The Turbo Grafx-16 was the first video game console in North America to have a CD-ROM peripheral (following the PC-Engine CD-ROM add-on in Japan, although the FM Towns Marty was the first console to have a built-in CD-ROM). The TurboGrafx-CD debuted at a prohibitive $399.99 (and did not include a pack-in game). Monster Lair (Wonder Boy III: Monster Lair) and Fighting Street (Street Fighter) were the initial TurboGrafx-CD titles. Ys Book I & II soon followed and was instantly recognized as the "must-have" TurboGrafx-CD game (and continues to be highly regarded today). The TurboGrafx-CD catalog grew at a snail's pace compared to the library of TurboChip (HuCard) titles.
The TurboGrafx-CD came packaged in a very large box, 85% of which was filled with protective styrofoam inserts. By some accounts, no other video game console (or peripheral) has been packaged in such an overkill manner. The TurboGrafx-CD did however come with a large plastic "carrying case" that could comfortably hold the TurboGrafx-16 base system, TurboGrafx-CD, all AC adapters, 2 – 3 controllers, and a few games.
Although the TurboGrafx-CD library was relatively small, American gamers could draw from a wide range of Japanese software since there was no region protection on TG-CD / PC Engine CD-ROM software. Many mail order (and some brick-and-mortar) import stores advertised Japanese PCE CD and HuCard titles in the video game publications of the era.