No, seriously. I’m not kidding.
If you’re reading a site like this, you should know what the Turbo Grafx 16 is, but just in case you do not, here’s a little history lesson.
The Turbo Grafx 16 was a home video game console released in the late 1980s by Hudson Soft and the NEC Corporation. It advertised itself as a 16-bit console, but in fact had an 8-bit CPU. Its standard games ran on something similar to a cartridge, but was more akin to a card. A very unique look for the time.
It eventually also got a peripheral that played higher graphics CD games, similar to the Sega CD. By pure coincidence, the Castlevania game I mention in my bio, Akumajō Dracula X: Chi no Rondo (aka, Rondo of Blood), was one of those CD games and released only in Japan. Yes, what I consider to be one of the greatest masterpieces ever made was exclusive to this dumpster fire.
The console only sold relatively well in Japan, where it was known as the PC Engine. In North America and elsewhere, it was a failure due to lacking third party support and having underpowered hardware compared to the Sega Genesis/Mega Drive and eventual competitor, the Super Nintendo Entertainment System.
Yet somehow, considering how few American households actually had this thing, Kanye West’s was one of them.
Can he do this – just jack a name off of someone else’s intellectual property? I’m not entirely sure. Again, the TG16 was a joint venture by Hudson and NEC. Hudson Soft died a few years back and to my understanding, everything they owned was absorbed by Konami. NEC still exists and works in Japan with computer infrastructures. I wouldn’t be surprised, given the nature of the two companies, if Hudson kept the naming rights to the TG16 and that eventually transferred over to Konami. A Konami vs. Kanye legal battle would be fun to watch. I’m not sure who I’d want to lose more.
In all seriousness, I’m not too thrilled by Kanye’s naming choice here. I don’t follow mainstream music closely, so what Kanye is doing with his career is of no concern to me. Although, I must say, I rather love that subtweet he directed towards Wiz Khalifa saying that Wiz had distracted from his “creative process.”
No, I’m upset at the fact that if Kanye actually goes through with this, he’ll likely drive the price up on what’s already a scarce retro console.
Right now, a loose TG16 will run you about $100 according to PriceCharting.com, which is more than what the Genesis and SNES will cost. If Kanye does drop an album by the same name, I can only imagine how ridiculous that graph from Price Charting is going to look in the future. In other words, if you want a TG16 in your collection, now may be a good time to invest in one. I, in the meantime, will continue looking into getting an RGB modded PC Engine CD for me to play Rondo of Blood on.