Bits & Bytes
BRAWNIER GAMES FOR POWERFUL PCs
LOOK OUT, SEGA AND NINTENDO. THE IBM-COMPATIBLE PC may finally be catching up as a competitive gaming platform. At least, that's what many software makers are betting as PC hardware delivers considerably more bang for the buck. Plus, Microsoft Corp.'s 32-bit Windows 95 operating system, scheduled for August, will offer several game-oriented features. Microsoft has made available its first developers' kit for game makers, supplying the software code to support joysticks, multiple players, and faster graphics on Win95.
The result: Scores of games and "edutainment" packages, designed just for Win95 PCs, are expected to hit the streets this fall. Among the titles headed for a store near you: Arcade America, an animated adventure from 7th Level Inc. Using artificial intelligence, it tracks a player's moves to vary the game experience and avoid repetition. Humongous Entertainment plans Putt-Putt Saves the Zoo, a Win95 version of its popular Putt-Putt series for children. And Microsoft is teaming with Japan's SoftBank Corp. to create Win95 versions of popular video games such as Street Fighter, which now run on Sega and Nintendo.EDITED BY JOHN W. VERITY