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DOS computers dominated the home, supplanting Commodore and Apple. More than a third of games sold in North America were for the PC, twice as many as those for the Apple II and even outselling those for the Commodore By , the enormous popularity of the Nintendo Entertainment System had greatly affected the computer-game industry.
A Mindscape executive agreed, saying that "Unfortunately, its effect has been extremely negative. Experts were unsure whether it affected bit computer games,  but Hawkins in nonetheless had to deny rumors that Electronic Arts would withdraw from computers and only produce console games.
Computer games, however, did not disappear. Further improvements to game artwork and audio were made possible with the introduction of FM synthesis sound.
These cards allowed IBM PC compatible computers to produce complex sounds using FM synthesis, where they had previously been limited to simple tones and beeps.
However, the rise of the Creative Labs Sound Blaster card, released in , which featured much higher sound quality due to the inclusion of a PCM channel and digital signal processor , led AdLib to file for bankruptcy by Id Software went on to develop Wolfenstein 3D in , which helped to popularize the genre, kick-starting a genre that would become one of the highest-selling in modern times.
The release of Doom on the PC was a breakthrough in 3D graphics, and was soon ported to various game consoles in a general shift toward greater realism.
Computer Gaming World reported in April that some software publishers planned to only distribute on CD as of Chris Crawford warned that it was "a data-intensive technology, not a process-intensive one", tempting developers to emphasize the quantity of digital assets like art and music over the quality of gameplay; Computer Gaming World wrote in that "publishers may be losing their focus".
While many companies used the additional storage to release poor-quality shovelware collections of older software, or "enhanced" versions of existing ones  —often with what the magazine mocked as "amateur acting" in the added audio and video  —new games such as Myst included many more assets for a richer game experience.
Many companies sold "multimedia upgrade kits" that bundled CD drives, sound cards, and software during the mids, but device drivers for the new peripherals further depleted scarce RAM.
BAT files for memory management cumbersome and confusing, and each game needed a different configuration.
The game Les Manley 2 satirizes this by depicting two beautiful women exhaust the hero in bed, by requesting that he again explain the difference between extended and expanded memory.
Computer Gaming World provided technical assistance to its writers to help install games for review,  and published sample configuration files.
By , the growing popularity of Microsoft Windows simplified device driver and memory management. The faster graphics accelerators and improving CPU technology resulted in increasing levels of realism in computer games.
PC gaming currently tends strongly toward improvements in 3D graphics. Unlike the generally accepted push for improved graphical performance, the use of physics engines in computer games has become a matter of debate since announcement and release of the nVidia PhysX PPU , ostensibly competing with middleware such as the Havok physics engine.
Similarly, many game publishers began to experiment with new forms of marketing. Chief among these alternative strategies is episodic gaming , an adaptation of the older concept of expansion packs , in which game content is provided in smaller quantities but for a proportionally lower price.
Titles such as Half-Life 2: Episode One took advantage of the idea, with mixed results rising from concerns for the amount of content provided for the price.
In high-end PC gaming, a PC will generally have far more processing resources at its disposal than other gaming systems.
Increased draw distance is also common in open world games. PC games often support more players or NPCs than equivalents on other platforms  and game designs which depend on the simulation of large numbers of tokens e.
Guild Wars 2 , World of Warcraft are rarely seen anywhere else. The PC also supports greater input fidelity thanks to its compatibility with a wide array of peripherals.
The mouse in particular lends players of first-person shooter and real-time strategy games on PC great speed and accuracy.
The defining characteristic of the PC platform is the absence of centralized control; all other gaming platforms except Android devices, to an extent are owned and administered by a single group.
The openness of the PC platform allows players to edit their games and distribute the results over the Internet as "mods".
As game technology has become more complex, it has also become harder to distribute development tools to the public. Modding has a different connotation on consoles which are typically restricted much more heavily.
As publicly released development tools are rare, console mods usually refer to hardware alterations designed to remove restrictions. Although the PC platform is almost completely decentralized at a hardware level, there are two dominant software forces: Microsoft introduced an operating environment named Windows on November 20, as an add-on to DOS in response to the growing interest in graphical user interfaces GUIs.
Valve does not release any sales figures on its Steam service, instead it only provides the data to companies with games on Steam,   which they cannot release without permission due to signing a non-disclosure agreement with Valve.
PC games are sold predominantly through the Internet, with buyers downloading their new purchase directly to their computer.
Valve Corporation released the Steam platform for Windows computers in as a means to distribute Valve-developed video games such as Half-Life 2.
It would later see release on the Mac OS X operating system in and was released on Linux in as well. Digital distribution also slashes the cost of circulation, eliminates stock shortages, allows games to be released worldwide at no additional cost, and allows niche audiences to be reached with ease.
Games confer with these computers over the Internet before launching. CPU manufacturers historically relied mainly on increasing clock rates to improve the performance of their processors, but had begun to move steadily towards multi-core CPUs by These processors allow the computer to simultaneously process multiple tasks, called threads , allowing the use of more complex graphics, artificial intelligence and in-game physics.
