Console Wars

  • by Blake J. Harris
  • Narrated by Fred Berman
  • 20 hrs and 41 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook

Publisher's Summary

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 all that would change with the arrival of Tom Kalinske, a former Mattel executive who knew nothing about video games and everything about fighting uphill battles. His unconventional tactics, combined with the blood, sweat, and bold ideas of his renegade employees, completely transformed Sega and led to a ruthless, David-and-Goliath showdown with Nintendo. Little did he realize that Sega's success would create many new enemies and, most important, make Nintendo stronger than ever.
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 school yards 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 United States against Japan.
Based on more than 200 interviews with former Sega and Nintendo employees, Console Wars is the tale of how Tom Kalinske miraculously turned an industry punch line into a market leader. Blake J. Harris brings into focus the warriors, the strategies, and the battles and explores how they transformed popular culture forever. Ultimately, Console Wars is 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, give birth to a $60 billion industry.

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

Wow!... just... wow!

What made the experience of listening to Console Wars the most enjoyable?

I can remember being a kid in this era, I remember being the target demo for Sega and Nintendo, and hearing the story from the other side was amazing.


What was one of the most memorable moments of Console Wars?

I loved as Tom and the Sega team came up with sonic and stuck it to Nintendo.


Which character – as performed by Fred Berman – was your favourite?

Tom kilinski


Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

Omg so much yes


Any additional comments?

Anyone even remotely interested in marketing or gaming, this is a must.

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- Raymond

Interesting section of history

Overall this is an interesting retelling of the history of early EA, Nintendo and Sega. its informative and shows an interesting perspective. However I struggled a little getting through midway of this book. It's strong points are the start and end. How it's written comes of a little pretentious and egotistic in sections where it is slighty tiresome to keep on pushing on listening. There are golden parts retold within this audio book that are really interesting for management and game development and clever ways sega got the upperhand. But there is also alot of over the top descriptions and sentences that over compensate whats required as a viewer/listener that waterdowns what you are hearing. Overall it's a once off book to listen to, I probably wouldnt review it again. good for history and story behind the consoles that many grew up with for their childhood and thats about that.

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- Finn

Book Details

  • Release Date: 13-05-2014
  • Publisher: HarperAudio