Console Wars

Console Wars

Sega, Nintendo, and the Battle That Defined A Generation

Downloadable Audiobook - 2014
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A mesmerizing, behind-the-scenes business thriller that chronicles how Sega, a small, scrappy gaming company led by an unlikely visionary and a team of rebels, took on the juggernaut Nintendo and revolutionized the videogame industry-in development as a feature film from Sony Pictures In 1990, Nintendo had a virtual monopoly on the videogame industry. Sega, on the other hand, was just a faltering arcade company with big aspirations and even bigger personalities. But all that would change with the arrival of Tom Kalinske, a former Mattel executive who knew nothing about videogames and everything about fighting uphill battles. His unconventional tactics, combined with the blood, sweat, and bold ideas of his renegade employees, completely transformed Sega and led to a ruthless, David-and-Goliath showdown with Nintendo. Little did he realize that Sega's success would create many new enemies and, most important, make Nintendo stronger than ever. The battle was vicious, relentless, and highly profitable, eventually sparking a global corporate war that would be fought on several fronts: from living rooms and school yards to boardrooms and Congress. It was a once-in-a-lifetime, no-holds-barred conflict that pitted brother against brother, kid against adult, Sonic against Mario, and the United States against Japan. Based on more than two hundred interviews with former Sega and Nintendo employees, Console Wars is the tale of how Tom Kalinske miraculously turned an industry punch line into a market leader. Blake J. Harris brings into focus the warriors, the strategies, and the battles and explores how they transformed popular culture forever. Ultimately, Console Wars is the story of how a humble family man, with an extraordinary imagination and a gift for turning problems into competitive advantages, inspired a team of underdogs to slay a giant and, as a result, give birth to a sixty-billion-dollar industry.
Publisher: [United States] : Harper Collins Publishers : Made available through hoopla, 2014
Edition: Unabridged
ISBN: 9780062309129
Branch Call Number: eAudiobook hoopla
Characteristics: 1 online resource (1 audio file (20hr., 41 min.)) : digital
Additional Contributors: Berman, Fred
hoopla digital


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Nov 10, 2015

I checked this book out because I played Nintendo, Sega Genesis, SNES, and Sega Saturn. Console Wars had impressive access to Sega and Nintendo. After I read this, I understood why Sega rose and fell, which was really interesting. While the book did talk about the games, I felt they could have a done a little more on that and a little less on the marketing. I'm not sure hearing what Screech has to say about Sega is interesting.

Oct 03, 2015

I shouldn't have liked this book as much as I did. Author Blake Harris takes a pastime I love, video games, and pulls back the production curtain to show this cut-throat capitalistic world of corporations vying for primacy. Dollars and attention are apparently the spoils of war. My whole naive view industry is now soured. And yet, I didn't want to put it down. At least not at first.

Console Wars runs for over 500 pages which seems to be overkill for this particular subject. Its outstretched length is because the author seems to follow every tangent and story thread. For example, "This is when so-and-so entered the picture, and now here's his whole backstory" or "an unrelated, non-video game company did a similar thing, and here's the full rundown of how that turned out." The pace is kept brisk but I wonder if the unified whole suffers in place of extrapolating the individual stories.

Lastly, I feel like Console Wars should have one of those "Based on actual events" disclaimers. I have no idea how the author conducted his research but all the conversations and interactions play out with a movie script-like quality that I'm sure a good dose of artistic license was taken. Honestly, I'm fine with it. It made the book 10x more readable. I just wonder which parts are truer than others.

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