• IBM, the world's largest computer company, introduced the IBM Personal Computer (PC) in 1981. IBM and others sold some games like Microsoft Flight Simulator but the PC's CGA graphics and speaker sound were poor, and most customers bought the powerful but expensive computer for business.[12] From mid-1985, however, what Compute! described as a "wave" of inexpensive IBM PC clones from American and Asian companies caused prices to decline; by the end of 1986, the equivalent to a $1600 real IBM PC with 256K RAM and two disk drives cost as little as $600, lower than the price of the Apple IIc. Consumers began purchasing DOS computers for the home in large numbers. Electronic Arts reported that customers used computers for games more than one fifth of the time whether or not they purchased them for work at home.[13]

    By 1987 the PC market was growing so quickly that the formerly business-only computer had become the largest and most important platform for computer game companies. 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. With the EGA video card, an inexpensive clone was better for games than the Commodore 64 or Apple II,[14][15][16] 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.[12]

    By 1988, the enormous popularity of the Nintendo Entertainment System had greatly affected the computer-game industry. A Koei executive claimed that "Nintendo's success has destroyed the [computer] software entertainment market". A Mindscape executive agreed, saying that "Unfortunately, its effect has been extremely negative. Without question, Nintendo's success has eroded software sales. There's been a much greater falling off of disk sales than anyone anticipated." A third attributed the end of growth in sales of the Commodore 64 to the console, and Trip Hawkins called Nintendo "the last hurrah of the 8-bit world". Experts were unsure whether it affected 16-bit computer games,[17] but Hawkins in 1990 nonetheless had to deny rumors that Electronic Arts would withdraw from computers and only produce console games.[18] By 1993 ASCII Entertainment reported at a Software Publishing Association conference that the market for console games ($5.9 billion in revenue) was 12 times that of the computer-game market ($430 million).