Computer Games

Computer games jargon, questions and terms explained.

Computer Games FAQS

  • What are computer games?

    Computer Games are basically interactive video games using an electrical device with a visual display, such as a computer, games consoles, your TV or even a mobile phone. Sports, puzzles, action, adventure, business, role playing, are all examples of types of computer games. Such games can be played for entertainment either alone or with friends or within virtual communities on the Internet.

  • When is a FAQ a walkthrough or a cheatguide?

    FAQ stands for Frequently Asked Questions, usually explaining key terms or answering repeatedly asked user questions. For computer games, FAQs have often developed into either 'Play Guides' or 'Walkthroughs' or 'Cheatguides', giving detailed information about how to advance quickly in any given game or adopt tricks and aliases to give players an unfair advantage. Many websites, known as cheatsites, offer and allow sharing of this type of information.

  • What are personal computer games?

    A personal computer (PC) game is an interactive game specifically for a PC, often derived from CDs and DVDs. Some games can also be downloaded from the Internet from developers' websites or other suppliers, including shareware. Lots of genres are available, including puzzles, combat games, fantasy and strategy games. PC games allow for multiplayer online gaming though, which has become especially popular, allowing for upwards of hundreds of players to participate in role playing adventure games.

  • What are online multiplayer role playing games?

    Online multiplayer role playing games are a type of online computer role-playing game (RPG) which allows players to adopt fantasy characters in a virtual world via PC and Internet connection. Players assume the role of fictional characters and interact with the game's world which continues to exist even after the player is away from the game. Multiplayer adventure role playing games like Runescape and Final Fantasy are becoming increasingly popular. They are often referred to as Massively-Multiplayer Online Role-Playing Games (MMORPGs). Some MMORPGs have millions of subscribers, a trend being rapidly enabled by increasing broadband uptake.

  • Which system should I buy?

    It depends what sort of games you like and whether portability is important. Action games are widely available on consoles and there are huge varieties of titles to choose from, plus you can carry your console around. PCs are better for strategy games, simulation and interactive possibilities including multi-player role playing online games. They are also upgradeable. You can also use your PC for other uses and you may already have a PC anyway. Consoles are cheaper and have more limited uses and are more difficult to upgrade but they remain extremely popular because they are portable. Consoles are also constantly developing and becoming compatible with PC gaming. Read Review Centre reviews for ideas, opinions and recommendations on different systems.

  • What are gaming peripherals and add ons?

    Adds ons or peripherals are available for your PC to enhance your PC gaming experience and make it more like a gaming console. These include joy sticks, game pads with multiple direction controllers, and also programmable buttons which are ideal for shooter games.

  • Which games should I buy?

    There are so many choices these days it is a good idea to try before you buy. Demos are available on new games to download or try instore. You can also try a friend's and see if you like it. Also check system requirements and ensure your PC is compatible or if you have the necessary console. You can also read reviews at Review Centre to see what other gamers think about a particular game. Review Centre reviewers compare games and give you an idea about which games are the most popular and suitable for you. Try and get an idea of what appeals to you. It may be action or interaction? Sports games or puzzle games? If you are on a budget and have a PC already you will find many cheap, affordable and even free games are available.

  • What are video game consoles?

    A video or computer game console is a home entertainment gaming computer. The term is used for machines designed for consumers to buy and use solely for playing video games. This is unlike a personal computer which has many other uses. Although around for decades consoles have developed in popularity. The recent market leaders have been the Sony Playstation 2 (the follow up to the PlayStation), Nintendo GameCube and Microsoft Xbox. Current generation models include the Microsoft Xbox 360, Sony PlayStation 3 and Nintendo Wii .

  • What is a Gameboy?

