Interesting book to read: The Ultimate History of Video Games Vol 1 & 2 By Steven L. Kent – Get to know in detail what, who, why, where & when about video games history

Today at the time this article is written, we have PS5, Xbox Series X and S as well as Nintendo Switch, Valve Steam Deck and flagship smartphones to run and play multiple genres of video games with high definition graphics and sounds. However, looking back 40-50 years back, video game console started with a very humble beginning. The history of video games and consoles predates back long before Pong with simply blocky graphics was even invented.

This book – The Ultimate History of Video Games both Volume 1 and Volume 2 – will take you back on the journey of video games, starting from its inception, the reason why it existed in the first place and the evolution happening on each generations. The books also reveal decisions made by video game companies that determine the course of video game as we know today – why certain companies becoming a winner while some were losers. You’ll also get to know in detail all the now-famous persons involved on the industry: Nolan Bushnell, Shigeru Miyamoto, Tom Kalinske, Robbie Bach and many more.


This book is good for:

  • Gamers of all ages
  • Veteran in gaming world, to bring back your memories
  • Anyone who would like to know how video game was conceive and became what it is today

So if you fit on one of the category I mentioned above, then you should highly consider reading this book.


Book Summary: The Ultimate History of Video Games Vol 1 & 2

Volume 1 of this book is titled as: The Ultimate History of Video Games, Volume 1: From Pong to Pokémon -The Story Behind the Craze That Touched Our Lives and Changed the World. This is the book to get to know the roots of video games console.

ultimate history of video games vol1 book review jilaxzone.com
The Ultimate History of Video Games, Volume 1: From Pong to Pokémon – The Story Behind the Craze That Touched Our Lives and Changed the World. Image courtesy of Steven Kent, Crown and Amazon.

Volume 2 of this book is titled as: The Ultimate History of Video Games, Volume 2: Nintendo, Sony, Microsoft, and the Billion-Dollar Battle to Shape Modern Gaming. The book is situated right after what has been covered by volume 1, you’ll to get to know the demise of SEGA as console manufacturer, the rise of Microsoft with its Xbox, the right and wrong PlayStation and Nintendo made after they become king in video game console.

It was started with a humble beginning as a purely mechanical non-electronic game (think like Pinball game) then quickly evolved into a more sophisticated mechanical electronic game (think like Pinball machine but with the digital scoring).

Sometime in 1970s, this was the time where Ralph Baer – known as the father of video games – inveted the first video game console: Magnavox Odyssey and Nolan Bushnell the founder of Atari began their journey in video gaming world. Soon after, public spaces (such as bar, restaurants and even places like hospital) would be filled with arcades of various types of games. This era was known as the 1st generation video game console. One video game console played only one video game – Pong.

Looking at the business opportunity from Magnavox Odyssey – playing games at home, Atari and other companies such as Fairchild semiconductor began creating their home video game console. Fairchild with Channel F console was the first console to introduce interchangable cartridges. Atari then introduced Atari VCS or known today as Atari 2600 with the same feature: interchangabe cartridges. This was also the time, Activision was established and became the first 3rd party video game company. This era, with intechangeable cartridge” was known as the 2nd generation video game console.

Fast forward to 1982-1983, people get bored playing arcades and there were so many bad games on the market, causing US video game market to crash. Nintendo by that time has entered US market, almost failed at the beginning but found success with their jumpman (now Mario) and Donkey Kong arcade series, looked for opportunity to bring its game console which was more powerful and had better graphics into the US market. Known as Family Computer (Famicom) in Japan and looked like a toy with its red, white and gold color combination, Nintendo finally brought it into US market, changed its appearance into a VHS-like player with grey-colored box and renamed it into Nintendo Entertainment System (known and shortened as NES). Struggled at the beginning to convince pessimistic retailers to carry NES into their store shelves, Nintendo changed their strategy and worked. By 1988-1989, people in US were craving about Nintendo. Video games is synonymous with Nintendo by that time. This was 8-bit era or also known as 3rd generation video game console.

Sega genesis sega megadrive console jilaxzone.com
The original Sega Megadrive (Japan version) or in the U.S known as Sega Genesis. The console that stole Nintendo US Video Game Market Share. Image courtesy of Evan Amos & SEGA.

Fast forward to another year, it was the beginning of a new era: the 16-bit era (also known as 4th generation game console). SEGA came to the party with its Genesis (known as Mega Drive in other market), steadily stole market share from Nintendo with its more mature themes games. There was also NEC with TurboGrafx-16 but failed to catch US market attention. This was the era when Mortal Kombat was created as well as parents protested for violence inside the games. This was also the era when game rating council was created, later-known and evolved as what we know as ESRB today. While late to the 16-bit party, Nintendo managed to regain back some of its market share and came out as winner with its Super Nintendo Entertainment System (SNES).

