EARLY WINDOWS GAMES

With the oldest versions of Windows, Reversi was the original game bundled up until Windows 3.0 was released. The game is similar to Othello.

Windows 3.0 included a second game, solitaire. At this time DOS games continued to be dominant.

Windows 3.1 replaced Reversi with Minesweeper. There was much clamor over the dropping of the popular Reversi.

Subsequent releases of Windows have increased the number of games included.

DOS AND WINDOW 95 ERA

While Windows 95 introduced the DirectX platform for games, all publishers were sill generally publishing DOS games as this was the least common denominator. Typically 320×200 was the resolution with some games supporting 640×480. Once PCI cards with 1 MB or more memory were widely available the color quality started moving towards 24-bit and finally 32-bit when video introduced the need for transparency. The 8-bit per RGB color gave 16 million possible colors and was marketed as true color.

Windows 98 and Windows 98SE became very popular as they extended on the functionality of the original Windows 95 ideas. AGP cards were widely used during the Windows 98SE period.

We have the CD version for Doom 2 and that game originally was published for DOS. Following the released of Windows 95 the CD was released and it included a loader for the game that works even with Windows 7 fine.

Quake 2 came out in 1998  for Windows using OpenGL and it actually works fine with Windows 7.

Much of the API development was done during the late 1990s when new major versions of DirectX were released in quick succession.

WINDOWS 2000

Once Windows 2000 was released it dispensed with DOS in favor of NT kernel. DOS was relegated to a virtual machine with up to 2GB of memory. Games that used DirectX however worked reasonably well and older DOS games also worked reasonably well.

Windows XP extended on the Windows 2000 core and it remained on the market much longer than Microsoft had intended.

It was during the XP era that the display adapter really started to develop. Early 3D featured support for transform and lighting which relieved the CPU of much of the work. Intel and AMD recognized the situation and SSE was introduced so that CPU float performance would be faster.

The introduction of PCI Express reinvigorated the hardware sector. PCI Express was designed to be scaled up as semiconductor performance improved.

VIDEO

The first consumer game was Atari’s Pong. The old Atari 2600 was an early programmable console (1977) that used ROM cartridges, but video arcades were the place to be for several years before the PC finally took over and left the rest in the dust.