Saturday, January 17, 2015

TurboGrafx-CD Super System Card (1993)

TurboGrafx-CD Super System Card advertisement
TurboGrafx-CD Super System Card ad published in Turbo Force (January 1993)

Historical Background


As I've written the last couple of weeks, NEC's TurboGrafx-16 and CD-ROM systems were not exactly home-run hits in North America. The original system had been heavily discounted by 1992 and the Turbo Duo, while attractive on paper, was a sort of last breath in trying to attract "serious" 16-bit buyers.

NEC would complicate things even more by selling the TurboGrafx-CD Super System Card as a stand-alone product. The card gave your system more RAM for an improved CD-based video game experience. But, if you chose to, you could by the Turbo Duo and get the whole enchilada in one complete and elegant package: TurboGrafx-16, CD-ROM and Super System Card, plus a bunch of very good games. 

You could also buy the Super System Card and receive the same CD games sold with the Turbo Duo. Curiously enough, you could only order the card by phone. It was not sold in stores, at least not by the time this ad ran in the Turbo Force magazine. So, you really had to love NEC's system to even be able to see the thing. 

As I explained before, the 16-bit market was overly saturated in North America for this "otaku" strategy to make any sense at all. Sadly, TurboGrafx-16 sales never achieved the level of success of the Japanese market, where the PC Engine, even to this day, is very appreciated amongst Akihabara scourgers. Retro game stores in that neighborhood still sell a large variety of Turbo Chip (Hu Card) games.   

Graphical Analysis 

It's not pretty, but it's functional. The TurboGrafx-CD Super System Card print ad has a lot of text for a good reason: it would be wise to read the entire copy to understand NEC's perplexing marketing strategy. 

Since you're investing in a piece of hardware, this was a rational decision by the average games, not an emotionally-driven one. The emotional part of the equation was underscored by showing screenshots of the new and improved games you would be able to play if you bought into this whole NEC craziness. As you might imagine, the TurboGrafx-CD Super System Card cards sold in very small numbers.


TurboGrafx-CD Super System Card Print Ad Copy:

For the super low price of $65 you could choose the Super System Card without the extra software. 
But, for the los price of $95 you get the Super System Card + You will also receive three games in one CD: 
  • Gate of Thunder 
  • Bonk's Adventure
  • Bonk's Revenge

+ $50 Value Coupon Booklet 
This coupon booklet gives you ten $5 coupons for savings on any TurboChip or CD software for use in the TurboGrafx systems. This offer is a great way to expand your game software library. Your only problem is choosing which games to use the coupons on! 
The Choice is yours! 
The Super System Card will add to your thrills with the addition of four times the memory capacity of the older TurboGrafx-CD games. With this increased storage, you will experience incredible sounds and scaling graphics. TurboGrafx-CD system users have no worries! With the Super System Card you will have all the power of a Turbo Duo System. It completely enhances the TurboGrafx-CD system so you can play all the awesome CD games!
These Super CD Games Coming Soon! 
Dragon Slayer
Available Now
$49.99  
Shape Shifter
Available Now
$49.99 
Prince of Persia
Available Now
$49.99  
Shadow of the Beast
Available Now
$49.99  
Loom
Available Now
$49.99  
Forgotten Worlds
Available Now
$49.99  
Camp California
January '93
$49.99  
Lords of Thunder
February '93
$49.99  
Dungeon Explorer II
March '93
$49.99  
Riot Zone
March '93
$49.99 

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