Earlier this year a company called Terraonion released the Super SD System 3 for around $300 USD. This is an all in one device that plays HuCards and PC Engine CD-ROMS all from an SD Card. It also includes RGB support and stereo audio.
This is my full review of the unit. Is it worth it? Lets check it out !
Purchase a Super SD System 3 –
Cable I purchased –
Thanks to Todd’s Nerd Cave –
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the fourth generation of videogame systems was for me the best era in video gaming Nintendo and Sega dominated the headlines with the Super NES and Sega Genesis while SNK had their Neo Geo AES capturing the high-end arcade market the fourth player NEC released their system the pc engine in 1997 known as the turbo graphics 16 in the USA it failed to compete with sony and nintendo but in japan the pc engine was much more successful with an estimated 4 million units sold and for me the pc engine has to be one of the most underrated systems ever made with so many classics and hidden gems for the system its relative lack of exposure in the West makes it very easy to overlook a stock PC engine comes in a small white form factor that's just a little bigger than the size of a CD jewel case and by themselves they aren't too expensive games come on hew cards a proprietary storage medium for the games that are all around the same size as a credit card in 1988 a cd-rom add-on was released but in order to use it you would need the interface unit which connects the CD drive to the console and provides common power and additional composite video outputs a standard PC engine only has RF output and one popular modification is to RGB mod the device to load cd-rom games you need a super system card when you plug this you card into the PC engine and power it on the console detects the CD ROM BIOS and will wait for a disk to be inserted pc engine CD games add another dimension to its already impressive library of great games many classics such as Castlevania Rondo of blood is book 1 & 2 sapphire and many great arcade ports came on CD only and let me tell you the price of many of these games over the past few years has gotten so expensive that it's one of the hardest systems to collect for and that's where the terror onion Super SD System 3 comes into this particular device attaches to your pc engine and gives you the ability to load both hugh card games and cd-rom games all from an SD card for the cost of $300 it also provides full RGB output for the best possible picture quality as well as stereo audio in fact this particular device the Terra Onion Super SD System 3 should be the only device add-on you'll ever need for your PC engine now standard disclaimer Terra Onion did send me this particular unit for review but as always my opinions are my own and you guys know by now that I call it how it is so with that said let's go ahead and take a look at this unit and see how well it actually performs opening up the box we find the super SD System 3 hardware itself and a quick guide to get started the unit comes in a transparent smokey color plastic that looks cool to connect it to your PC engine you simply just attach it to the expansion bus interface it does not require any additional power it draws what it needs from the pc engine's power supply there is a micro SD card slot for loading cue cards and see the images from and on the back is a Sega Genesis 2 mini-din video connector I recommend a good shielded RGB scart cable with C sync like this one that I picked up I'll leave a link in the description below on the cable that I use as mentioned the device requires a micro SD card with games loaded on it this can be a fat32 or eat exFAT formatted card and up to 256 gigabytes is supported I use a 32 gigabyte card without any issues for Hue card images they must have the dot PCE file extension these are common PC engine ROM images that most emulators will support for CD images you either need to provide a dot Q file with either a Ben or dot ISO file you may also want to load different BIOS images to do this create a folder called BIOS and you can have up to 10 BIOS images that the device can select from these BIOS files must end in dot pce extension as well I recommend the super CD system version 3 BIOS once you have your SD card all set up with the games that you want to play simply insert it into the Super SD system three device and turn on your pc engine when you power on the device you will be greeted with a simple to use interface there are two tabs at the top of the page for your hew cards and cd-rom games and pressing the select button will toggle between them and notice an audible noise when the SD card is being accessed in the menu here's an example of what I mean while it's certainly not a showstopper it did take me a little by surprise I can't notice anything during gameplay at least so this is a minor issue looking at the options menu boot from last game means when you power cycle the pc engine it will automatically load the last game that you played enabled game trigger is an option to dump you back to the menu by a holding down start and run during gameplay without this option enabled the only way to go back to the menu is to power cycle the PC engine in its current form this option is a bit buggy and sometimes it just doesn't work skip CD ROM will bypass the cd-rom press run screen per game backup RAM will create individual backup Ram files per game these are stored on the micro sd card under a folder called BUP there is no reason to ever disable this option in my experience enable arcade card will enable the extra RAM for arcade card emulation and select cd-rom card allows you to choose one of up to 10 BIOS images that you copied previously in the BIOS folder so I've talked about the unit and some of the nitpicks I have with it but at the end of the day the Super SD system 3 is all about the games so let's take a look and see how well they perform hugh card games load almost instantly and they look and sound fantastic here's a sample but let's be real you want this unit for the cd-rom emulation and I'm happy to report it's absolutely awesome not only do the games load very quickly they also have full CD audio and significantly reduce the audio delay when loading CD audio tracks I can finally play a high priced PC engine CD ROM games that were out of my price range and could only play in emulation in the past so this is absolutely brilliant the image quality is excellent too Tara onion revised their motherboard and fixed the noise issue in their first iteration the company clearly cares about its consumers and they want to provide them with the best possible experience and with the ability to provide firmware updates the user experience will only improve from here you must read something terribly disturbing Watson for you to be so overwrought this early in the morning indeed Holmes it's irresponsible of the times to play upon people's superstitions compatibility is excellent but not perfect some games such as Sherlock Holmes show obvious glitches the good news is Tara onion are aware of these issues and we'll look to resolve them in a firmware update and speaking of firmware all the magic happens in the FPGA which contains all necessary code to emulate the cd-rom and many other features this means that future updates will be released and the hardware will be supported for years to come it's fair to say that Tara onion has had a shaky launch with the Super SD system 3 we already discussed the first revision of the board having a well documented video noise issue which they offered to correct and replace free of charge and in this revision there is a capacitor on the board that has been installed incorrectly it's actually been soldered around the wrong way as I'm handy with a soldering iron I'm going to address this myself but I'm told that this issue is minor and there should be no cause for concern still I do feel like Terra onion probably needs to invest a little more into quality control of the product before releasing it to the public all right so let's wrap up in conclusion this unit is a fantastic piece of kit at three hundred dollars it is expensive but if you consider the price to RGB mod a PC engine and then add in a cd-rom device and the necessary games which are very expensive on their own the price point is just about right I would like to see it however a little under three hundred dollars maybe around 275 or 280 I think this would attract more buyers and those that want to get into the PC engine for the first time but having said all that I can still absolutely recommend this to anyone even with the minor nitpicks this is a quality product and one that I can recommend this set up is going straight into my game room and this briefcase unit is going back into the closet well that'll do it for this video guys let me know what you thought about the Tara Onion super SD System 3 in the comments below as always don't forget to Like and subscribe and I'll catch you guys in the next video bye for now and this is where the super and this is where the Tara Onion super is