The Strange World Of Japan’s PC-98 Computer Ecosystem

Despite the popularity of the IBM PC in the West during the 1980s, it had shortcomings that prevented it from flourishing in the Japanese market, most of all support for the Japanese language. This led to a sort of parallel universe in which NEC’s PC-9800 series (‘PC-98’) was the dominant personal computer, including its NEC µPD7220 display controller with its 4096-color palette. These computer systems led to a graphics style that persists to today, along with a whole ecosystem of games and applications that never left the PC-98. In an article by [Biz Davis] this software ecosystem, its art style and their lasting impact is explored.

This is a companion discussion topic for the original entry at