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The TurboGrafx CD versus Sega CD conundrum where both classic and current gamers collide

July 13, 2016

Yes, this debate is still going on....at least with a number of gamers. Back when the TurboGrafx CD first made its debut, many game fans were baffled as to what a CD based game system might offer.

Aside from what seemed to be a hefty price tag, it also for the first time gave home consoles a taste of not only CD quality sound and music, but also started them down a road of that beloved (at the time) full motion video that was so popular back in the early to mid 90s.

Then along came Sega to dip their noses in the mix and taking on a piece of the action with NEC. Did they make the same impact with gamers, or did they lose a few in the process? A debate that is still raging on even to this day for those of you who either grew up during that era, or want to take on classic game consoles as your new hobby.

So while we probably won't change each other's minds over this, let's start off by taking a look at hardware specs, which of course mean nothing when it comes to game quality, but nonetheless let's take another look.

TurboGrafx-16 CD - PC Engine CD

CPU - 8-bit HuC6280, effective clock of either 1.79 or 7.16MHz

Memory - 8KB Work RAM, 64KB Video RAM, 192KB additional memory (System 3.0)

Display - 256×224, 512×224, 512×240 screen resolutions. 512 available colours, 481 on-screen colours.

With that aside, the games argument is always where it's at. After all, without good games, it makes no difference what kind of hardware specs you have right? *Cough* Jaguar....*cough*.

Along with your Turbo package also came what many considered to be a pretty good game. Bonk's Adventure, which even to this day still gets some well deserved attention. A personal favorite of mine being Castlevania: Rondo of Blood.

Castlevania: Rondo of Blood

Too bad that last Xbox release of Bonk didn't make it, but then again Hudson Soft was having financial difficulties and it looked like the future of the Bonk series was in peril.

Still, an army of both Hu-Card and CD, Super CD, and even Arcade CD (Sapphire) games were just what the doctor ordered, and while many argue that the system wasn't a true 16-bit console (had an 8-bit CPU), it did deliver many games that were major contenders to some of its competitors at the time.


Sega CD

CPU: Motorola 68000 16-bit processor at 12.5 MHz (also works in conjunction with Genesis / Mega Drive CPU 7.5MHz)

RAM - 6 MBit Main
512 Kbit PCM
128 Kbit CD-ROM data cache memory
64 Kbit backup

Display Graphics - Graphics Processor: Custom ASICNumber of simultaneous colors on screen: 64 out of 512

Display resolution: 320 x 224 pixels and 256 x 224, video size from ¼ to full screen

Advanced compression scheme

Software-based upgrade

Scaling and rotation effects

Also owned one of these puppies, and for good reason too. I just had to get games like Sonic CD, Lunar Eternal Blue, and another personal favorite sci-fi of mine, Rise of the Dragon. Like the TurboDuo before it, the Sega CD delivered an awesome library of games that kept you busy for days.

Lunar - The Silver Star

Now this is where the argument came in. Mostly in the form of hardware discussion. Sure there were benefits to having both, some better than others, but do people even discuss the games anymore? Or is it all just about muscle?

One person dives into that with a video of his own, and takes a swipe at both systems, but feel free to add your own thoughts in the comment section below.


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