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Description

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.

©2014 Blake J. Harris (P)2014 HarperCollins Publishers

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Ce que les auditeurs disent de Console Wars

Notations
Global
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Interprétation
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Il n'y a pas encore de critique disponible pour ce titre.
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  • Global
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
Image de profile pour Shane Snyder
  • Shane Snyder
  • 22/07/2014

My Childhood: Explained

Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

I would recommend this audiobook to anyone who grew up playing video games in the 80s and 90s. I used to own a NES and an SNES and my cousin owned a Genesis (I later moved on to the PlayStation). This book does an excellent job answering all the questions I ever had about this awesome time in the Home Video Console eras.

What did you like best about this story?

I loved how the story played out like a drama and not like a history.

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

Fred Berman did an excellent job on all the characters. No one stood out as being exceptionally better (which I think is a good thing)... but I really liked the way he personified the geeky nature of Howard Phillips.

11 personnes ont trouvé cela utile

  • Global
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
Image de profile pour Evana
  • Evana
  • 04/08/2015

Interesting book with great narrator

Herman had the tough task of performing voices from Japan, Iceland, Britain, and the United States. His female voices were also well done. The narration did a wonderful job of adding to an already great story.

3 personnes ont trouvé cela utile

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    5 out of 5 stars
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Image de profile pour 19letterslong
  • 19letterslong
  • 03/08/2015

Great performance of a great book

I'm a huge fan of video game history and I've read a few books on the subject. This is easily one of the best. A must-read for those interested in the subject, especially those with a soft spot for Sega. Bergman does a great job narrating the book and actually manages to deliver a pretty decent Japanese accent, even if the few other accents he occasionally brings out aren't great. I enjoyed it from start to finish. I would recommend this to anyone interested in the subject matter.

3 personnes ont trouvé cela utile

  • Global
    4 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Rob G.
  • 17/11/2014

Was hoping for so much more...

The rise and fall of Sega of America during the 16 bit era under the leadership of Tom Kalinske, is a fascinating underdog story. Granted, it probably helps if you are a gamer, even more so if you had been one during that time period, but who doesn't love the story of a scrappy group of ragtags who take a nothing and make it something? Unfortunately, as anyone who knows the gaming business knows, this story doesn't have a happy ending, which I won't spoil, even though it's pretty much common knowledge how the whole thing went down by now.

I hate to repeat what so many other reviewers have written, but I can't get around it. This book reads like a cheesy novelization of a movie, which is no surprise considering it's author, Blake J. Harris is a screenwriter who is co-directing the movie of this book which, if I'm not mistaken, was already in planning before this book was even published. Harris admits in the introduction he may have take some poetic license here and there and it shows. Everything that happens in this book is so dramatic!

It doesn't help that Fred Berman is performing the heck out of the text. I'm not sure how else one could do it, but he matches groan worthy dialogue with clipped, Comic Book Guy cadences and almost gets to Mickey Rooney in Breakfast At Tiffany's level when reading Asian characters. The audiobook performance really emphasizes how annoyingly this thing was written.

So why didn't I just stop and hit the "return" button? Because the story is that fascinating to me. While I knew some of the details from years of reading retrogaming magazines and the book about Nintendo, Game Over, this was still very informative. I learned a lot of things, especially when it came to the origins of Sega's entry into the 32 bit era, and that was what kept me coming back.

The problem is, I have to wonder how much really happened and how much was that aforementioned poetic license. Certainly some things are a matter of record, but so many events happened behind closed doors and out of the public eye. Though I know Harris is said to have interviewed 200 people, the heavily dramatized style of writing causes me to instinctively question what I am hearing.

It would also have been really great to have seen more involvement from Sega of Japan. I haven't any idea how much Harris reached out to them and, if he did, it wouldn't be a shock to learn he was rebuffed. Still, without getting into too many spoilers, there are a lot of unanswered questions that only the people at Sega of Japan could answer, although it sounds like Tom Kalinske and all his team are probably still looking for those answers too.

