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. (The game Les Manley 2 satirized 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. By 1996, the growing popularity of Microsoft Windows simplified device driver and memory management. 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 64. By 1990 DOS comprised 65% of the computer-game market, with the Amiga at 10%; all other computers, including the Apple Macintosh, were below 10% and declining. By 1990 DOS comprised 65% of the computer-game market, with the Amiga at 10%; all other computers, including the Apple Macintosh, were below 10% and declining.
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 64. While many companies used the additional storage to release poor-quality shovelware collections of older software, or "enhanced" versions of existing ones, new games such as Myst included many more assets for a richer game experience. As 3D graphics libraries such as DirectX and OpenGL matured and knocked proprietary interfaces out of the market, these platforms gained greater acceptance in the market, particularly with their demonstrated benefits in games such as Unreal. However, major changes to the Microsoft Windows operating system, by then the market leader, made many older DOS-based games unplayable on Windows NT, and later, Windows XP (without using an emulator, such as DOSbox). By 1989 Computer Gaming World reported that "the industry is moving toward heavy use of VGA graphics". While some games were advertised with VGA support at the start of the year, they usually supported EGA graphics through VGA cards. With the EGA video card, an inexpensive clone was better for games than the Commodore 64 or Apple II, and the Tandy 1000's enhanced graphics, sound, and built-in joystick ports made it the best platform for IBM PC-compatible games before the VGA era.
OXO, an adaptation of tic-tac-toe for the EDSAC, debuted in 1952. In December 1992 Computer Gaming World reported that DOS accounted for 82% of computer-game sales in 1991, compared to Macintosh's 8% and Amiga's 5%. Yamaha began manufacturing FM synth boards for computers in the early-mid-1980s, and by 1985, the NEC and FM-7 computers had built-in FM sound. The first PC sound cards, such as AdLib's Music Synthesizer Card, soon appeared in 1987. With the EGA video card, an inexpensive clone was better for games than the Commodore 64 or Apple II, and the Tandy 1000's enhanced graphics, sound, and built-in joystick ports made it the best platform for IBM PC-compatible games before the VGA era. Although personal computers only became popular with the development of the microprocessor and microcomputer, computer gaming on mainframes and minicomputers had previously already existed. Also in 1989, the FM Towns computer included built-in PCM sound, in addition to a CD-ROM drive and 24-bit color graphics. First sold in 1977, Microchess eventually sold over 50,000 copies on cassette tape. Although both Apple and IBM tried to avoid customers associating their products with "game machine"s, the latter acknowledged that VGA, audio, and joystick options for its PS/1 computer were popular. In 1991, id Software produced an early first-person shooter, Hovertank 3D, which was the company's first in their line of highly influential games in the genre. PC games, also known as computer games or personal computer games, are video games played on a personal computer rather than a dedicated video game console or arcade machine. Another pioneer computer game was developed in 1961, when MIT students Martin Graetz and Alan Kotok, with MIT student Steve Russell, developed Spacewar! on a PDP-1 mainframe computer used for statistical calculations.