kottke.org posts about Console Wars

Console WarsMay 15 2014

From Grantland, an excerpt from Console Wars, a new book by Blake J. Harris about the video game console battles of the 1990s between Nintendo and Sega. The excerpt is about the rise of Nintendo.

And just like that, the North American videogame industry ground to a halt. Hardware companies (like Atari) went bankrupt, software companies (like Sega) were sold for pennies on the dollar, and retailers (like Sears) vowed never to go into the business again. Meanwhile, Nintendo quietly glided through the bloody waters on a gorilla-shaped raft. The continuing cash flow from Donkey Kong enabled Arakawa, Stone, Judy, and Lincoln to dream of a new world order, one where NOA miraculously resurrected the industry and Nintendo reigned supreme. Not now, perhaps, but one day soon.

Harris is also working on a documentary based on the book. And Sony is making a "feature-film" adaptation of the book as well. Cool!

Update: Medium has another excerpt from the book.

Maybe this Sonic could sell in Japan, but in America he belonged inside a nightmare.

Kalinske got off the phone with Nakayama and took the fax to Madeline Schroeder's office. "I have good news and I have scary news." He handed her the artwork. "What do you think?"

She looked it over. "I think we'll be the first videogame company whose core demographic is goths."

"Nakayama loves it."

"Of course he does," she said. "It's so weirdly Japanese. I'm surprised the girlfriend's boobs aren't hanging out of a schoolgirl outfit."

Despite his sour mood, Kalinske laughed. "Her name is Madonna."

Schroeder put the drawing on the desk. After a long silent inspection they both spoke at the same time, saying the exact same thing: "Can you fix it?"

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