Short Take: Console Wars – Blake J. Harris

This is a narrative history that reads like a business thriller. Who knew the foundational rivalry between the gaming companies Sega and Nintendo could make such a great read? Well, Seth Rogan for one. He’s developing the book as a movie and writes the forward here. And author Harris is co-directing a documentary of this David and Goliath story with Rogan’s team.

In the meantime, the text version is here first and arrives to good advance reviews.

 “Harris portrays Nintendo as the distinguished incumbent, obsessed with quality control and perfection, while Sega is painted as the ambitious upstart willing to rewrite the rules of engagement. At the heart of it all is underdog businessman Tom Kalinske. While not the only primary character, it’s his efforts to make Sega of America into a viable operation and a serious contender that drives much of the book. Harris covers all sides of the ongoing conflict (including the arrival of third party Sony) with cunning thoroughness, turning hundreds of interviews into a riveting story full of colorful characters…. [I]t’s also a fascinating, even illuminating, history of the video game industry as seen through the experiences of two influential companies….[A]n essential read for any interested in the evolution of video games, and the rise and fall of Sega as a console contender.”
Publishers Weekly (starred review)

“[A] highly entertaining behind-the-scenes thriller in which price fixing, psychotically aggressive marketing schemes and, occasionally, genuine innovation all come into play.”
Kirkus Reviews

Console Wars: Sega, Nintendo, and the Battle that Defined a Generation (9780062276698) by Blake J. Harris. $28.99 hardcover. 5/13/14 on sale. 

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