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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%. Chris Crawford warned that it was "a data-intensive technology, not a process-intensive one", tempting developers to emphasize the quantity of digital assets like art and music over the quality of gameplay; Computer Gaming World wrote in 1993 that "publishers may be losing their focus". 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. The faster graphics accelerators and improving CPU technology resulted in increasing levels of realism in computer games. A Mindscape executive agreed, saying that "Unfortunately, its effect has been extremely negative. Home computer games became popular following the video game crash of 1983, particularly in Europe, leading to the era of the "bedroom coder".
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. Also in 1989, the FM Towns computer included built-in PCM sound, in addition to a CD-ROM drive and 24-bit color graphics. The success of 3D console titles such as Super Mario 64 increased interest in hardware accelerated 3D graphics on PCs, and soon resulted in attempts to produce affordable solutions with the ATI Rage, Matrox Mystique, and S3 ViRGE.
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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.
However, the rise of the Creative Labs Sound Blaster card, released in 1989, which featured much higher sound quality due to the inclusion of a PCM channel and digital signal processor, led AdLib to file for bankruptcy by 1992.
Further improvements to game artwork and audio were made possible with the introduction of FM synthesis sound. 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 expensive but powerful computer for business. 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.