PCs handled side-scrolling games just fine.Remember the super nintendo? It could handle side scrolling games like Mario and the PC couldn't do that... The reason for this is that the PC didn't have a blitter.
Not usually, no. Even if they were a separate chip, they most certainly were not microcontrollers. You might be thinking of co-processors. But a blitter was generally not a co-processor, it was a simple dedicated unit in the CPU or memory controller or graphics co-processor.A blitter is a microcontroller
Not specifically. It would handle any memory copies, which could include those meant to represent 2D images.that would handle 2D images.
Graphics/sprite blitting is a little different than general memory blitting, since the target region (and sometimes source region) were composed of lines separated by potentially a lot of space. The dedicated graphics blitting hardware in consoles (and some PCs) was optimized to deal with how graphics sprites work versus general memory blitting.
Irrelevant fact, and nothing to do with what makes blitting hardware useful.It's serial execution and not parallel.
Much like the modern GPU, in fact. State changes and memory copies are not something the GPU excels at, not at all. All those hundreds (or even thousands now) of stream processing units can only operate a single state at a time, so you can't have some of them working on one thing and the others working on another, unless they happen to use the extra same shaders, same uniforms, same texture units, etc.So if the CPU would have to take care of those 2D images it wouldn't be able to do other things in the mean time.
At some point it would be swell if the GPU and drivers could coordinate multiple simultaneous batches of commands if it can be done without causing excessive memory bandwidth pressure.