In a somewhat surprising move, the long-dormant TurboGrafx name has been resurrected by Konami. The company applied for a trademark on the term on December 1 and is currently waiting examination. On the surface, this does seem like an odd move – but Konami does own Hudson Soft and its properties. Hudson Soft was one of the biggest contributors of games for the TurboGrafx-16/Turbo CD. Outside of the Wii Virtual Console, the TG-16’s library hasn’t received much love, and a modern-day Virtual Console release or perhaps better yet, a mix of VC support and a physical compilation would expose the system’s games to a new generation of fans.
The trademark is for games accessible via phones, PCs, handheld consoles, and gaming consoles – so it seems like they’re definitely aiming for either a line of games to launch using the TurboGrafx name to evoke nostalgia, or re-releases of existing products. Virtual Console releases would be a no-brainer, while a TG16 compilation on PC would probably do quite well since its library is more niche and its games have never seen a PC re-release. Konami itself crafted one of the Turbo CD’s biggest games with Castlevania: Rondo of Blood, and could use that as a trojan horse of sorts to star front and center for a physical compilation since it’s part of a well-known franchise.
Right now, there’s a lot of things that this could lead to – but nothing official. Realistically, re-releases are the best bet although it wouldn’t be too shocking if the TurboGrafx name was set up as a sub-label akin to Ultra games on the NES. This wouldn’t be needed due to restrictions from console makers now – but it would come in handy as a way for Konami to release some core-gaming products without using the Konami name, which has gone through quite the rough patch over the past few years. Using another name to connote a different style of game release isn’t new as Eidos made “Fresh Games” for its niche products in the PS2 days to help set them apart from the more mainstream-friendly Eidos-branded games. Hopefully, more details are released about what Konami plans to do with this trademark in 2017. Re-releases of the entire Bomberman or Bonk franchises would be a lot of fun.