Considered by some as a curiosity in the mid-1970s, the computer and video game industries have grown from focused markets to mainstream. They took in about US$9.5 billion in the US in 2007, 11.7 billion in 2008, and 25.1 billion in 2010 (ESA annual report).
Modern personal computers owe many advancements and innovations to the game industry: sound cards, graphics cards and 3D graphic accelerators, CD ROM and DVD-ROM drives, are a few of the more notable improvements.
Sound cards were developed for addition of digital-quality sound to games and only later improved for music and audiophiles. Early on, graphics cards were developed for more colors. Later, graphics cards were developed for graphical user interfaces (GUIs) and games. GUIs drove the need for high resolution, games drove 3D acceleration. They also are one of the only pieces of hardware to allow multiple hookups (such as with SLI or CrossFire graphics cards). CD- and DVD-ROMs were developed for mass distribution of media in general, however the ability to store more information on cheap easily distributable media was instrumental in driving their ever higher speeds.
Modern games are among the most demanding of applications on PC resources. Many of the high-powered personal computers are purchased by gamers who want the fastest equipment to power the latest cutting-edge games. Thus, the inertia of CPU development is due in part to this industry whose games demand faster processors than business or personal applications.
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