Wednesday, January 17, 2024

King's Quest IV - The First True PC Compatible Game

KQ4 Box, courtesy of MobyGames

When we think of PC Compatible games, thoughts of freedom may pop into one's mind. Intel, nVidia, AMD, gamers generally have a choice of which hardware to use in their systems. PC games have been, generally speaking, not tied to any particular manufacturer's hardware. Competition within the PC hardware market allowed consumers the luxury of choice. In the 1990s and onwards your motherboard could have been made by one manufacturer, your graphics card by another and so on and you could get a really good gaming experience. But this was not always the case, PC compatible games of the 1980s were often seen as lacking compared to other computers and generic PCs were content to clone rather than innovate. This all began to change in 1988 when King's Quest IV was released. In this blog article I will briefly summarize the evolution of PC gaming hardware and then discuss how KQ4 opened up PC gaming into what would eventually become the default non-console paradigm of how to play video games.