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Console Wars: Sega, Nintendo, and the Battle That Defined a Generation

Console Wars: Sega, Nintendo, and the Battle That Defined a Generation

Written by Blake J. Harris

Narrated by Fred Berman


Console Wars: Sega, Nintendo, and the Battle That Defined a Generation

Written by Blake J. Harris

Narrated by Fred Berman

ratings:
4/5 (25 ratings)
Length:
20 hours
Publisher:
Released:
May 13, 2014
ISBN:
9780062309129
Format:
Audiobook

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Also available as bookBook

Also available as...

Also available as bookBook

Description

Following the success of The Accidental Billionaires and Moneyball comes Console Wars—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 video game industry.

In 1990, Nintendo had a virtual monopoly on the video game industry. Sega, on the other hand, was just a faltering arcade company with big aspirations and even bigger personalities. But that would all change with the arrival of Tom Kalinske, a man 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, transformed Sega and eventually led to a ruthless David-and-Goliath showdown with rival Nintendo.

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 schoolyards 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 US against Japan.

Based on over two hundred interviews with former Sega and Nintendo employees, Console Wars is the underdog tale of how Kalinske miraculously turned an industry punchline into a market leader. It’s 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, birth a $60 billion dollar industry.

Publisher:
Released:
May 13, 2014
ISBN:
9780062309129
Format:
Audiobook

Also available as...

Also available as bookBook

About the author

Blake J. Harris is the bestselling author of History of the Future and Console Wars, which is now a CBS All Access feature film by Seth Rogen and Evan Goldberg. He has written for ESPN, IGN, Fast Company, The Huffington Post, /Film and The AV Club. He is also a regular guest on Paul Scheer’s How Did This Get Made? podcast, where every week he interviews some the biggest names responsible for some of the worst movies ever made. Harris lives in New York with his wife.


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Reviews

What people think about Console Wars

4.0
25 ratings / 7 Reviews
What did you think?
Rating: 0 out of 5 stars

Reader reviews

  • (1/5)
    Awful disappointing, disappointingly awful. As a video game fan, I was astounded that author Blake Harris could make a hobby that I enjoy so much into boring drivel, but he did it in spades.
  • (4/5)
    To tell the truth, this book left me cold. Not because it was badly written, far from it, but because as a long-time PC gamer, I regard consoles as toys, and nothing I read in this book did anything to alter that viewpoint. Basically it is the story of How Tom Kalinske took Sega of America from a struggling arcade game company to a giant that briefly toppled Nintendo from its seemingly unassailable position at the top of the home console tree, through a mixture of catchy slogans, edgy advertising and Sonic the Hedgehog, and then saw it all slip away due to intransigence by the Japanese parent company and a dual onslaught from Nintendo and Sony. The book is fast-moving, quirky, strongly oriented to the personalities rather than the technology, all around a good read if like me, you love games and gaming. However, the utter childishness of some of the activities by supposedly grown adults to bring down or denigrate their competitors is not edifying, and you can never really forget that this is basically dealing with children's toys. Unfortunately the book's rather abrupt ending is a minus, its a pity Harris didnt include an epilogue detailing the story since, when Sony and Microsoft have reduced Nintendo itself to a second-rate player in the console industry, which would have put the end of Sega into some sort of perspective. A great read, but it not going to change the opinion I and other hard-core PC gamers hold about consoles.
  • (4/5)
    The second generation of video games happened while I was in college and was relying on my own money to buy consoles and games. With the small brain of college student I was swayed by the marketing and hype on which system to buy and which games to buy. Sega or Nintendo?Harris tells the story largely through the eyes of Tom Kalinske. Sega, the underdog, transformed its fortunes when it hired this American businessman to run US operations. Kalinske was a former president of Mattel, and was responsible for reviving Barbie and created the He-Man franchise.It was Kalinske who was in charge of Sega when it rolled out the Genesis system, Sonic the Hedgehog and those commercials that ended with the "Sega" scream. Mr. Harris presents the novel as more of novelization. He puts forth in the prologue that he has “altered, reconstructed or imagined” the scenes and “re-created” the dialogue. It feels artificial most of the time. As someone who lived on the consumer side I found it fascinating to find out what was happening on the corporate side.
  • (4/5)
    THIS BOOK. I want to find my older brothers Sega and Nintendo systems and games and have a decent crack at them. Console Wars is such a great read. I grew up during this era, but I had no idea what was going on. All I know for certain now is my brother was spoiled, he had both systems (as well as all the others I think minus the portables) and so many games and he did not like for me to play on them often. Spoiled. That didn’t stop me from playing them when he wasn’t at home though :X.

    Console Wars tells the great story of how Sega went head to head with Nintendo in the early 1990s. Nintendo was dominating the video game industry and Sega was some little company trying to get in the game in Japan and America. Tom Kalinske made that dream a reality, he is the reason people know of Sega and Sonic in America. The book goes into great deal of who the main players area and the events that built both Sega and Nintendo and the eventual downfall of Sega. It flows wells, there is a warning about the conversations being fabricated but based on what people remember and with the point of getting the main true points across. You know going in what the ending is going to be, but I kept somehow hoping that there was some way Sega and Tom turned it around and were still in the industry in a different sense, but ya just read it. I really hope Blake Harris does a Xbox vs Playstation book!
  • (4/5)
    Since I grew up in this generation it caught my attention. It is cool to see some of the details of the rivalry between Nintendo and Sega. How they get into some of the specifics of advertising and marketing of products is awesome and nostalgic. It can get a bit confusing at time since they jump from Nintendo's story to Sega's. Also the amount of people that have dialogue can make it a bit confusing. Overall a great book.
  • (4/5)
    the start was really good but feel like it was missing something after awhile but then again that is real life...
  • (4/5)
    Really liked the way the book was read. It added a lot to the story. As an avid video gamer this was very interesting.