Console Wars: Sega, Nintendo, and the Battle that Defined a Generation
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...more
I love behind-the-scenes stories, but Harris illuminates them horribly. In broad terms, it's about underdog Sega finding a wa ...more
So, I thought it would be fun to read about the "console wars" between Sega and Nintendo. The subtitle of the book is "Sega, Nintendo, and that battle that defined a generation". Well, that subtitle does seem to be an exaggeration. "Defined a generation"? I'm not sure which generation these console wars defined--not my d ...more
There's a forward at the beginning of the book that says that scenes and dialogue have often been made up...and it shows. A few prime examples:
"Hawkins didn't respond, but his eyes shone with the glimmer of a shooting sta ...more
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DNF @ 22%
I don't always agree with the negative reviews of a book, but in this instance, I feel like they all hit the mark. CONSOLE WARS basically seems to be 500 pages of hero worship written in honor of the President of Sega, Tom Kalinske. And this would be fine, if it weren't for the almost fictional style narrative that feels free to color its perspective as heavily as a toddler holding one of those thick, jumbo markers. Good journal ...more
It's some sort of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde nightmare whereby it alternates between an informative and interesting history of the era (e.g. discussion of Nintendo's rise, the relationship between Sony and Sega, the early history of the Playstation, and the ill-fated production of the Mario Brothers movie) and some absolutely awful screenplay writing and character studies into people I honestly ...more
There are hilarious moments that made me burst out in laughter.
I had a pleasure of listening to audiobook. Production is incredible. The narrator changes voices and pronunciation accordingly, depending on whether it's Japanese or American or nordic gu ...more
It is also one of the worst-written books I've read, and I've been saying that a lot lately.
The "war" between these two companies changed the world more than you might think ...more
I don't read a lot of non-fiction. Most of what I do read tends to be about computer stuff. However video games have been an important part of my life for as long as I can remember.
I still consider the 16-bit generation to be one of the best. The games hold up so much better than the 32/64 bit generation that followed as 3d was being introduced. The art style is a lot more timeless and some ...more
I heard the author speak, and he's a nice guy. The book says upfront that it's based on a bunch of interviews conducted by the author, and that it's the author's way of putting everything together in novel-esque form. He doesn't ever want to stop and give boring footnotes or explanatory passages. It certainly keeps the narrati ...more
I could go on and on about this book and all the fascinating things I learned, but that ...more
...wait. The author is listed as "Blake Harris." This isn't by Kalinske?
So, this book is a disaster. Why is it so long, you might ask? Unfortunately, the answer is not that this book gives the authoritative, comprehensive history of video games. Rather, this book is so lo ...more
It doesn't surprise me to learn that the author considers himself a filmmaker, because the cheesy (and clearly fake) dialogue throughout this book feels like it was taken directly from a short-lived 90s sitcom. The author also has the frustrating tendency to interrupt his characters' inane witticisms with pages of tediou ...more
The subject matter should be fascinating - the rise and fall of Sega in 1990s America - yet Blake Harris manages to turn it into an endless parade of dull imaginary conversations about sales and marketing, with naught but a brief look at the actual games that made the struggle between Nintendo and Sega so defining a part of popular culture of that era.
It also doesn't help that Harris' prose style is workmanlike at b ...more
It's kind of like a Game-of-Throne ...more
But there are two things that kill CONSOLE WARS for me: 1) ...more
I thought it would be a rather dull dry book about facts and figures, boy was I wrong.
If you like stories about people succeeding through pure brilliance, this is for you. If you like videogames and their hist ...more
The problem most people seem to be having is that Harris takes what are certainly some liberties with the story, at least with the scenery and exact dialog.
Think of it like this. It's the story of Sega, but the dramatized version. Not necessarily with made up, added-in stuff. But with elements that, though they might be difficult to remember, clear up the story or make it into less a catalog of events, more a coherent narrative. Maybe Kalinsky didn't look out ...more
Blake Harris treats Sega like the underdog they were at the start of the 90s. The Master System was successful in Japan but had made few waves sta ...more
I remember growing up with Sega Genesis and Nintendo; the rivalry running a wedge in between my friendships. It was a time of late night game sessions, arguing who would win a fight between Sonic and Mario and trying to beat that awf ...more
Even if some of the details were fluffed up for a good story, its still a great read. I've wo ...more
As video game nut from 1987 to 1994, this narrative non-fiction account of the Nintendo versus Sega "war" was right up my alley. During that time, you were either a Genesis kid or a Super Nintendo kid. You couldn't be both. This story brought up so much nostalgia, I want to dig out my old games!
Through hundreds of interviews with top executives from both companies, author Blake Harris attempts to piece together the story of Se ...more