PC Engine Duo

From NEC Retro

PCEngineDuo logo.png
PCEngineDuo set.png
PC Engine Duo
Manufacturer: NEC Home Electronics
Release Date RRP Code
Super CD-ROM²
¥59,80059,800 PI-TG8
Super CD-ROM²


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The PC Engine Duo (PCエンジンDuo) is a home console manufactured by NEC Home Electronics and originally released in Japan in September 1991.


The PC Engine Duo is an attempt to "simplify" the complex nature of the PC Engine and its growing number of add-ons. It is essentially a PC Engine and Super CD-ROM² (at this point not yet released separately) rolled into one unit - a means to play HuCard, CD-ROM² and Super CD-ROM² software without the need for extra purchases.

It also integrates the functionality of the Super System Card, in a sense becoming the console of choice for PC Engine enthusiasts. It was cheaper and less cumbersome than buying all of these products separately, and is seen to be more aesthetically pleasing than some of the design decisions NEC made with their consoles during the early 1990s.

Integrating the system cards into the console means that unless the user is running Arcade CD-ROM² titles, the PC Engine Duo's HuCard slot remains empty when playing CD-based games. This means Duo systems are open to a form of software piracy - unlicensed publishers could offer a special HuCard to bypass security concerns, essentially creating a range of Duo-only software (disregarding that for a short period, all Super CD-ROM² software was effectively Duo-only).

However, given that the CD unit is no longer detachable, the PC Engine Duo cannot be used in conjunction with a PC Engine SuperGrafx nor a PC-8801 MC. The removal of the PC Engine's rear expansion port (and the differing shape of the unit) also makes it incompatible with several other PC Engine accessories.

In North America the machine was tweaked and released as the TurboDuo.

Magazine articles

Main article: PC Engine Duo/Magazine articles.

Physical scans

PC Engine Duo, JP
PCEngineDuo JP Box Front.jpg
PC Engine Duo, FR


CD-ROM² systems
CD-ROM² (1988) | Super CD-ROM² (1991) | Arcade CD-ROM² (1994)
CD-ROM² (Interface Unit | RAU-30) (1988) | TurboGrafx-CD (1989) | PC Engine Duo (1991) | Super CD-ROM² (Super CD-ROM² Adaptor) (1991) | TurboDuo (1992) | PC Engine Duo-R (1993) | LaserActive (1993)
System Cards
System Card | Super System Card | Arcade Card Pro/Duo
Games Express CD Card