PC Gaming Enthusiasts & Console Gamers

Gaming Computers

Video Games have been a mainstream since the early 80’s thanks to the Amstrad CPC 464 but actually began life with the development of the microprocessor and microcomputer. In 1952 OXO, an adaption of noughts and crosses was created by Sandy Douglas and operated on the EDSAC. OXO is thought to be the world’s very first computer  game and kick started a revolution that would span decades of innovation and creativity.

Today, gaming is a scene, a lifestyle. It’s become part of who we are. It caters to everyone and unites millions across the globe.

Text based adventures

PDP 11 Computer

The first generation of games were often text based adventures or interactive fiction in which players had to use text commands to control characters or interact with the environment. A famous example of this was Adventure, developed for the PDP-11 in 1976. A year later Microchess - one of the very first ‘retail’ games went on sale and eventually sold a staggering 50,000 copies on a cassette tape.

By the early 80’s most games were being created and distributed through local hobby clubs and via magazines such as Creative Computing. The magazines in particular really helped to develop the hobby and aided the distribution of game code that could be typed into a computer and then played.

IBM revolution

IBM Computer

In 1981 IBM launched the IBM Personal computer which was a sophisticated piece of hardware at the time. This iconic computer literally catalysed the computing revolution by inevitably leading to the creation of a wave of inexpensive clones such as the Tandy 100. The clones caused a massive price crash making home computing affordable for the very first time.

The IBM PC used a DOS (Disk operating system) based platform which the clones also utilised pushing the OS (Operating system) into the mainstream. Thanks to the popularity many consumer software companies started to increase the list of compatible IBM products.

1981: Average Specification

ModelStorageCPURAMGraphicsResolution
IBM 5151 Cassette Tape 4.77MHz 16-64KB UNKNOWN 80X24 Txt

ATARI Centipede

In the meanwhile

Early computer game companies decided to capitalise on the success of arcade games by porting or cloning the most popular games. By 1982 the top selling games from the Atari 400 were ports of the popular games Frogger and Centipede while the top selling game for the Texas Instruments TI-99/4A was in fact the Space Invaders clone: Ti Invaders.

The launch of EGA

EGA Graphics Card

In 1984 the EGA video card was introduced allowing for better graphics and more video memory meaning the cheap clones could now outperform the more expensive Apple and Commodore machines. The Tandy 1000 in particular is noteworthy thanks to its enhanced graphics, sound and built in joystick ports. This made the Tandy the best overall platform for IBM compatible DOS  games.

1984: Average Specification

ModelStorageCPURAMGraphicsResolution
Amstrad CPC 464 Cassette Tape 4MHz 64-128KB CGA VRAM 160 X 200

Growth and fall

Nintendo Home Computer

By 1987 the PC market was growing so quickly that the platform had overtaken consoles and become “the most important platform for games companies”. DOS based computers dominated the market surpassing Apple and Commodore.

Unfortunately this didn’t last and by 1988 Nintendo had greatly affected the computer game industry. in 1993 ASCII Entertainment reported the market for console gamers was 12 times larger than the computer game market.

Even with Nintendo taking the limelight, the revolution continued with the introduction of VGA graphics and FM synthesis sound in 1989 improving the gaming capabilities further. IBM and Apple tried to avoid customers associating their computers with gaming but acknowledged VGA, audio and joystick options were popular with customers.

1988: Average Specification

ModelStorageCPURAMGraphicsResolution
Tandy 1000 TL 3.5” Floppy 7.16MHz 640KB CGA + 640 X 200

DOS gaming

1990's games

By 1990 DOS accounted for 60% of the computer games which further increased to 82% by 1992 making it the market leading OS. By 1993 Computer gaming world survey found that 91% of the readers primarily used IBM PC’s and compatible hardware for gaming, compared to 6% for Amiga, 3% for Macintosh, and 1% for Atari S.

Many leading games launched during this period including Hovertank 3D, Star Cruiser, Wolfenstein 3D, Civilization, Myst, Wing commander and the critically acclaimed Doom  which was a true breakthrough in 3D graphics.

