Analogue PAL television has been with us for many years, but it's limited to about 720 pixels (the dots that make up the picture) across, and that's on a good day.
It's also an interlaced format, which means that every second line gets drawn on the first pass, followed by every second.
This makes it easier to transmit, but it also makes it flicker.
So, combine analogue television with fast-paced games and you're well on your way to headache land.
The latest generation of consoles has changed all that, because suddenly we can play our games in HD.