    The Game Boy is a handheld game console first released by Nintendo in 1989. The Game Boy was the first successful handheld console of this type and was the forerunner of the rest of the Game Boy line. The original Game Boy is often known as Game Boy Classic or GB. Successive versions have included Game Boy Pocket (GBP), Game Boy Colour (GBC), Game Boy Advance (GBA), Game Boy Advance SP (GBSP) and Game Boy Micro (GB Micro). The Game Boy range has consistently remained a top consumer choice. This is largely due to the vast range of consistently high quality titles being made available.

  • What is a Game Boy Micro?

    Launched in 2005 the extra thin Game Boy Micro is more of a style icon accessory than previous models, similar to an MP3 player. The light and compact Game Boy Micro is 4ins x 2ins x 0.7ins.

  • What is a GameCube?

    The Nintendo GameCube is the major home game console allowing you to play video games on your TV along with the Sony PS 2 and Microsoft Xbox. It was launched in 2001.

  • What is Nintendo DS?

    The Nintendo DS or Dual Screen is an updated portable gaming system, a follow up to the Nintendo Gameboy Advance which came on the market in 2004. The DS has two screens that can show different images at once. Its major competitor is the Sony Playstation Portable. The portable Nintendo DS was acclaimed on release as being highly innovative.

  • What is an Xbox?

    The Microsoft Xbox is another advanced gaming home entertainment system allowing for video games on your television. The Xbox was made available in late 2001. Its main competitors are the Sony Playstation 2 and the Nintendo GameCube.

  • What is XBox Live?

    Xbox Live is the main online network enabling Xbox game systems to join forces with or play against other Xbox players via the Internet. Launched by Microsoft, the service also offers players extra features including online chat, friends lists, ranking systems, etc.

  • Microsoft Xbox 360?

    Launched in 2005 this powerful, stylish and popular version of the Xbox is a console, with game controllers and A/V cables designed to interface with your TV, and preferably a High Definition model. Basically the Microsoft Xbox 360 is a high grade PC gaming set up in a fairly small box that fits into any TV and provides great quality images.

  • Sony Playstation?

    The original Playstation was designed as a multi-media multi-purpose entertainment system. Besides being able to play Super Nintendo games, the Playstation could play audio CDs and could read other CD data. Launched in the mid nineties it was the first console to sell over 100 million products. PSOne was a smaller version then successfully smaller versions came on the market including PocketStation, PlayStation 2, PSTwo PlayStation Portable and now The PlayStation 3

  • Sony PSP?

    The Sony PlayStation Portable (PSP) offers instant access to games, music and movies wherever you are and whatever you are doing. Launched in 2005 the PSP was noted for stunning graphics and as well as providing games it had a wireless feature. This system is one of two major developments in handheld gaming products along with Nintendo's DS.

  • What is Sony PS2?

    Sony PS2 or Sony Playstation 2 was released in 2000 and became the number one home gamer console competing with the Microsoft Xbox and Nintendo GameCube. The PS2 allows you to play a wide variety of high quality video games on your television.

  • When is PS3 available?

    The PS3 is the successor to PlayStation 2 and will compete with Microsoft Xbox 360 and Nintendo Wii. It is set for release in November 2006 although advanced copies are available via the Internet. The PS3 is HD compatible but comes in two different models. The basic model has a 20GB hard drive while the more expensive ones are 60GB.

  • What is PSX?

    The Sony PSX is a complete home entertainment system built around the PS2. It is part PS2 and part DVD recorder. The PSX features either a 160 GB or 250 GB hard drive to record television shows, home movies, digital photos or to play PlayStation 2 titles. It can be linked with the portable PSP device to transfer videos and music.

  • Nintendo Wii?

    Wii is Nintendo's state-of-the-art home console update. A major feature is its wireless capabilities. The controller also contains a speaker and a rumbling device to provide sensory feedback. A stand-by feature receives message updates via the Internet using low power consumption. What is E3?

    The Electronic Entertainment Exposition, better known as E3, is the main annual trade show for the video game industry normally held in Los Angeles. It focuses on industry developments and new products. It's where Xbox and other major game products are launched.