1993: Average Specification

ModelStorageCPURAMGraphicsResolution
Average 1GB HDD 66MHz 4MB VGA 640 X 480

Doom CD-ROM

CD-ROM

From 1995 many gaming companies decided to make the change to CD-ROM’s thanks to the increase in capacity, lower production costs and reduced software piracy. Unfortunately this came at a ‘price’ and due to the increase in memory requirements, users were facing a wide array of issues - Each requiring a different fix or a specially designed memory management program.

Microsoft Windows

Windows 95 Logo

By 1996 Microsoft  ‘Windows’ was growing heavily in popularity thanks to it simple GUI (graphical user interface) and built in memory management features eliminating the issues of DOS based systems.

Windows was superior in almost every way to the original text base DOS alternative of which Windows was actually built from. IBM’s DOS platform was actually originally created by Microsoft who simply licenced it to IBM.

The release of NT/95 removed DOS game compatibility forcing the use of an emulator. Fortunately games designers simply began to create games with native support and eventually dropped DOS altogether.

1998: Average Specification

ModelStorageCPURAMGraphicsResolution
Average 10GB HDD 233MHz 64MB 16MB 640 X 480

AMD K5 CPU

Hardware revolution

With the success of console gaming, an easy to use GUI driven OS with built in memory management and ever growing hardware improvements - the dawn of modern PC gaming was upon us.

Constant innovation, faster, more powerful graphics and improved CPU technologies resulted in never before seen levels of realism that far exceeded the capabilities of consoles, cementing PC’s as the master race.

Starcraft

Online Gaming

The internet has played a big part in the success of computer gaming as a whole, opening up cooperative or competitive play between 1 or more networked computers. Thanks to the wide availability of the internet in the 90’s, online gaming rapidly increased in popularity. Notable titles include Nexus: The Kingdom of Winds (1996), Quake World (1996), Starcraft (1998), and Counterstrike (1999).

The ability to network eventually led to tournaments, LAN parties and the beginning of the e-Sports scene.

2001: Average Specification

ModelStorageCPURAMGraphicsResolution
Average 60GB HDD 1Ghz 256MB 64MB 800 x 600

e-Sports

Esports

A form of competitive gaming, e-Sports are taking the world by storm growing from an audience of approximately 71.5 million in 2013 to over 226 million in 2015 according to Newzoo. Although e-Sports are now watched by a huge fan base worldwide, organised offline competitions have always been part of the video game culture, largely between amateurs. Today professional teams battle it out for huge sums money in tournaments such as League of Legends world Championship and Intel Extreme masters. Games currently played in the professional leagues include: Dota 2, League of Legends, Counter Strike Global Offensive, Call of Duty and Overwatch.

2014: Average Specification

ModelStorageCPURAMGraphicsResolution
Average 1TB HDD 3.0GHz (4 Core) 8GB 2GB 2560 X 1440

Gaming Evolved

Infin8 Empress MK3 PC

With gaming continuing to evolve at an outstanding pace and Moore’s law still holding true to the most part – Computers will continue to become more powerful and games more realistic.

Not only are we committed to developing the very best prebuilt gaming computers but gaming in general will always remain a key focus for Overclockers UK, Its in our blood! From events to elite tier gaming hardware, performance enhancing peripherals  and the very best accessories such as our premium range of gaming chairs from noble.

Whether you are new to the scene, a hardcore gamer or even avid streamer – We have you covered! We stock a wide range of products from all the very best manufacturers including Razer, SteelSeries, Corsair, HyperX and ASUS. It doesn’t matter if you need a graphics card or a gaming surface– We are always here to help you make the right decision and choose hardware that will give you the edge without breaking your budget.

2018: Average Specification

ModelStorageCPURAMGraphicsResolution
Average 256GB SSD / 1TB HDD 3.7GHz (6 Core) 16GB 4GB 3840 x 2160 (UHD / 4K)
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