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In Japan, the TurboGrafx-16 was known as the "PC Engine". What did the "PC" stand for? Presumably it was not Personal Computer?

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Why presumably not "personal computer"? It's personal and it's a computer. –  user2640 Jul 14 '12 at 11:36
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up vote 4 down vote accepted

PC literally just means personal computer - a computer owned by a person rather than an organization like a corporation, university, or computing club. The term is roughly synonymous with microcomputer with an additional implication of a price point measured in thousands (or less) rather than tens of thousands of dollars. Contrasting terms are mainframe computer or minicomputer, describing systems physically too large for most individuals to own.

The contraction of IBM PC to just PC took place in the early 90s as the IBM PC (and more importantly, IBM-compatible PCs) came to dominate the personal computer market.

That market shift was not inevitable in 1987 when the PC Engine was released, and the domination didn't happen in Japan until even later (where you saw IBM PCs but also a lot of NEC PCs).

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Based on these pictures, the PC Engine was meant to sit in the center of a case or housing for a personal computer.

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Because often Japan likes the look and sound of Western names for things rather than the name actually meaning anything. Also probably to give it connotations of power and expandibility. And because it's a less stupid name than TurboGrafx.

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This is … wild guessing? Or do you have any reference that this concrete product was named for it’s spoken sound, and not in fact PC being an acronym? –  Kissaki Jul 14 '12 at 20:11
    
It's no more of a wild guess than either of the other two answers. –  Alan B Jul 16 '12 at 8:09
    
May be true, but doesn’t make it better. And may change, with adequate answers. –  Kissaki Jul 18 '12 at 19:12
    
Which part of my answer do you think I'm guessing about? I'd argue it's all common knowledge for anyone above a certain age, but I'm pretty sure I can source everything in it... –  user2640 Jul 18 '12 at 21:00
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