PC Engine (TurboGrafx-16) emulators

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The PC Engine (Japanese Model)
The PC Engine (PCE) was a 16-bit system released by NEC in 1990, as a collaboration between Hudson Soft and NEC. It saw a limited US release as the TurboGrafx-16 and support dwindled soon afterwards. Europe only got imported power-converted versions of either the US (in Spain, UK) or Japanese models (in Benelux regions). It could run HuCard cartridges.

PC Engine CD (PC-CD), also known as the TurboGrafx-CD in the US, was an add-on to the PC Engine system that could run CD-based games, much like the Sega CD but better supported in Japan. The PC Engine Duo, also known as the Turbo-Duo in the US, was another hardware revision that combined the original PCE and PC-CD hardware in one unit with more RAM, as yet another failed attempt to relaunch the failing console in the West.

The PC Engine GT, or the Turbo-Express in the US, was a very rare handheld model of the original PCE hardware, in the same vein as the Sega Nomad (a portable Sega Genesis / Megadrive). It did include some exclusive features like the TurboLink multiplayer feature (used in a flight sim called Falcon) but wasn't widely supported.

The system was to receive an enhanced model with true 16-bit hardware back in 1990, originally called the PC Engine 2. It was eventually rushed to the market only in Japan as the PC Engine SuperGrafx lacking much of the promised features, and was a commercial failure. It was backwards compatible, and only 7 exclusive games were released for it.

Emulators[edit]

The PC Engine SuperGrafx
Name Operating System(s) Latest Version PCE-CD (TG-CD) PCE2 (SG) Libretro Core Accuracy Recommended
PC
Mednafen PCE Multi-platform 0.9.45 High
Mednafen PCE-Fast Multi-platform 0.9.45 Mid
MAME Multi-platform 0.186 ? High
BizHawk Windows 1.12.1 High
ePCEngine Windows 3/18/2017
Final Burn Alpha Windows 0.2.97.39
higan Windows, Linux, OS X 0.102
Hu-Go! Windows, Linux 2.12
MagicEngine Windows, OS X 1.1.3 Mid
Ootake Windows 2.79 ? Mid
pcejin (Mednafen 0.8.x) Windows GitHub Mid
Turbo Engine Windows 0.32 High
Console
Virtual Console Wii n/a High
HuE PlayStation Portable 0.70 ? ?
Mednafen PCE-Fast* Multi-platform 0.9.45 Mid

*Only available on consoles as a libretro core (e.g. RetroArch).

Comparisons[edit]

  • Mednafen is great, it has two PCE cores: PCE-Accurate and PCE-Fast, its operated by command line. pcejin is based on an older version of Mednafen's PC Engine core but with a GUI. Linux users should use Mednafen with a GTK GUI[1].
  • RetroArch uses Mednafen's PCE-Fast core.
  • MagicEngine only has a free demo available. The full version costs €15 EUR. There is no reason to buy it when there are better free options available.
  • Ootake is okay for general purposes.