Software Technologies

By Ewan Cussons

Operating systems used for game platforms

First things first what is an operating system? Well an operating system (sometimes abbreviated as "OS") is the program that is loaded into the computer by a boot program. It manages all the other programs in a computer, These are known as application programs. Application programs make use of the operating system by making requests for services through a defined application program interface (API). This is just one of the ways we use an operating system. It manage the hardware and software resources of the system, these resources may include such things like the processor, memory or disk space.

We use operating systems in all kinds of technology, these are some listed below.

- Android - phones like a HTC or Samsung.

- iOS - All handheld apple products like the iPhone or iPad.

- Linux - PC operating system, used on airplane displays.

-OS X - Apple PCs, like the iMac or the MacBook Pro.

- Microsoft Windows - Used by almost everybody in the world and is commonly use in Schools.

- Windows Phone - Phones like a Nokia or Windows phone.

Depending on the technology the operating system can either be simple or complex, for example if you compare the Xbox 360 to the Xbox One.

Application software used to develop games

Application software or applications, are often called productivity programs or end-user programs because they enable the user to complete tasks such as creating documents,sending emails, designing graphics and even playing games! Here are some example of application software.

- MS Word.

- MS Excel.

- A console game.

However these cannot run all by itself and is dependent on system software to execute, like an operating system.

Drivers for game platforms

A device driver often called a driver, is a computer program that controls a particular type of device that is attached to a computer. A driver provides a software interface to hardware devices, enabling operating systems to access hardware functions without needing to know the exact details of the hardware being used. The purpose of a driver is simplify acting as a translator between hardware devices and the applications or operating systems that use it.

Graphical and sound APIs used for game platforms

So lets just explain what an API is first before we discuss the different types. an API is short application programming interface and is a set of functions that allow the creation of applications which access the features or data of an operating system, application, or other service. Here are two graphical APIs.


OpenGL is a cross-language, multi-platform application programming interface for rendering 2D alongwith 3D vector graphics. The API is typically used to interact with a graphics processing unit (GPU), like a Nvidia card. Most gamers use a GPU to play games as they allow for great graphics for high demanding games like Skyrim or Crysis. The GPU is used to achieve hardware-accelerated rendering.
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OpenGL ES is a subset of the OpenGL computer graphics rendering application programming interface (API) and is used like the GL for rendering 2D and 3D computer graphics such as those used by video games. It is typically hardware-accelerated using a graphics processing unit (GPU), meaning It is designed for embedded systems like smartphones, computer tablets and video game consoles. These may include the likes of the Xbox One & PS4 or the new iPhone 6.
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Software technologies used for games on TV

Nowadays TV's even provide games for the average person who plays games sometimes if their bored. The Amazon Fire TV provides free games that you and your family can enjoy, although they won;t come near to the games available on console.

Platform dependency of game platforms

Many people believe that since you have a Mac you cannot install window on it, this is not the case. This is possible because of Apple's built-in Boot Camp feature. Boot Camp installs Windows in a dual-boot configuration. Although Both operating systems will be installed, you can only use one at a time.