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- Table of Contents
- 1. What is a bit, and why is he so important?
- 2. The meaning of bits at consoles
- 3. More = better — the fight for the bits
It is clear that between the different hardware manufacturers. Everyone wants to bring the stronger and better device to the market to exclude the comrades in the fight for market leadership. It’s about image quality graphic to innovation.
Especially Sony, Nintendo and Microsoft have been here for years in a head-to-head race. But at the beginning of the video game console era, the whole thing looked different. There was still much more competition on the hardware market, and in the fight for the best console was a crucial for years above all: the bits. But what are these exactly, and why were you (supposedly) so important?
In this special we answer these questions and give a little insight into the beginnings of the video games, during which the console war was still a lot larger and the number of bits was almost at the unique selling feature of a console.
Table of Contents
- Page 1Please One bit: as one and zeros a console war decided, page 1
1. 1.11. What is a bit, and why is he so important?
2. 1.22. The meaning of bits at consoles
3. 1.33. More = better — the fight for the bits
2. Page 2Please One bit: as one and zeros a console war decided, page 2
1. 2.14. How relevant are bits today?
3. Page 3 picture gallery too Please a bit: as one and zeros a console war…
1. What is a bit, and why is he so important?
Bits are known from everyday life mainly as interchangeable screwdriver attachments for home improvement use. That’s why it should not be surprising here. In the video game world you can hear from bits mostly related to 8-bit graphics. But where does this name come from?
To understand that, a small theory of theory in computer science is necessary first. As the PC connectors are already known to you, any information is processed by zeros and ones in a computer.
The word bit is derived from the English term Bi Nary Digit T , so binary number, and simply describes only a binary value of either 0 or 1.
The more bits are present, the more different compositions of the binary numbers are possible. For 2 bits there are 4 possibilities, namely 00, 01, 10 and 11. For 4 bits, there are 16 possibilities and for 8 bits already 256.
So you can see the more bits available, the more possibilities of processing are given.
So much first to theory. Now we come to how the consoles will put that in practice.
2. The meaning of bits at consoles
The number of bits of a console determines how powerful the built-in processor is. So if we talk about an 8-bit console, that means that this has a processing limitation of 256. This shows in different areas.
Previously, these limitations forced the developers to consider considerable opportunities to develop as individual games as possible. So it was called: creativity by limitation.
Even in the color selection, they had to confine themselves to certain color palettes, as it was not possible to mess colors as arbitrarily, without blowing the computing power of the processors.
To be able to use as many colors as possible, it was necessary to match elements on the background and foreground / sprite level.
So the bosses were in Mega MAN 2 for example parts of the background to leave more possibilities for the color design at the sprites.
Nevertheless, these fake regroup games have their own charm and pixel art style is a very nice variety to the ever-realistic graphic bombs of current console generation.
Also, if today, especially the general hardware power in a new console is crucial, at the time of limits by the bits was their number of indicator, which the buyers of a console mainly considered.
This led to a true bit quarrel and each device wanted to exceed its predecessors.
3. More = better — the fight for the bits
At the beginning of console development, there were still significantly more companies that wanted to prevail on the hardware market. Today are the market leaders in this area Nintendo, Sony and Microsoft. At that time, but companies like Atari and Sega were also funding to successfully become successful with their ideas.
The first console wars literally consisted only of a competing, how much performance of the processor had, and the number rose from console to console.
The NEW was still an 8-bit console, the SNES processor already had 16 bits. Just like that of the Sega Mega drive, which this fact had even printed fat on his drive. The first PlayStation was already equipped with a 32-bit processor.