Console Wars – Sega, Nintendo, and the Battle that Defined a Generation was published back in 2014, however as someone who has interest in gaming, history of gaming or as someone who call yourself as a gamer, especially hardcore gamer, you should not miss to read this book – even today. There are so many interesting stories, secrets and not-so-secrets revealed by Blake J. Harris (the writer) on the book that can answer many of your questions on why the console giants are like what they are today: Nintendo the cocky company, Sega pull over from hardware business and Sony dominance in gaming world.
Head down to the bottom of this article to get the book, ebook or audio CD (in case you prefer to listen rather than read).
Book Summary: Console Wars – Sega, Nintendo, and the Battle that Defined a Generation
Console wars in this book take place back at the beginning on 1990’s till somewhere around 1996.
The story begins when Hayao Nakayama – back then he was the CEO of SOJ (Sega of Japan) – searched for Tom Kalinske all the way to Hawaii who was on holiday after resigning from Mattel & Matchbox. The book describe how Nakayama-san managed to disturb Kalinske’s holiday and snatched him to Japan the next day to see the next big thing Sega had and in the end, made Kalinske to be the CEO of SOA (Sega of America). With the initial team of only 50 persons, small office and budget, Kalinske with his team managed to blast process and bring Sega to the next level – the top, beating Nintendo market share steadily from 1990 all the way until 1993-1994. Due to SOJ stubbornness, Sega missed 2 big chances to be the continuous leader in the console market: 1) missed to work with Silicon Graphics (the chipset that powers N64) 2) missed to work with Sony (after Nintendo dumped Sony) and propelling Sony to come out on its own with PlayStation.
The book also tells the story how NOA (Nintendo of America) single-handedly resurrect US video gaming industry after the crashed that happen back in 1983. Which along the way, made Shigeru Miyamoto to be the famous person he is now today and made Nintendo to be the king of the console of that era, before Kalinske’s Sega enter the ring. After some management reshuffling inside NOA and with SOJ stubbornness that “hand-cuffed” Kalinske, Nintendo managed to take over the reign back in 1994-1995, before finally Sony with its PlayStation took over the party and the rest are history. The book also gives you the explanation on why Nintendo was so arrogant even until today when it comes to control and their IPs (Intellectual Properties).
Some notable historical pieces that can be found inside the book:
- Steve Race (Sony Computer Entertainment America president back then) PlayStation introduction historical $299 speech.
- How Sega came out with “SEGA!” shouting “Welcome to the Next Level” campaign.
- How Super Mario Bros 2 US different from Japan version.
- How Sega intelligently marketed the less-superior Genesis with Blast Processing to compete with SNES more superior Mode 7.
Book Review, Reason on why I read this book & why you should read this too
Growing up in 90’s and 2000’s made me the living witness of console wars that happened between Nintendo, SEGA and Sony, though back then as a small kid there was only little bit pieces I knew about console wars, stories and people behind them. All I know back then was: NES was ok, Sega (Genesis / Mega Drive) was cool, PlayStation was the coolest.
My first encounter with video games was back around 1994-1995 where I play both NES and Sega Genesis at my neighbors. NES was squarish in their shape while Sega console and controller look much cooler and Sega had better picture quality and had this Mortal Kombat games. SNES was nowhere to be heard on my parents’ neighborhood.
So following the crowds at my neighborhood. I asked my mom and dad to buy me Sega Genesis in 1996. As a kid back then I didn’t know that in 1996, Genesis was on its last leg, all I care was I can play the cool games. While I enjoyed playing many of Sega Genesis games such as TMNT, Golden Axe series, Sonic series and Street of Rage series, on my subsequent visit to my cousin place somewhere in 1998, I saw, tried and played his PlayStation. The games was the coolest I ever saw as a kid, the graphics was something I never seen before. Crash Bandicoot and EA’s Moto Racer were the game I played. I fell in love directly with PlayStation. However hearing the console price – it was like 3 times the Sega Genesis price when I bought it in 1996 – broke my heart but at the same time made me who I am today – someone who dream big and take action to reach the big dream. I started saving my allowances to buy the PlayStation.
Somewhere around 1999, after saving enough allowances, and having known from my cousin there’s this PlayStation back in 1998, I asked my parents to buy me the original PlayStation with hefty top-up from their side. Fast forward, I ended up with more than 200 PlayStation games.
Now as a grown-up, relishing good old time memories I have as a kid, I wanted to know in (more) detail on how all these console wars were happening and what made them to be that way. And this book written by Blake gave me the kind of details I was thirsty for. If you were like me, growing up in the 90’s and early 2000’s, or even if you are older or younger that that, and has the interest to know the beginning of console wars (it still happen until today in which each iterations has different winner), you should definitely read this interesting book.
Inside the book, you’ll discover plenty of things that happened during the (first, I guess) console wars. Some spoiler for you – skip this paragraph if you prefer to discover them yourself:
- Tails original name was Miles Prower.
- Sega 32x was originally named as Project Mars.
- PlayStation was originally marketed as “PS-X” (not as PSX like everyone else mentioned).
Where you can get & read Console Wars – Sega, Nintendo, and the Battle that Defined a Generation
In case you are also interested with this book, here’s where you can get the book.
Alternative link in case you can’t see the link above: Console Wars – Sega, Nintendo, and the Battle that Defined a Generation (Audio CD).
Alternative link in case you can’t see the link above: Console Wars – Sega, Nintendo, and the Battle that Defined a Generation (eBook).
Alternative link in case you can’t see the link above: Console Wars – Sega, Nintendo, and the Battle that Defined a Generation (Hardcover).
Physical book (Paperback):
Alternative link in case you can’t see the link above: Console Wars – Sega, Nintendo, and the Battle that Defined a Generation (Paperback).
If you are getting the digital copy, here’s where you can read the book:
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2) Local library
Head to your local library or log in to your local library app to find and rent this book.
Here’s the book ISBN number to help you search the book in library.
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