Console Wars: Sega, Nintendo, and the Battle that Defined a Generation (英語) ペーパーバック – イラスト付き, 2015/6/2
Like the pixels that together create a larger picture, Harris presents the various elements of the business in vivid color...remarkably detailed and fast paced. -- Booklist
A riveting story full of colorful characters… a fascinating, illuminating history… an essential read. -- Publishers Weekly (starred review)
A must-read. Period. -- IGN
A highly entertaining behind-the-scenes thriller. -- Kirkus Reviews
Fast, fluid, and startingly accessible. -- Entertainment Weekly
A fast-paced page-turner...it’s exciting to finally get a no-holds-barred account of a history that has largely been kept secret from the public eye. -- Wired
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.
- 出版社 : Dey Street Books; Reprint版 (2015/6/2)
- 発売日 : 2015/6/2
- 言語 : 英語
- ペーパーバック : 576ページ
- ISBN-10 : 0062276700
- ISBN-13 : 978-0062276704
- 寸法 : 4.06 x 14.99 x 23.11 cm
- Amazon 売れ筋ランキング: - 194,860位洋書 (の売れ筋ランキングを見る洋書)
It was very interesting to witness firsthand how two companies (a US subsidiary and a Japanese parent) which supposedly have the common goal in mind act differently. It applies to both Sega and Nintendo.
Instead of harnessing the opportunities offered by having people from diverse backgrounds on the team, they practically killed each other in silence.
2. Offers insights into the difficulties that a latecomer faces in the market
Sega came in late and Sony came later than Sega. However, at the end of the day, only Sega seems to have left behind. You would get the idea why this happened by reading this book and how to overcome it.
Blake Harris reportedly interviewed 500 people at Sega and Nintendo for this book, but I suspect most were marketing guys and girls and most in Sega. For this book is essentally a marketing story, dont expect to meet the writers of the game beyond the tiniest mention and yet chapters on the latest Sega advert. This isnt a criticism just an observation upon its focus.
It is written in a novelised form, with dialogue to make you cringe, but Blake Hartis does a good job of making a dry topic a great read never the less through this style.
I pride myself on knowing quite a bit on the subject of video game history and this book is generally good and although the research is patchy (particuarly when discussing Nintendo) and the dialogue the characters speak are highly suspect and couldn't exist outside a Mills and Boon novel... still most events described it is accurate.
Also the book is very US centric to the point of Xenophobia, the Sega of Japan are portrayed as bumbling idiots and one time explained as all cowards unlike the Sega of Amerca who must all wear capes with S emblazed upon their chests such is there flawless and constant heroic decision making. I can't vouch either way personally how Sega of Japan were, but I strongly believe they were far better than this book portrays them. It basically reeks of egotistical people recounting a story where nostalgia and hindsight makes them all into flawless heroes.
The book has mistakes in it and the mistakes and ommissions seem bizarre until you realise that Blake has mostly interviewed the suits in marketing and so you are dealing with those peoples mistaken knowledge... examples such as Nintendo going from Hanafuda cards straight to electric console (missing the all important toys) , bizarre statements like Mario was built as a Joust clone, to unforgivable mistakes in the book like Mario Kart was the first game to shock the world with Mode 7... or Rare software chose the ZX Spectrum as it was the most powerful system available.
Reading the above you probably are wondering why I have given it four stars? Well despite its mistakes I thoroughly enjoyed reading it and for the most part the events described are very accurate and bang on (i would say 95% right), and when combined with a writer able to make the story both interesting and compelling.
At its heart its a David and Golliath story, with Sega thwarting the giant that was Nintendo. Treat the book as Hollywood war film blockbuster, that is expect it to have a slant from reality about the importance of America and to be willing to bend the truth and occasionally break it, all to ensure that the central story arc isn't diminished. Accept that as I did and you will find much to enjoy and love with this book.
I just hope Blake Harris considers releasing the transcripts of all his interviews as I would love to be able determine the reality from the Hollywood in the book.
The main issue is with the language in the ‘real-life’ conversations between people involved. I know you have to allow some leeway when interviewees are recalling conversations that took place around 25 years before, but Blake Harris is putting words in these people’s mouths and the way he has these people talking to each other is at times laughable and unrealistic. I found myself closing the book during chapters which had large chunks of these conversations to come back to the book another time, they can be too much. It’s like something from a cheesy daytime soap opera.
There is also a strong Sega bias. This book does lift the lid on some questionable business practices from Nintendo, which had a 90%-odd control of the console market at one time, but they always seem to be presented as stuffy and controlling, where Sega tend to be presented as bright, breezy, and faultless. It’s clear from the book that Sega made mistakes too, but these are always excused - and nearly always attributed to Sega Japan - whereas any Nintendo mistakes are picked apart. The book largely ignores markets outside North America (understandable perhaps when this is where the author hails from).
I don’t want to be too down on the book as overall it was a decent read. Take the cringeworthy conversations out and you are left with a very well-researched book with interesting input of the big hitters from the time, and the facts and figures to back things up where necessary.
Never knew that they had been so close to an alliance with Sony, how different things could have been if the PlayStation had been a joint venture!
Great read for 30 something's that had any of the big 2s consoles and love video games.
The first thing that must be said about it is that this is a book with a very narrow scope. It’s not a history of the console wars, it’s not even a history of Sega (check out Service Games for a better book on this subject). Instead it is a history of how Tom Kalinske successfully marketed the Mega Drive to become the dominant console in early 90’s America before Sega spectacularly shot themselves in the foot with the Sega CD /32X / Saturn debacle.
Non Americans should be aware that markets outside of the US are largely ignored.
Despite it’s limitations it’s a very detailed and clearly well researched book and even people who’ve read quite a bit on the subject will probably learn something. It’s written in an engaging novel like style and is an enjoyable read (though the imagined dialogue is horrific) For people considering a purchase it’s important to realise that it is at it’s heart a book about marketing not video games, or tech.
Though there is little doubt that Tom Kalinske was a marketing genius and pulled off one of the all time underdog upsets when Sega USA pushed Nintendo in the second place spot, the book is guilty of being a bit of a rose tinted love letter (The author even name checks him as a “Great guy” in the acknowledgements).
Most of the achievements of Sega are attributed to him and his team while seemingly blaming anything bad that happened on Japan. This is especially jarring with the 32X which is portrayed as something that was foisted on him when most sources agree that it was largely Sega USA’s baby and developed by a team under his control.
Perhaps worst of all the book asks the question why Sega Japan was so hard on Sega USA and comes to the conclusion “No one knows, probably jealousy” without acknowledging that Sega USAs overspending and price slashing saddled Sega with large debts that restricted their ability to compete with the Playstation.
Despite all these complaints it’s an entertaining book as long as you take it with a substantial pinch of salt and I’m sure most gamers of the early 90’s will enjoy the warm glow of nostalgia.
As anyone who was into their 8 and 16-bit consoles in the UK will know, Nintendo treated Europe very much as a 2nd class society (long delays for game releases - if they were released at all - which were unoptimised for the region and very high prices) and sadly the book doesn't touch on this market, focussing on the the US market. From my memory of the time, the SNES was clearly the better console although the Mega Drive had some fantastic games but as the book shows - it's not always how good something is, it's about how it is marketed.