When NEC's wonderful PC Engine console was replaced by Alan Sugar's ill-fated GX4000 in the first issue of Mean Machines, the sound of hands slapping foreheads could be heard up and down the UK. Why did the team decide to cover this donkey of a console over NEC's lovely box of tricks? Well, the answer is pretty simple - the PC Engine was, at that time, still an 'import only' machine with little chance of being released in the UK. The GX4000, for all its failings, had been officially released and was a 'safer bet' for EMAP - they knew that covering the machine would bring additional adverts for GX4000 software. The machine died a death at retail and was dropped from the pages of Mean Machines after a handful of issues. Here, Rignall investigates the birth of the console.