From the early days of home gaming right up until the present day, few platforms have had quite the impact that the PC has. When playing video games was still a niche activity, the desktop made it possible to enjoy text-based adventures and crawler games. Then, as gaming experiences became more sophisticated, the PC was the first platform to connect players with exciting new genres like real-time strategy and RPGs (role-playing games).
The advent of the internet, meanwhile, had a revolutionary effect on the gaming industry. With millions of gamers across the world now being given access to the world wide web, the PC sector would soon be offering massively multiplayer experiences that connected gamers, regardless of the location.
Over the past three decades, the PC gaming sector has given rise to remarkable advancements, captivating global gamers from casual enthusiasts to hardcore gamers. Along the way, there have been stand-out innovations that have shaped the desktop gaming sector we know and love today. Read on to find out more.
PC’s Lasting Impact
The PC sector has firmly set up itself as a global force in the gaming industry. While consoles and mobile gaming have risen, fallen, and risen again in popularity, the desktop platform has consistently held a significant market share. This is a platform with a diverse, vibrant gaming landscape, which can cater to a wide range of gamer preferences.
Although the evolution of the sector has been far from plain sailing over the decades, there’s no doubt that PC gaming has seen a number of key innovations come along. These landmark moments haven’t just revolutionised the way gamers play on their desktop computers but have had a lasting impact on the video game industry as a whole. In fact, despite the arrival of bleeding-edge gaming smartphones and next-generation consoles, the humble personal computer continues to be the preferred choice for players with a range of interests, whether that’s selecting baccarat online games to play or battling it out in an MMORPG.
PC Gaming Before the Internet
You’d be forgiven for thinking that any gaming platform would have struggled to capture the attention of global consumers before the days of online streaming and eSports, but in truth, gamers enjoyed an array of experiences prior to Y2K.
One of the first innovations to really change the course of gaming history was the arrival of the Commodore 64. In 1982, this remarkable machine hit the market and became a worldwide hit, particularly since it offered a more affordable and practical alternative to the more expensive computers that were in existence at the time. The Commodore 64 featured a unique design highlighting technological development, which inspired game developers to create advanced concepts that satisfied the growing demands of an emerging user base.
As the years went by, these early iterations of gaming PCs became more sophisticated, with gaming titles matching in terms of player engagement and gameplay experiences. 1986’s Boulder Dash Construction Kit was a pioneering game that enabled players to change or even create their own levels, aka ‘modding’. When the iconic first-person shooter Doom hit the market in 1993, modding became a core activity enjoyed by players worldwide.
Post Millenium Gameplay
The emergence of the internet did, without a shadow of a doubt, create a paradigm shift in PC gaming, one that opened a whole world of new possibilities and technological advancements in the gaming industry.
The original digital gaming marketplace, Valve’s Steam, started a new trend for content streaming that continues to evolve with each generation of gaming PC — as we’ve seen recently in new developments like cloud gaming and cross-platform streaming services. Gamers no longer need to purchase physical copies of games or even download large game files: with a stable internet connection, they can simply stream games directly to their PCs, allowing for instant access to a vast library of titles.
Multiplayer gaming took on a whole new meaning as the internet became prevalent. MMORPGs, including World of Warcraft, Guild Wars and Final Fantasy, have created huge virtual worlds where players from across the globe can embark on epic quests and take part in last-man-standing warfare. MMORPGs have not only supplied a platform for immersive gameplay and cooperation but have also given rise to thriving online communities of gamers.
Another pillar in the global gaming landscape is that of iGaming or online gambling. The fusion of PC gaming with traditional real money activities, from poker to casino games and sports betting, has seen players experience the thrill of the casino from the comfort of their own homes.
The convenience and accessibility offered by iGaming have also made it a popular choice among tech-savvy players looking to add some excitement to their PC gaming sessions. Meanwhile, its far-reaching appeal has created brand-new player demographics.
Competitive gaming, too, has become a global phenomenon, with eSports tournaments like The International drawing massive audiences and offering lucrative prizes. PC gaming has played a pivotal role in the rise of eSports, and while most modern tournaments allow players to compete on consoles, there will always be a percentage of the pro gaming community who are dedicated to desktop gaming.