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The PC-88 VA is a computer released as part of the PC-8800 series.
The PC-88 VA was designed to compete with the then-upcoming Sharp X68000 (which incidentally debuted in the same month). It was the first 16-bit machine of the PC-8800 series, and its upped specifications, including a brand new video mode and sound hardware also seen in the PC Engine, effectively makes it a third-generation PC-8800 computer with its own line of software. It is also the first to omit the "01" in "PC-8801", although the longer name would return in subsequent hardware revisions.
The PC-88 VA is not seen as a particularly successful machine, partly due to the ongoing existence of the technically superior PC-9800 series, which after already becoming the computers of choice for business, were becoming more commonplace in the home. The "V3" graphics mode was also rarely utilised by developers, particularly those associated with video games, as by sticking with the stock V1 and V2 modes, games would continue to function with older hardware.
Many games tapped into the PC-88 VA's sound hardware, however, though it essentially made the system more of a glorified sound card than an exciting new games format.
One of the nails in the PC-88 VA's coffin was hammered in by NEC themselves, thanks to the release of the PC-98DO in 1989 which was backwards compatible with PC-8801 software (and in many ways made more sense from a fundemental point of view - the PC-98DO was a 16-bit machine with an added 8-bit mode, while the PC-88VA was an 8-bit machine with an added 16-bit mode).
More importantly, by 1987 the technology for everything PC-8801 related was considered outdated, with little interest outside of hobbiest communities. While NEC continued to play with the line for a few months, the array of more powerful computers (including the X68000, which was a huge success) made the PC-88 VA obsolete from the get go.
|PC-8800 series hardware|
|PC-8801 (1981) | PC-8801 mkII (1983) | PC-8801 mkII SR (TR | FR | MR | FH | MH | FA | MA | FE | MA2 | FE2 | MC) (1985-1989) | PC-88 VA (VA2 | VA3) (1987-1988)|
|haven't worked it all out yet|