Killer application

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In marketing terminology, a killer application (commonly shortened to killer app) is any computer program that is so necessary or desirable that it proves the core value of some larger technology, such as computer hardware, a gaming console, software, a programming language, a software platform, or an operating system.wikipedia
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VisiCalc

One of the first recognized examples of a killer application is generally agreed to be the VisiCalc spreadsheet for the Apple II series.
VisiCalc is considered the Apple II's killer app.

Lotus 1-2-3

Lotus 1231-2-3Lotus 1-2-3 Release 2.2
Lotus 1-2-3 similarly benefited sales of the IBM PC and compatibles, just as VisiCalc did for Apple sales.
It was the IBM PC's first killer application, was hugely popular in the 1980s and contributed significantly to the success of the IBM PC.

Video game console

consolegame consoleconsoles
In marketing terminology, a killer application (commonly shortened to killer app) is any computer program that is so necessary or desirable that it proves the core value of some larger technology, such as computer hardware, a gaming console, software, a programming language, a software platform, or an operating system.
Three major franchises made their debut on the Game Boy: Tetris, the Game Boy's killer application; Pokémon; and Kirby.

Spreadsheet

spreadsheetscellspreadsheet program
One of the first recognized examples of a killer application is generally agreed to be the VisiCalc spreadsheet for the Apple II series.
VisiCalc went on to become the first "killer application", an application that was so compelling, people would buy a particular computer just to use it.

Space Invaders

Space Invaders: The Original GameSpace InvaderINVADERS
The 1980 Atari VCS version quadrupled sales of the VCS, thereby becoming the first killer app for video game consoles.

Star Raiders

Conquest of Zowexamples
The game is commonly referred to as the platform's killer app.

Atari 8-bit family

Atari 8-bitAtari 800Atari 400
The first-person space combat simulator Star Raiders is considered the platform's killer app.

Atari 2600

Atari VCSAtariAtari Video Computer System
The system found its killer app with its version of Taito's Space Invaders in 1980 and became widely successful, leading to the creation of Activision and other third-party game developers as well as competition from home console manufacturers Mattel and Coleco.

Eastern Front (1941)

Eastern FrontEast FrontEastern Front (computer game)
A killer app for Atari computers, Eastern Front was among APX's best selling games of all time, ultimately selling over 60,000 copies.

Video game

video gamesgamegaming
Space Invaders was soon licensed for the Atari VCS (later known as Atari 2600), becoming the first "killer app" and quadrupling the console's sales.

Sibelius (scorewriter)

SibeliusSibelius SoftwareSibelius (software)
As a killer application for the niche Acorn platform, Sibelius rapidly dominated the UK market.

The 7th Guest

7th GuestThe Seventh Guest7th Guest, The
In addition, the game was very successful, with over two million copies sold, and is widely regarded as a killer app that accelerated the sales of CD-ROM drives.

Word processor

word processingword processing softwareword processors
Noting that computer purchasers did not want PC compatibility as much as compatibility with certain PC software, InfoWorld suggested "let's tell it like it is. Let's not say 'PC compatible,' or even 'MS-DOS compatible.' Instead, let's say '1-2-3 compatible.'" Another killer app is WordStar, the most popular word processor during much of the 1980s.
However, the price differences between dedicated word processors and general-purpose PCs, and the value added to the latter by software such as “killer app” spreadsheet applications, e.g. VisiCalc and Lotus 1-2-3, were so compelling that personal computers and word processing software became serious competition for the dedicated machines and soon dominated the market.

Sega Genesis

Mega DriveSega Mega DriveMega Drive/Genesis
The first Genesis version of EA's John Madden Football arrived before the end of 1990, and became what Gordon called a "killer app" for the system.

Computer program

programprogramscomputer programs
In marketing terminology, a killer application (commonly shortened to killer app) is any computer program that is so necessary or desirable that it proves the core value of some larger technology, such as computer hardware, a gaming console, software, a programming language, a software platform, or an operating system.

Xevious

3D Classics: Xevious3D Classics XeviousRacing Team Solvalou
The Famicom version became the console's first killer app with over 1.26 million copies sold, jumping system sales by nearly 2 million units.

Super Mario Bros.

Super Mario BrosSuper Mario Bros. DeluxeSuper Mario Brothers
GameSpot gave the game a 9.9, hailing it as the "killer app" for the Game Boy Color and praising the controls and the visuals (it was also the highest rated game in the series, later surpassed by Super Mario Galaxy 2 which holds a perfect 10).

The Legend of Zelda (video game)

The Legend of ZeldaLegend of Zeldaoriginal ''Legend of Zelda
In 1990 the magazine stated that the game was a killer app, causing computer CRPG players who had dismissed consoles as "mere arcade toys" to buy the NES.

Myst

realMystMyst Masterpiece EditionMyst'' clone
Along with The 7th Guest, it was widely regarded as a killer application that accelerated the sales of CD-ROM drives.

Phantasy Star II

Phantasy Star 2Phantasy Star Generation 22
Wizardry designer Roe R. Adams wrote in Computer Gaming World that Phantasy Star II was a killer app for the Genesis, stating that its "16-bit graphics are gorgeous, but the real fun lies in the science fiction story plot."

Handheld game console

handheldhandheld video game consolehandheld console
Yokoi recognized that the Game Boy needed a killer app—at least one game that would define the console, and persuade customers to buy it.

John Madden Football (1990 video game)

John Madden Football1990 video gameGenesis version of the same title
Madden was very popular and became a killer app for the Genesis, helping the console gain market share against the NES.

Street Fighter II: The World Warrior

Street Fighter IIStreet Fighter 2Street Fighter
Its impact on home video games was equally important, with its release being a major event that boosted sales of the Super Nintendo Entertainment System and became a long-lasting system-seller for the platform.

Halo (franchise)

HaloHalo'' seriesHalo: Nightfall
The games in the series are critically acclaimed, with the original considered the Xbox's "killer app".

GoldenEye 007 (1997 video game)

GoldenEye 007GoldenEyeGoldeneye 64
GamePro said the multiplayer modes "will have you shooting your friends for the rest of the year", while Next Generation highlighted the number of multiplayer options, calling GoldenEye 007 "a surprising killer app, if only for the smashing multiplayer options. The excellent singe-player game backing it up makes it well worth buying indeed."