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The PC-FX was a video game console released by NEC in Japan. It was the 32-bit successor to NEC's PC Engine known in the US as the TurboGrafx-16.

Unlike the PC Engine the PC-FX was only ever released in Japan, where it is seen to have been a commercial failure compared to it's predecessors, unable to compete effectively with its fifth generation peers, it is completely incompatible with PC Engine Discs.

It was a real case of wrong timing, as it was a 2D machine (a 3D slot is in the back, but the card was never fully used) that was releasing just weeks after the Sony Playstation in early 1994, and nearly the same time as the Sega Saturn. NEC simply could not compete with either Sega and their arcade conversions, or Sony with their huge marketing might, and large 3rd party software support.

The console's main feature was being able to stream FMV (Full Motion Video) at 30 frames a second, this was not just confined to intro sequences, but also in the games themselves, Battle Heat and All Star Wrestling are good examples of these type of games, where the players inputs are played out onscreen in what looks like a cartoon.

Just 78 games were released, but staggered over a four year period. As software support was low, the console became known as a home to adult oriented dating sims and Hentai titles in it's later years.

Hudsonsoft once again partnered NEC producing software, but released just one shoot em up for the machine, which they were famous for producing on the PC Engine, but it was decided to keep these titles off the PC FX and concentrate on it's unique feature of FMV, so there were no Bomberman or PC Kid games either. One single platform game, Chip Chan Kick came out on the PC-FX.

Outside of Japan, the machine is a curio, with little to offer the western player, most games are very heavy with spoken Japanese, and therefore hard to play. There are just five titles that can be easily played by a non Japanese player, plus a handful of others that can be played, but with considerable guess work.

Physically the machine is like a small tower PC with two joystick ports on the front, the power switch and the CDs go under a flap on the top.

Also on the front is the memory card slot, which is behind a small door, the machine has it's own battery back up system with a battery capacitor installed on the board. The memory card has to have two AAA batteries inserted to retain the data.

It has a cursor driven GUI which has icons for playing photo CD, Karaoke, as well as the game launching one, there is also a memory management for the internal memory and separate card.

The machine has an internal PSU for 100v, so a step down converter is needed for other countries, under use the museum has found that even 110v does cause the machine to have difficulties in working smoothly. There are separate Red, White and yellow composite connectors, and also a socket for S-video on the rear.

The console is very complicated to get inside, there are a great many screws, springs, clips and also various plastic separators, this not only made it expensive to manufacture, but also maintain.

The PC-FX was NEC's last dedicated video game console, and was discontinued in February 1998.

This serial number for the console in our collection is 5Y04019YE.




Manufacturer: NEC
Date: 23rd December 1994

Other Systems Related To NEC PC-FX:

Item Manufacturer Date
NEC PC-8001 BE NEC 1979
NEC PC-6001 NEC 1981
NEC 8801 BE NEC December 1981
NEC PC-8201A NEC 1983
NEC PC-8201 NEC 1983
NEC APC Advanced Personal Computer NEC October 1983
NEC PC-9801 VM NEC 1985
NEC Starlet PC8401-A-LS NEC 1985
NEC PC-8300 NEC Corporation 1987
NEC PowerMate Portable Plus NEC Corporation 1987
NEC Mini 5 HA NEC Corporation 1987
NEC PowerMate Portable SX (APC-H7020X) NEC 1988
NEC Versa S/33 Laptop NEC Corporation 1994
NEC Life Touch Note Netbook NEC March 2011

This exhibit has a reference ID of CH31248. Please quote this reference ID in any communication with the Centre for Computing History.


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