Konami may well have earned the “most surprising announcement of E3” trophy with Tuesday’ night’s unexpected reveal of the TurboGrafx-16 Mini (known as the PC Engine Mini in Japan and the PC Engine Core Grafx Mini in Europe).
Price and release date were not announced, but Konami did reveal six games for the US and European editions of the plug-and-play HDMI system, with more to be announced in the future:
- New Adventure Island
- Ninja Spirit
- Ys Book I & II
- Dungeon Explorer
- Alien Crush
The Japanese edition has a somewhat distinct list of announced games thus far, including well-remembered classics like Super Star Soldier, PC Kid (a.k.a. Bonk’s Adventure), and Castlevania: Rondo of Blood (later ported to the SNES and Dracula X). Versions of these games may be coming for other regions, but they have yet to be announced. Japan and Europe also get a different design for the system’s case itself, modeled after the squarish PC Engine, while US customers will get the larger, rectangular TurboGrafx design.
Konami says all versions of the system will feature standard functions like quick saves, virtual simulated CRT scanlines, and the original 4:3 aspect ratio display. An optional multitap will also be available to allow for up for five-player simultaneous play.
The latest plug-and-play HDMI retro system follows a trend that now includes miniature editions of the NES, Super NES, PlayStation, and Neo Geo, with a licensed Genesis Mini coming in September. Many of the games on those systems, though, have been re-released in myriad forms for many different platforms over the years. TurboGrafx games, on the other hand, have only been re-released en masse as part of the Virtual Console collections for the Wii and Wii U. Original TurboGrafx hardware and software can command significant prices in today’s secondhand market as well.
Konami gained control of the TurboGrafx/PC Engine brand in 2011 with the purchase of Hudson Soft, which designed the original system in the late ’80s (with manufacturing licensed out to NEC).