I'm pretty sure (but please correct me if I'm wrong!) in the 4th generation (e.g. SNES, Sega Genesis) assembly for whatever chip the console had was still the most common development language(s) and by the 7th generation (e.g. Xbox360) games were mostly written in C++, but I'm not sure when the switch happened.

What was the first game console to ship with an official C development SDK?

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    'Primary' is not a neutral category in any way, thus hardly a deciding criteria. Nor is 'most' one, after all, is that most titles made or most units sold or most code within a game? HLL development for (console) games happened essentially right from the start of microprocessor based consoles Like in 1977/78 for the Bally Astrocade using PL/I.
    – Raffzahn
    Jun 9, 2022 at 14:10
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    As a partial point, Super Mario 64 was written in C and compiled with the version of GCC in the Nintendo 64 SDK.
    – prosfilaes
    Jun 9, 2022 at 14:30
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    Are you trying to establish when the switch was made from programming most console games in assembly language to programming them in C? (Your question mentions C++, but then actually asks about a C SDK, so it's quite confusing to me.) What would you expect people to have written games in prior to the hypothetical SDK that you have in mind? Jun 9, 2022 at 23:46
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    Define 'ship with' - to accredited third party developers for use on dev kit hardware, or to normal users like the Playstation Net Yaroze.
    – Alan B
    Jun 10, 2022 at 8:23

2 Answers 2


The Amiga CD32 was released in September 1993. The Amiga had an official C compiler since 1985 with 'Amiga C', a native 68k version of Lattice C V3.03 which was distributed by Commodore.

I can't remember when I received my copy of the CD32 developer notes from CATS (Commodore Amiga Technical Support), but revision 3 was created on August 30, 1993.

  • Curious if the Commodore CDTV from March 1991 would count. Unlike the CD32, it wasn't advertised as a pure video game system, but as a multimedia platform, putting it more in competition to the CD-i rather than the Sega CD etc. Apr 15, 2023 at 18:16

I'd posit the 3DO; copies of the official developer kit are still archived here, confirming that a C compiler is included and the machine first came to market in October 1993 and therefore beat other obvious candidates — the Jaguar, 32x, PlayStation, etc — to launch.

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