The bottom line is, there's a great story here, it's just unfortunate the wrong person chose to write it. If you can stomach the unnecessary cinematic tone, and the audiobook performance to match, there's some good stuff here. It's just a shame that Harris couldn't have just written a book rather than trying to simultaneously make it into a movie.

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  • Global
    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
Image de profile pour Robert
  • Robert
  • 26/06/2014

If you love video games...

If you could sum up Console Wars in three words, what would they be?

Classic underdog story

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

The ongoing battle between Sega of Japan and Sega of the US

Have you listened to any of Fred Berman’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

No

Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

Moments of laughter

5 personnes ont trouvé cela utile

  • Global
    4 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
Image de profile pour Ryan
  • Ryan
  • 03/05/2017

Just a bit too much Hero-worship

Any additional comments?

Ok, so normally I'm they type of person not to even bother with a review, but I feel this one needs a bit of a warning.

Let me preface with, I liked this book, and would read it again.The preformance is excelent, and even the over-the-top dialog is fun.

That said, This is one exceedingly biast book. The author seems to have a love affair with Tom Kalinske, and the hero worship can get a little grating.

"Hey guys, remember when Tom Kalinske predicted the coming of violent video games years before they happened? Remember how cool he was when he helped create the Nintendo 64 to spite SoJ? He helped cure AIDS y'know!"

I don't know how historically accurate any of the book is, but if you were to tell me that the author was Tom Kalinske himself using a pen name, I would not be surprised.

I do recommend this book, especially in the audio version.The performance is quite enjoyable. However, expect to be hit over the head every few chapters with how amazing Kalinske is and how SEGA's downfall was Japan's fault entirely.

7 personnes ont trouvé cela utile

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    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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  • MovieGuy
  • 22/06/2014

A Trip Down Memory Lane

Console Wars gives us all a trip down memory lane, returning us to the mid 80's through the mid 90's, which to me is the "Golden Age Of Video Games". The book focuses mainly on Tom Kalinski, the head of Sega of America, and follows him through the whirlwind ride that Sega took, coming to prominence in the 16-bit wars only to lose it all in 32-bit.

I really really enjoyed being taken back and re-living that era of video games. And along the way I learned tons about all the corporate strategies and deal-making and such that was going on. Fascinating stuff. Also the reading of this book is outstanding.

The only downside to me is that the book somehow doesn't take it's own advice, namely that "The name of the game is the game". In other words, the book gives us so much detail about what the heads of the companies are doing, what their strategies were, what the marketing department was doing, how they were coming up with their slogans and advertisements, and on and on. But what they talked surprisingly little about were the games! What would have been much MORE interesting to me was more of a focus on the development of the games, how the games were received by players, discussions about game genres and technologies and peripherals and all that stuff. THAT would be been a lot more engaging.

But anyway... it's still a really good and interesting book. Highly recommended for fans of video games who are interested in some of the history and behind the scenes stuff of that era.

4 personnes ont trouvé cela utile

  • Global
    3 out of 5 stars
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Image de profile pour Ty
  • Ty
  • 27/11/2020

Sega vs. the evil overlord - Nintendo

Blake Harris certainly put together a fun read for anyone that feels defined by the console wars. The book is filled with a sense of nostalgia for what Nintendo and Sega accomplished. Harris wrote the story with child-like emotion and the whimsical nature of how video games would change the world in the future. The tone is perfectly encapsulated, but the overall work is a bit, well - odd. The story is told through the perspective and drive of Sega, to overcome the empirical over-lords of Nintendo. Although Harris does not stray away from what each company did to change the world and video-games forever, he certainly has a bias for the works of Sega. Especially the accomplishments of Tom Kalinske. Harris seems to highlight Kalinske and companies accomplishments, and vilify the actions of Howard Lincoln and Nintendo. Instead of taking a masterful whimsical tone and applying to the actual events as a piece of what historically happened between these two technological giants, Harris puts the reader in the position of being a cheerleader for the little blue hedgehog and Kalinske's dream team at Sega. I would like to know where Blake Harris chose to embellish the story, and blur the lines of accuracy. Overall, I listened to this work on Audible and found that the narration is wonderful. Where I had questions about Harris and the way the book was written - I did not really have any issues with Fred Berman. His narration had to of been very challenging with having to read between male and female along with several different nationalities. Honestly, most of the time I was just thoroughly impressed and could easily ignore a word or name mispronounced. It was an absolute pleasure listening to Berman, and I'd look into other books he has narrated.

