Turbo Everdrive Product Review by Doug Titchmarsh (dougtitchmarsh)
Having tried the PC Engine / TurboGrafx on an emulator I wanted the actual hardware to play on. Ebay came up trumps where you can still pick up new and boxed systems. The next big problem is which games to buy, the TurboGrafx system is locked by region so you have to be careful which area to buy from.
That narrows the search options down and also seems to push the prices up, as the Japanese version games are plentiful and cheap, whereas the NTSC version I got is much harder to buy for although US games work. It was after paying a lot of money for some very poor games I decided I needed to try first.
Emulation is OK to try a game but doing it on the original hardware is what I what I needed to do before wasting any more money. This is where the Turbo Everdrive comes in. You can load roms downloaded from the internet onto an SD card and play them as they were meant to be played, on the original console. Obviously the issue of Piracy crops up once this is possible, and yes you can just load up all the roms and never buy another game, but that's not why we're here. The joy is in having the right cartridge with a good playable game to enjoy which sits proudly in your collection.
So with that out of the way, how does the Turbo Everdrive look and work? It's a basic open card, a circuit board that is all open to you to see what is there, and it slots in the cartridge slot of the TGFX. A micro SD card is used for storage of games so it's easy to load directly from your PC using any USB - micro SD adapter. Once the roms are on and the SD card is in, slot the card into the cartridge slot and when you turn on your TurboGrafx you have a menu listing your games, use the joypad to select a game and a button to start it up. It really is that simple to use.
My only gripe would be the price of the Everdrive, it's not cheap by any means but that is offset by the money you could save by only getting the games you like for the system once you've tried them. I'd already spent a third of the cost of an Everdrive on 2 games which frankly sucked, avoiding a few of those would pay for the Turbo Everdrive unit so it's not a major put off for me.
Overall the Turbo Everdrive for the TurboGrafx 16 is a simple to use piece of tech, ideal for trying games out before you buy. It could look a little better, and the price seems a little high.