Fast forward to another era, 32-bit and 64-bit era which is also known as 5th generation game console. SEGA came out first with its Saturn. At this time, SEGA had been widely known as a company with multiple add-on hardware which not only confusing consumers but also made retailers angry. Many retailers refused to carry Saturn into their store selves. This was the era where Trip Hawkins – founder of Electronic Arts (EA) – made a video game console too: The 3DO. THis was also the era when Atari made its final home console – Atari Jaguar and a new contender from Japan: Sony with its PlayStation. While Saturn took the lead and with Nintendo delayed its new hardware – N64 – for another year, PlayStation with more powerful hardware and easier development kit and support and more importantly plenty of interesting games, PlayStation quickly outnumbered Saturn and N64 and the rest is history.

Nintendo64 great games jilaxzone.com
Nintendo 64 a.k.a N64. Get to know the missteps Nintendo made during N64 that makes PlayStation to be #1 in 5th generation console wars. Image courtesy of Evan Amos & Nintendo.

Well, enough with the summary as I don’t want to further spoil the fun for you. I can assure you, you’ll find so many interesting stories about and around video games inside the 2 books.


Reason why I read this book & why you should read this book too

I love video games! As a kid, all I care was to play games – video games. I didn’t care who made them so long I can play and beat the games. Growing older however, not only I still love playing new and old games, but there’s a growing curioisty inside of me, looking for an answer on how video games were started and made until it reached to today’s state. This 2 books, both Volume 1 and Volume 2, gave me the answer I was looking for.

console wars who will win this time jilaxzone.com
PC & Console Wars. Image courtesy of Final Weapon (https://finalweapon.net)

So if you are also curious on how video games were started back then and the journey they took before coming like what we all know today, then you should definetely read these 2 books.


Here are where you can get & read The Ultimate History of Video Games Vol 1 & 2


1) Amazon


The Ultimate History of Video Games, Volume 1: From Pong to Pokémon – The Story Behind the Craze That Touched Our Lives and Changed the World

Ebook:

Alternative link in case you can’t see the link above: The Ultimate History of Video Games, Volume 1: From Pong to Pokémon – The Story Behind the Craze That Touched Our Lives and Changed the World.


Physical book (Paperback):

Alternative link in case you can’t see the link above: The Ultimate History of Video Games, Volume 1: From Pong to Pokémon – The Story Behind the Craze That Touched Our Lives and Changed the World.


The Ultimate History of Video Games, Volume 2: Nintendo, Sony, Microsoft, and the Billion-Dollar Battle to Shape Modern Gaming

Ebook:

Alternative link in case you can’t see the link above: The Ultimate History of Video Games, Volume 2: Nintendo, Sony, Microsoft, and the Billion-Dollar Battle to Shape Modern Gaming.


Physical book (Paperback):

Alternative link in case you can’t see the link above: The Ultimate History of Video Games, Volume 2: Nintendo, Sony, Microsoft, and the Billion-Dollar Battle to Shape Modern Gaming.


If you are getting the digital copy, here’s where you can read the book:

AndroidKindle app for Android
iOSKindle app for iOS
KindleKindle tablet on Amazon
macOSKindle app for macOS
WindowsKindle app for Windows

Note: If you buy anything from Amazon using any of the links above, I shall earn a small commission at no extra cost charged on your purchases.


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.


The Ultimate History of Video Games, Volume 1: From Pong to Pokémon – The Story Behind the Craze That Touched Our Lives and Changed the World
ISBN-100761536434
ISBN-13978-0761536437

The Ultimate History of Video Games, Volume 2: Nintendo, Sony, Microsoft, and the Billion-Dollar Battle to Shape Modern Gaming
ISBN-101984825437
ISBN-13978-1984825438

Do you have anything you want me to cover on my next article? Write them down on the comment section down below.

Alternatively, find more interesting topics on JILAXZONE:

FREE!LifeTech
How-ToPositive Cash FlowAndroid
TravelAll articlesiOS & iPhone

JILAXZONE – Jon’s Interesting Life & Amazing eXperience ZONE.


Hi, thanks for reading my article. Since you are here and if you find this article is good and helping you in anyway, help me to spread the words by sharing this article to your family, friends, acquaintances so the benefits do not just stop at you, they will also get the same goodness and benefit from it.

Thank you!

Live to Share. Share to Live. This blog is my life-long term project, for me to share my experiences and knowledge to the world which hopefully can be fruitful to those who read them and in the end hoping to become my life-long (passive) income.

My apologies. If you see ads appearing on this site and getting annoyed or disturb by them. As much as I want to share everything for free, unfortunately the domain and hosting used to host all these articles are not free. That’s the reason I need the ads running to offset the cost. While I won’t force you to see the ads, but it will be great and helpful if you are willing to turn off the ad-blocker while seeing this site.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Comment moderation is enabled. Your comment may take some time to appear.