8-bit home computers were a worldwide success throughout the 1980s, but technology moved quickly and new, more powerful 16-bit chips were arriving on the market as the 1980s dawned. Initially, these were used in business computers, notably the IBM PC and the NEC PC-98, that were not only too expensive for most home users, but built in such a way that games were usually better on the more optimised 8-bit hardware.

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However, as the 80s marched on, 16-bit technology allowed for ideas that just wouldn’t fly on the old hardware. It didn’t hurt that, with successful starts under their belt, the major players were looking to convince existing owners to upgrade. With many of the old machines being for gaming first and foremost, new, better graphics and richer sounds were the order of the day, though new challenges were starting to be felt before the first models had even rolled off the production lines.Continue reading

Sid Meier’s Civilisation tells us a lot about golden ages. The specifics of how they start vary, but what every golden age has in common is that it’s dependent on a very delicate balance of power, with different factors working together just well enough and for just long enough to bring an empire to a peak where new and amazing things happen. Civilisation also tells us that every golden age has to end. War, power and stagnation are enough of a breeze to bring the delicate house of cards crashing down, which leads us nicely on to the state of PC gaming in 2015.

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Who remembers the Top Gear car football segment from about 10 years ago? It was a popular piece, to the point where it was repeated a couple of times on the show and was eventually incorporated into Forza Motorsport 4, a rather unnatural fit for a game which took cars and racing rather more seriously. It also opened up possibilities that the simulation’s physics engine wasn’t really equipped to handle. Even so, the idea stuck and now, in 2015, comes Rocket League: the car football game being hailed as the car football game to end them all.

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“On my business card, I am a corporate president. In my mind, I am a game developer. But in my heart, I am a gamer.”

The news of the death of Satoru Iwata, Nintendo’s president since 2002, in the early hours of this morning came as a shock. Though ill health had caused him to miss E3 for the past two years and appear somewhat more frail in recent appearances, the statement came out of the blue and prompted an outpouring of affection for a well liked figure within the gaming industry.

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