Is 8-bit Dead?

This is a the cover from a 1982 issue of InfoWorld magazine which asks an important question facing computer owners as the eighties march on. Obviously the answer to this question was not simple. I grabbed this to put up here on the site because I like that it is now over 30 years later and 8-bit is still not dead, in fact it has transcended its original definition and is now applicable to genres of music, art, etc. 8-bit is far from dead.


I think this would make for a great t-shirt or album cover for an 8-but music band. What do you think?


The Retroist

Editor/Podcaster at Retroist
The Retroist is like a BBQ on a bun without the bones. You're only human daddy. Chomp!

Never Miss an Episode

Stay up-to-date on the latest from the Retroist Podcast. Sign up and receive email notifications when there's a new episode of the Retroist Podcast or when we launch new podcasts.
* indicates required

3 thoughts on “Is 8-bit Dead?

  1. EightBitJoe says:

    I love it! That year saw the introduction of the Commodore 64, an 8-bit machine that went on to become the best selling single model computer of all time. And the 8-bit Apple II line was around until ’93, remaining the company’s primary source of revenue for a while even after the Mac was introduced.

    Here’s a thought: What we call “8-bit” today in terms of contemporary art and music styles is /somewhat/ of a misnomer! Yes, we associate blocky graphics and chip-tunes with 8-bit because they were originally generated by ICs on an 8-bit data bus, driven by an 8-bit CPU, etc…. However, those architectures _could_ have driven higher resolution graphics and audio generation hardware of greater fidelity, given enough memory, bank switching, and more sophisticated ICs. But that would have driven prices sky-high. The cost-to-features ratio helped to define what we now call “8-bit quality” stuff.

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.