  • Global
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
Image de profile pour alan costa
  • alan costa
  • 09/11/2020

Outstanding!

Truly an excellent listen. Well read. In depth story, with many interesting details. Great story if you like video games and their history. Highly recommended. Also watch the film after this book, more enjoyable that way.

  • Global
    4 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
Image de profile pour Utilisateur anonyme
  • Utilisateur anonyme
  • 27/10/2020

99% dramatized marketing anecdotes

99% dramatized marketing anecdotes (well executed), but few technical details. Too long in my opinion.

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  • Global
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
Image de profile pour Marcel Hugenschütt
  • Marcel Hugenschütt
  • 28/08/2017

Ein bedeutungsvoll unbedeutungsvoller Krieg

Einfach eine der interressantesten Geschichten über Marketing, die Leute dahinter und Videospiele im Algemeinen. Sowohl für Nintendo als auch Sega Fans geeignet. Unterhaltsam geschrieben und excellent vorgetragen.

1 personne a trouvé cela utile

  • Global
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
Image de profile pour Tenkoman
  • Tenkoman
  • 25/04/2018

Geschichte einer Generation

Jeder, der in den frühen 90gern seine Kindheit oder Jugend verbracht hat, stolperte irgendwie über den klassischen Konsolenkrieg. Das Buch erzählt auf amüsante Weise, wie dieser Krieg in den Kommandozentralen in den USA, insbesondere bei SEGA, gefochten wurde. Sehr zu empfehlen für alle die sich für Technik, Marketing und Videospiele interessieren.

  • Global
    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
Image de profile pour Kumkwat
  • Kumkwat
  • 17/04/2018

The Tom Kalinske Story

This book focuses mostly on T. M. and definitely leaves out important aspects of the console war. The situation in europe (where the sega genesis has been quite successful from the get go), segas last console: the dreamcast and it definitely frames sega as the heroes and Nintendo as the bloated establishment. I would have also like a little look on the time before Kalinske joined sega and the time after. Especially the dramatic irony of sega producing software for Nintendo. The book is pretty biased yet very entertaining look at the console war between sega and Nintendo. It is masterfully narated and written and definitely enjoyable. Just not objective.

  • Global
    3 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
Image de profile pour Martin St.
  • Martin St.
  • 06/01/2018

16 bit legacy

This is a good audio book, I can recommend it. It is based on well researched information, and is told vividly by the speaker. However it lacks on objectivity. 1st the scope is biased by the USA market, 2nd more or less it puts the videogame marketing subject into the focus, and 3rd it focuses on the viewpoint of SEGA. At the end this audio book tells a very interesting story about one of the most dynamic decades in videogame history. Don’t miss it.

  • Global
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Johann
  • 22/01/2017

Must listen for anyone interested in early days

Great research on the early the early day of the gaming industry and the war of Sega and Nintendo

  • Global
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
Image de profile pour Martin
  • Martin
  • 09/01/2017

An absolute must for gamers...

Even as non-native speaker this book was easy listening, thanks to Fred Bermans voice. And to learn about the stories of Nintendo and Sega and the disputes between them made the 20 hours or so short.

  • Global
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • franz
  • 12/03/2016

16bit in Audio

A great book about the 16bit era. Read by Fred Berman, this book is never boring and always catchy to listen to. A must have for videogame fans!