obscure game library may not be for you

What about a microconsole to bide the time — something like a $100 games-included retro box? We’ve already seen the NES Classic – /reviews/nintendo-nes-classic-edition-review/ and SNES Classic – /reviews/nintendo-super-nes-classic-edition-review/, the PlayStation Classic – /reviews/sony-playstation-classic-review/ and the Sega Genesis Mini – /reviews/sega-genesis-mini-retro-console-review/. Now there’s the more obscure Turbografx-16 Mini – .There was a time, back when Crazy Eddie – was a thing, when I envied a weird video game system that I was curious about but never owned. That system was the Turbografx-16 – /news/flashback-1989-gaming-20-years-ago/.

Nestled between the 8-bit years of the NES and Sega Master System and the 16-bit glory of SNES and Sega Genesis, the Turbografx-16 was always weird. It arrived before the Sega Mega Drive in Japan, in 1987, when it was the “PC Engine.” It arrived after the Genesis in the US (Aug. 29, 1989, while the Genesis launched Aug. 14). It had 8-bit processing with 16-bit graphics. It was made by NEC. It played games on little cards. It had a pinball game with demons called Devil’s Crush.The Turbografx-16 Mini (right), next to the SNES Classic by Nintendo – http://www.cbsnews.com/search/?q=Nintendo (left).
Scott Stein/CNET
I was in love from afar. I was even curious about the launch game, Keith Courage in Alpha Zones.Considering the recent retro-reboot console wars of mini game systems, it was probably only a matter of time before the Turbografx-16 would arrive. It’s here, in the form of an HDMI-connected self-contained system with 57 games. I’ve been playing it with my kids to see if my childhood obsession was warranted. 

The Turbografx-16 Mini is made by Konami, and comes in several shapes depending on the region (PC Engine in Europe and Asia, or Turbografx-16 in North America.) The US version has that long shape I remember. It’s a simulacrum: The card slot doesn’t work and there’s only one power switch. The back part is just a basic plastic cover to protect the cords. The Turbografx-16 Mini contents, unboxed.
Scott Stein/CNET
The mini-console’s plastic case is bigger than the SNES Classic or Genesis Classic. The US model is even bigger than the European and Japanese PC Engine case. I would have loved if it were a little smaller — half the appeal of retro mini consoles is the collector’s-item look of the thing.It comes with one USB controller, but the system has two USB ports. It also comes with an HDMI cable (nice) and Micro-USB cable for charging, but no AC adapter (not nice, and a weird omission), so you’ll need to use one of your own. I used the AC adapter from the NES Classic.The one controller looks and feels like an NES controller, sort of. It’s got two action buttons, a “run” and “select” button, and a directional pad that’s good enough. The two action buttons come with turbo switches for rapid fire, which ends up being handy in the unbelievable number of shooters on this console. The controller cable is extra long, far longer than the short NES – http://search.usa.gov/search?affiliate=usagov&query=short%20NES and SNES Classic controller cords. You could stretch it across a room just fine.Note the USB controller ports, and the extra-long controller cable.
Scott Stein


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