Translations from Game Lab Vol. 195 -- November 2011 Issue

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GT is an abbreviation for Game & TV!

Mana-Sama's Nostalgic game inferno



Part 8: PC Engine GT

Company: NEC Home Electronics
Release date: December 1, 1990
Retail Price: 44,800 yen

Mobile [gaming] consoles became useful for when you had a little extra time while going out [or on a vacation]. This time let's introduce my favorite portable gaming console, the PC Engine GT.

Originally, the world acknowledged mobile game systems when the Game Boy was released around 1989.

Until then you could say things such as Game & Watch were games that you could not replace with others. However, on the Game Boy you could play various games. This became a big hit. Additionally, the early form of the popular "Tetris" was huge.

However, the screen was in monochrome, which at that time couldn't be helped, but its limits were sad. Incidentally, typical of Nintendo, a colored version was eventually crafted, but with having done that it intensified it's electricity consumption. It seemed you would have to do without the supposed ability to play games on a mobile gaming console outdoors as this became fatal [to the system].

In 1990, the following year after the Game Boy was released the PC Engine group introduced their colored mobile gaming system, the "PC Engine GT" into the market!

You could insert the magnificently colored Hu Card into the PC Engine GT, and enjoy playing games outside on the PC Engine at the same time. With the appearance of this dream-like mobile game console I was trembling with excitement. Furthermore, it was equipped with a TV tuner so you could watch TV programs as well, so for that time it was a groundbreaking built in function. "This is exactly what I've been searching for!" "NEC is the best!" it was something that made me clap and cheer!

Around then, a lot of people in my surroundings had Game Boys……. So I would show off the beauty of the PC Engine GT's screen and its high quality beautiful form saying, "What do you think of this! Isn't it cool?" and then I would start propagating it around! In comparison to the Game Boy, the graphics were like a difference between heaven and earth so everyone would be surprised and say "Cool! Its beautiful!"

However, as opposed to 12,000 yen for the Game Boy, the price of the PC Engine GT was 44,800 yen. Although at the present time it was the forerunner of familiar multi-functioning machines, the PC Engine GT was forced into a difficult battle due to its price.

Also, the PC Engine GT had even more faults. Since the liquid crystal screen was as small as 2.6 inches, what happened was the images were too small to see so making games for the GT style backfired. Moreover, at the time when you would pause [or interrupt] a game, you would have to enter in a password in one by one, but the letters were frequently too small to read.

Furthermore, for the liquid crystal colors you needed 6 batteries, and yet it wouldn't even hold for 3 hours……. As a result, it ended with a short lifespan. Aahh, poor PC Engine GT.

However, I would like to praise the spirit of NEC for developing a color liquid crystal technology at that time and for being brave enough to come out with a color mobile game system. After all, even the Game Boy was converted to color 8 years after the release of the PC Engine GT. I won't forget it. The gallant figure of the PC Engine shined in color at that time!

After that, NEC would never go any further to put an extreme game console out into the market again. (To be continued in the next issue)

Translation by Sarah @ Mana-Sama.net