El.pub Analytic Issue Number 11
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It is now generally accepted that many of the features that we expect in a desktop PC are there because of the influence of the games market. Business applications do not in general require either colour screens or sound cards. Most desktop applications apart from games (and the software to create them and other creative products) do not require high resolution screens or high speed graphics. Nevertheless when they are available they do enable business software to exploit them and to produce more effective versions of non-game products such as presentation (PowerPoint) and publishing software. The size and dynamism of the games market has enabled RTD to develop cheap powerful graphics and sound cards that would have been difficult to justify for the business application environment.
There is a virtuous cycle of innovation that is driven by different application areas. Games drive graphics and sound; communication (e-mail, web) drives networking; networked graphics and sound (online games, MP3, voice over IP) drives bandwidth; increased bandwidth enables video communication (web cameras, ...), and so on.
Consumer applications like games, computer animation and web sites also introduce the general public to digital media and content. There is often a need to generate a mass-market demand before economies of scale bring costs down to a level where a technology is employed outside niche markets. This is as true of digital content as it was of the automobile market (Ford Model-T). For the automobile and for the mobile phone the mass market was created by an evident improvement in satisfying a basic need (physical mobility and mobile communication), coupled with low cost achieved through technical and industrial innovation (mass production and miniaturisation). For digital content and its distribution the improvement has to come in the form of a new or improved product (film, game). The new product must come from the imagination of the creative artist.
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Last up-dated: 26 March 2021
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