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Increasing adoption of the computer mouse, driven partially by the success of adventure games such as the highly successful King's Quest series, and high resolution bitmap displays allowed the industry to include increasingly high-quality graphical interfaces in new releases. To enhance the immersive experience with their unrealistic graphics and electronic sound, early PC games included extras such as the peril-sensitive sunglasses that shipped with The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy or the science fiction novella included with Elite. The 1993 release of Doom on the PC was a breakthrough in 3D graphics, and was soon ported to various game consoles in a general shift toward greater realism. Id Software went on to develop Wolfenstein 3D in 1992, which helped to popularize the genre, kick-starting a genre that would become one of the highest-selling in modern times. The game was originally distributed through the shareware distribution model, allowing players to try a limited part of the game for free but requiring payment to play the rest, and represented one of the first uses of texture mapping graphics in a popular game, along with Ultima Underworld. OXO, an adaptation of tic-tac-toe for the EDSAC, debuted in 1952. These publications provided game code that could be typed into a computer and played, encouraging readers to submit their own software to competitions. Microchess was one of the first games for microcomputers which was sold to the public.
From the mid-90s onwards, PC games lost mass-market traction to console games before enjoying a resurgence in the mid-2000s through digital distribution. The uncoordinated nature of the PC game market and its lack of physical media make precisely assessing its size difficult. (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. These extras gradually became less common, but many games were still sold in the traditional over-sized boxes that used to hold the extra "feelies".
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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%.
Also in 1989, the FM Towns computer included built-in PCM sound, in addition to a CD-ROM drive and 24-bit color graphics.
An early text-adventure, Adventure, was developed for the PDP-11 minicomputer by Will Crowther in 1976, and expanded by Don Woods in 1977. By the 1980s, personal computers had become powerful enough to run games like Adventure, but by this time, graphics were beginning to become an important factor in games. From the mid-90s onwards, PC games lost mass-market traction to console games before enjoying a resurgence in the mid-2000s through digital distribution. The uncoordinated nature of the PC game market and its lack of physical media make precisely assessing its size difficult.