Similarly, 3D games often rely on a powerful graphics processing unit GPU , which accelerates the process of drawing complex scenes in realtime.
Sound cards are also available to provide improved audio in computer games. These cards provide improved 3D audio and provide audio enhancement that is generally not available with integrated alternatives, at the cost of marginally lower overall performance.
PPUs allow the computer to process more complex interactions among objects than is achievable using only the CPU, potentially allowing players a much greater degree of control over the world in games designed to use the card.
Virtually all personal computers use a keyboard and mouse for user input. Other common gaming peripherals are a headset for faster communication in online games, joysticks for flight simulators , steering wheels for driving games and gamepads for console-style games.
Computer games also rely on third-party software such as an operating system OS , device drivers , libraries and more to run. Today, the vast majority of computer games are designed to run on the Microsoft Windows family of operating systems.
Whereas earlier games written for DOS would include code to communicate directly with hardware, today application programming interfaces APIs provide an interface between the game and the OS, simplifying game design.
Multiplayer gaming was largely limited to local area networks LANs before cost-effective broadband Internet access became available, due to their typically higher bandwidth and lower latency than the dial-up services of the time.
These advantages allowed more players to join any given computer game, but have persisted today because of the higher latency of most Internet connections and the costs associated with broadband Internet.
LAN gaming typically requires two or more personal computers, a router and sufficient networking cables to connect every computer on the network.
Additionally, each computer must have its own copy or spawn copy of the game in order to play. Optionally, any LAN may include an external connection to the Internet.
Online multiplayer games have achieved popularity largely as a result of increasing broadband adoption among consumers.
Affordable high-bandwidth Internet connections allow large numbers of players to play together, and thus have found particular use in massively multiplayer online role-playing games , Tanarus and persistent online games such as World War II Online.
Although it is possible to participate in online computer games using dial-up modems , broadband Internet connections are generally considered necessary in order to reduce the latency between players commonly known as "lag".
Online games require a virtual environment, generally called a "game server". These virtual servers inter-connect gamers, allowing real time, and often fast-paced action.
To meet this subsequent need, Game Server Providers GSP have become increasingly more popular over the last half decade. While not required for all gamers, these servers provide a unique "home", fully customizable such as additional modifications, settings, etc.
Today there are over , game servers hosted in North America alone. Emulation software, used to run software without the original hardware, are popular for their ability to play legacy video games without the platform for which they were designed.
The operating system emulators include DOSBox , a DOS emulator which allows playing games developed originally for this operating system and thus not compatible with a modern-day OS.
Console emulators such as Nestopia and MAME are relatively commonplace, although the complexity of modern consoles such as the Xbox or PlayStation makes them far more difficult to emulate, even for the original manufacturers.
A PlayStation 3 emulator named RPCS3 is currently in the works, although it can currently only run small Homebrew games and certain old arcade titles that were originally ported to the PS3 from older platforms.
Most emulation software mimics a particular hardware architecture, often to an extremely high degree of accuracy.
This is particularly the case with classic home computers such as the Commodore 64 , whose software often depends on highly sophisticated low-level programming tricks invented by game programmers and the demoscene.
PC games have long been a source of controversy, largely due to the violence that has become commonly associated with video games in general.
Video game addiction is another cultural aspect of gaming to draw criticism as it can have a negative influence on health and on social relations.
The problem of addiction and its health risks seems to have grown with the rise of massively multiplayer online role playing games MMORPGs.
There are several computer games museums around the world. In one opened in Berlin, a computer game museum that documents computer games from the s until today.
The Video Game Museum in Rome is dedicated to the preservation of videogames, and includes Pss games in its collection. From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.
For video games in general, see video game. For other uses, see Computer game disambiguation. Arcade video games Best-selling video games Best-selling video game franchises Highest-grossing video game franchises Most-played video games by player count Most-played mobile games by player count Highest-grossing arcade games Video games considered among the best Game of the Year awards Video games notable for negative reception.
History of video games. Video game crash of Digital distribution in video games. Retrieved 8 November Heroes of the Computer Revolution.
Retrieved September 29, Retrieved October 22, Jones , Strategic management: The Great Videogame Crash". Archived from the original on January 5, Retrieved August 16, From to , it had a permanent exhibition in Berlin.
Afterwards, it became an online only museum. During the first month of its permanent exhibition, it had 12, visitors. The Computerspielemuseum opened the first permanent exhibition in the world for digital interactive entertainment culture in in Berlin.
After that, it became responsible for 30 national and international exhibitions. Among these was the project "pong. In the last five years, over , visitors have seen this exhibition.
The museum contains around 25, data storage devices with games, around 12, technical magazines, many historical Arcade games , home computers and console systems and an extensive amount of other documents, for example: It contains one of the largest collections of entertainment software and hardware in Europe.
The new museum itself is run by Gameshouse gGmbH. There are over interactive exhibits illustrating the cultural history of computer gaming.
One is the highlights is an actual video arcade from the s with authentic arcade games from the decade that launched video games into popular culture.