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Console Wars: Sega, Nintendo, and the Battle that Defined a Generation [Anglais] [Relié]

Blake J. Harris

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Console Wars: Sega, Nintendo, and the Battle that Defined a Generation + Hardcore Gaming 101 Presents: Sega Arcade Classics Vol. 1 (B&W Edition) + Service Games: The Rise and Fall of SEGA: Enhanced Edition
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Descriptions du produit

Revue de presse

A riveting story full of colorful characters… a fascinating, illuminating history… an essential read. (Publishers Weekly (starred review))

A highly entertaining behind-the-scenes thriller. (Kirkus)

Présentation de l'éditeur

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.

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24 internautes sur 26 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
4.0 étoiles sur 5 Fascinating information and absolutely worth reading; however, the authorial presence is far too strong 19 mai 2014
Par Spotless Mind - Publié sur
Format:Relié|Achat vérifié
Console Wars largely chronicles the period between 1989 and 1995, when Sega battled Nintendo for dominance in the home console market, ending as Sony displaces Sega in the 32-bit era as Nintendo's main competitor. In a sense, it does serve as a sort of sequel to David Sheff's gold-standard account in "Game Over" of the rise of Nintendo in the 80's, which left off at the point where Sega's Genesis had just started to get a serious foothold in the market. However, the styles in which the two authors approach their subjects are very different, and it's interesting to compare them.
Sheff's Game Over contained very little conversational dialogue. He wrote his book like a reporter: documenting scenes and incidents by describing the people and particulars involved, the content of what they said, and the effect of their interactions. His book was full of individual quotes, but the large majority of them were presented matter-of-factly as accounts made by the subject either directly to the author in interview, or to another source of record which Sheff was citing. In-scene "dialogue" was used sparingly, and mostly limited to short lines that reflected exactly what was known by the subject or other observers to have been said, or something very close to it. This gave Sheff's book a journalistic crackle, keeping the pace moving, the flow of information constant, and the level of authorial distance removed enough that the reader always maintained a panoramic view of the bigger picture, and didn't get bogged down in superfluous, artificial detail.

In contrast, Harris's book is written like a screenplay, with full "scenes" that progress via elaborate, lengthy dialogues between "characters", while novel-esque, detailed stage directions record their precise movements and interior thoughts, all of which can only have been manufactured by the author (as he himself loosely admits in his author's note) based on the factual framework of an interaction that did occur. Where Game Over was a documentary, this book is much more a historical re-enactment. It's obvious that Harris already had a film in mind when he was writing, and the cinematically styled sharp, pithy dialogue (or at least, attempts at such), and conversational set-ups and payoffs were designed to translate easily to the eventual film. This may make the book more engaging than Sheff's reserved style for some, but I found it distracting and a little gratuitous. Irrelevant detail often gets in the way of what's interesting and entertaining about the information.

That said, the information and voluminous research this book does contain is incredibly valuable, and makes for a truly rewarding read. The saga of the Sega and Nintendo battle in the US is as fascinating and provoking as any story the business world has to offer, and there's more than a little tragedy in seeing how Tom Kalinske and Sega of America were able to achieve a brilliant and improbable success, only to be cut off at their knees, in the end, by Sega of Japan. The often clumsily overwritten "reconstructed" dialogue by Harris makes me doubt I'd be interested in any fiction of his, but this particular subject matter is rich enough that my issue with his authorial indulgences is just a quibble. This is by all means a book worth reading.
23 internautes sur 28 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
5.0 étoiles sur 5 Awesome flashback to the good ol' gaming days. Tons--I mean TONS--of insider scoop. 13 mai 2014
Par Ryan J. Dejonghe - Publié sur
Oh man, this book is good. If you’re like me, an important part of your childhood revolved around saving princesses and hitting up, up, down, down, left, right, left, right, B, A on your controller. This book, CONSOLE WARS, brings it all back. And then some.

Word of warning: this book is hefty. Weighing in at 550 pages, this is a good chunk of verbiage covering half a decade of video gaming history. Is the journey worth it? Hell yeah!

Did you know that the Donkey Kong game was supposed to be a Popeye the Sailorman game? How about Tom Hanks being turned down for the Mario movie? And, are the rumors true: did Michael Jackson write music for Sonic 3? There’s a ton of information packed into the book. Every time I was tempted to skim ahead, something else caught my attention. The author, Blake Harris, weaves the dialogue and happenings that he collected from over 200 interviews into an interesting narrative that comes from all directions of the industry.

My personal story mirrors the boy in 8-BIT CHRISTMAS (if you haven’t read that book, do it). Santa usually stocked my tree with Nintendo-based presents. So, what interested me most in this book was the opposing history of Sega: mainly, how the underdogs took the proverbial bull by the horns and kicked its a**. When everything went wrong—prize fighter losing before game release; power outage at a major press conference; Walmart refusing to carry product—the folks at Sega owned the situation and rose to the top.

I was also especially interested in the nearness of a Sega-Sony merge. Can you imagine the state of video games if Sega released the Playstation with Sony? Nintendo had a chance, spurred Sony, and well…you’ll have to read about it all. Not to mention Sega of Japan’s involvement all along the way.

Marketing, strategy, and all the good insider information are laid out in full. Anyone that’s ever picked up a video game controller will find this book fascinating. Even if you don’t play video games, the approach to marketing and early 90s pop cultural is a blast (e.g., “Bo knows”, “Just Do It”, and Pepsi vs. Coke).

Thanks to It Books and HarperCollins for sending me a review copy of this book. It was awesome going back and reliving, and learning, about those good ol’ days.

This book comes out in the U.S. on May 13, 2014; check it out on Amazon, along with the other reviews: Console Wars: Sega, Nintendo, and the Battle that Defined a Generation

7 internautes sur 7 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
5.0 étoiles sur 5 Amazing insight into the evolution of video games and corporate culture! 18 mai 2014
Par Virgos Merlot - Publié sur
Format:Format Kindle|Achat vérifié
Harris did a phenomenal job at catching the essence of the corporate battle between various executives of the video game industry. Additionally, he tells a story while blending historical facts within the industry. It was great to read about the media selection process, business philosophy and how this moment in history forever changed the video game industry landscape. Out of this console war came the E3 show, video game rating system and, as obvious as it sounds, release days for video games. Sega did the first global release with Sonic the Hedgehog 2 which is more or less video games 101 when you buy games online now. Even with that global release, Sega of Japan still managed to impose their own unnecessary corporate drama. When you read this story and work in this industry, you see pretty much the same thing happening now with Nintendo, Microsoft, Sony and new players that are changing things in the space such as Valve and Ouya. Anyway, this is a must read for video game enthusiasts, people that grew up in the 90's and anyone curious about business and marketing deals really get done.
4 internautes sur 4 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
5.0 étoiles sur 5 Brought me back to Christmas in the 90s 18 mai 2014
Par mcgrathdave - Publié sur
Console Wars really brought me back to one of my favorite Christmas mornings ever - receiving a Sega Genesis. Reading this book brings me back to my Sega vs Nintendo childhood and tells a really interesting story of how it all came together.
3 internautes sur 3 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
5.0 étoiles sur 5 If you grew up in 80's and 90's, this is a must read 16 mai 2014
Par Nick Mele - Publié sur
Format:Relié|Achat vérifié
At first, I was intimidated by the length of the 600+ book in front of me. I thought, how could there be this much to say on the topic. I quickly found, however, that I had read the whole thing and wished there was more. The book is an easy read and the author, Blake J. Harris, uses a narrative style that makes the subject matter thoroughly engaging. I can't recommend this book enough! I hope the author keeps writing.
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