PC Engine GT (TurboExpress)

The PC Engine GT was a handheld gaming system which was released in Japan in 1990. It was released in North America as the TurboExpress. The GT could play all PC Engine (TurboGrafx-16) game cards so on launch gamers had a large library of games to choose from.

When it was launched it was the most advanced handheld gaming system available, with it’s Hudson Soft HuC6280 processor being clocked at either 1.79 or 7.16 Mhz. Just like it’s console equivalent, it could display up to 481 colours (from a palette of 512) at the one time.

PC Engine GT

Games were displayed on a resolution of 400 by 270 pixels and it was powered by 8kb of RAM.

There was a TV Tuner available which included cables to let you use it as a monitor (why anyone would though is beyond me!). There was also link cable which let you play games against other GT/TurboExpress users.

Although it did sell over one million units, it wasn’t particularly successful. A lot of the hardware which was used in the device was brand new so users encountered a lot of problems with their screens (dead pixels) and sound.

Battery life was also very bad too, with users needing to use 6 batteries for just 2-3 hours of gameplay. This was less than the Atari Lynx and the Sega Game Gear, both of which had poor battery life. And since games were written for it’s parent console and not for the device itself, many games proved difficult to play because of the small screen (only 2.6 inches).


2 years after the release of the GT, NEC and Hudson released the PC Engine LT, another portable device which could play PC Engine games.