PC-88 VA

From NEC Retro

PC88VA logo.png
PC-88 VA
Manufacturer: NEC
Release Date RRP Code
PC-88 VA


|site_name=NEC Retro

This teeny-tiny article needs some work. You can help us by expanding it.

The PC-88 VA is a computer released as part of the PC-8800 series in 1987.


While numerous PC-8800 computers had been released by NEC by this point, the PC-88 VA can be considered to be the "third generation" model, following the original PC-8801 and the PC-8801 mkII SR. It replaces the CPU of the mkII SR with a 16-bit V50 and adds an "V3 mode" for graphics, making it the most graphically capable line of PC-8800 computers (while still being backwards compatible with previous PC-8801 software).

The system also includes much more RAM and VRAM; 512KB and 256KB respectively, versus the 64KB (192KB in the MR and MH) and 48KB of previous generations. All of this was put in place so that the PC-88 VA could compete with the then-upcoming X68000 from Sharp (which incidentally debuted in the same month).

It is also the first to omit the "01" in "PC-8801", although the longer name would return in subsequent hardware revisions.

Technical Specifications





The PC-88 VA is not seen as a particularly successful machine, partly due to the ongoing existence of the technically superior PC-9800 series, which after already becoming the computers of choice for business, were becoming more commonplace in the home.

The "V3" graphics mode was also rarely utilised by developers, particularly those associated with video games, as by sticking with the stock V1 and V2 modes, games would continue to function with older hardware. Many games tapped into the PC-88 VA's sound hardware, however, though it essentially made the system more of a glorified sound card than an exciting new games format.

While the VA might have worked as a next replacement for the PC-8801 mkII SR line, NEC did not fully commit to it, as while hardware revisions in the PC-88 VA2 and PC-88 VA3 were released, it continued to release SR updates, including the PC-8801 FA and PC-8801 MA later in the year.

List of games

Promotional material


PC-8800 series hardware
PC-8801 (1981) | PC-8801 mkII (1983) | PC-8801 mkII SR (TR | FR | MR | FH | MH | FA | MA | FE | MA2 | FE2 | MC) (1985-1989) | PC-88 VA (VA2 | VA3) (1987-1988)
haven't worked it all out yet