1.0: What is the PC-FX? - The PC-FX is a 32-Bit CD based home game console that was made by NEC and Hudson Soft of Japan. It is shaped like a white tower, and because of this, the letters "PC" can relate to it in a way that it looks like a mini-tower computer. The letters "FX" came from the prototype name "IronMan FX" (which was created by Hudson, then later evolved into the PC-FX - see question 16 on the subject). The system was released on December 24, 1994, and official support for the system was stopped in 1998.
2.0: Where can you get a PC-FX? - Well, if you live in Japan, you can probably still go to a used game store and find one, but if you live in America or Europe, eBay is the only option. Mail order import places like NCS, and a select few other places used to stock the system and games, but no longer. The system has been discontiuned by NEC since ‘98, so getting the PC-FX and games can be a fairly hard task these days.
3.0: Is the PC-FX worth it? - I get this question a lot...and is one of the hardest questions to answer. If you love the PC Engine or TurboDuo systems, or are a hard-core NEC fan, odds are that you would like the PC-FX. Out of the many people who I have talked to who have the bought the PC-FX and gave their reactions to it, about 98% of them have reacted positively to the purchase. But on the other hand, that number went down when asked about some of the games. You see, the PC-FX does not have a lot of the great games the PC Engine/TurboDuo had. It is not really a "hard-core" game players system, i.e.: It doesn't have a lot of action/shooter/fighting type games. The majority of the games is either Puzzle, or Anime/Digital Comic games. But it does have a few action/adventure games, as well as the occasional fighter, and finally a shooting game. Over half of the people I have talked to say that they would have liked more "interactively" in some of the games that they have played, but on the other hand, most of the purchasers knew what they were going to get, so they buy the game anyway (this is mainly because of the limited number of games being released every month). Now, NEC is not being sloppy with the games, it is just that NEC thinks that Anime/Digital Comic games are more popular with game players (which is mostly true in Japan).
4.0: Are the games easy to get? - Not these days. Most of the games are very hard to get and you can mostly only get them off of eBay. NCS had the largest stock of PC-FX games anywhere, and sometimes you can find a person selling some games on the Usenet, or on the Turbo Digest List.
5.0: What ever happened to "FX Fighter" for the PC-FX? - See the section “Facts & Rumors” for info and photos.
6.0: What ever happened to “Lords of Thunder FX” aka “Lords of Thunder 2” for the PC-FX? - See the section “Facts & Rumors” for info and photos.
7.0: What ever happened to “Super Star Soldier FX” aka “Super Star Soldier 2” for the PC-FX? - See the section “Facts & Rumors” for info and photos.
8.0: What is “Hi-Ten Bomberman” for the PC-FX?/Was there a Bomberman game for the FX? - See the section “Facts & Rumors” for info and photos.
9.0: Was there ever plans for a Ys V on the PC-FX? - Falcom (the creators of the Ys series in Japan) never had any plans for another Ys game on the PC-FX system. Soon after the system came out, Falcom was quoted on saying that, “We will never release a Ys game on the PC-FX.” (source unknown)
10.0: What is the current price of the PC-FX? - Currently, the PC-FX retails for as low as $120, up to over $300 depending on who you buy from. The Japanese price can be lower, but since it is rare these days prices fluctuate widely.
11.0: Did NEC ever thought about bringing the PC-FX to American shores? - NEC nor Hudson Soft ever thought about bringing the PC-FX to America. The reason for this is because the games that were available for the FX were not suited for the American market. When the FX first came out, NEC did toy with the idea of releasing it in America, but quickly made the choice not to. Turbo Zone Direct has been asked many times about making the FX available for import, but they had no control over the issue because the FX is not included in TZD's game distributors.
12.0: Can the PC-FX do polygons? - Yes and no. The FX does have the ability to do polygons, but the number is undetermined. Evidence of the FX's abilities to do polygons does exist however--with the PC-FXGA. Almost all of the PC-FXGA games that are included with it, and the developer software are all polygon based, however no PC-FX released game utilized any kind of Polygon technology.
13.0: With that, what kind of games were released? - Digital Comic, RPG, Fighting, Action, Puzzle, & one shooter game were released. The Digital Comics are made of a menu/situation type of game play, the RPG's are 2D sprite based, with other elements added in - i.e.: Like Ys layout but with better graphics. The Fighting games that are available are FMV based. The important thing to remember about FMV based games on the FX are that the action is based on the action of the player. In Battle Heat, the action is turn-based, where you do any move you like, then the other player can counter, throw, or do one of their moves. This creates very addicting game play, and almost never gets boring. The best example of a action/adventure type game is Team Innocent, where you explore a station by controlling your character around and figuring out situations you come upon. The Puzzle games are like Mahjongg, and Pachinco (games that the Japanese really love!). Of course, all of the games have superb Japanese Animated sequences. The best feature of the FX is the FMV compression. The PC-FX has the best FMV abilities of any system on the market today. The FMV is so smooth and crisp and it will amaze you.
14.0: Is there any English versions of the PC-FX games? - Mostly all of the games are in Japanese. The RPG's and Digital Comics require a knowledge of the Japanese to understand the story, but if you don't mind figuring out what to do (like I do!) then they can be a good challenge. The fighters don't really require any Japanese to know what to do, the only challenge is to figure out the moves.
15.0: Do you enjoy the system immensely? - Yes, I really enjoy my PC-FX a lot. I love just having it! I love the type of games, and I am not disappointed with any of them at all. Though many people think that the PC-FX was a failure, I think it was a success in the fact that I like to play the system, and it keeps me entertained for hours. The PC-FX is a very different type of system, with different kinds of games.
16.0: What is the Hudson Soft "IronMan FX"? - See the section “Facts & Rumors” for info and photos.
17.0: What is the status of the PC-FX now? - Well, the PC-FX has been officially discontiuned from NEC HE since ‘98. No word has been said of any kind of upgrade, nor a new official NEC system to date. NEC has since developed games for other consoles.
18.0: What are the PC-FX system specs? - Please see the “System Overview” section.
19.0: Is the PC-FX backwards compatible with the PC Engine / TurboDuo / TG-16 / SuperGrafx / TurboExpress etc.? - No. The code for PC-FX titles is completely different from the 16-Bit generation, and vice-versa. Plus, the PC-FX would need the chipset of the 16-Bit machines to even run the games. NEC HE decided not to make it backwards compatible to cut costs, and plus--why would you want it to be compatible when you already had a PC Engine? (in Japan at least!).