Console Wars: Sega, Nintendo, and the Battle That Defined A Generation by Blake J. Harris is as much a compelling story as it is a recounting of historical events. The story focuses on something that will appeal to only a select group of people: The rivalry between Sega and Nintendo, two of the biggest video game companies in the 1990’s. Although this may sound dull, the author is able to twist a tale that is as thrilling as any fictional story. In this true story, the reader will follow Tom Kalinske, our main focus, who is recently appointed to Sega of America. We follow him and his employees as they fight a relentless battle against Nintendo, with many twists and turns along the way. Of course, all the characters in this story are real people, and unique as well. The main person, Tom Kalinske is a good leader, charming and outspoken. There are many other supporting people, such as Hayao Nakayama, Shinobu Toyoda and so many more. There are also many other elements that make up Console Wars.
First of all, the book deals with many themes and messages that are interpreted through the harsh world of business. These include consumerism, success, and how these rival companies are always seeking more profit than they already have. Additionally, the book is full of heavy symbolism, comparing Sega and Nintendo to “heavyweights” fighting for the title of champion. Perhaps this may seem too dramatic, but it definitely fits with the context of the story. Another thing to touch upon is the writing style of the book. As the author states, the dialogue is based on more than two hundred interviews, so it does sound very genuine and authentic.
Now, there’s the big question: Would I recommend this book to a general audience. Well, if I’m considering everyone, then no. However, I would definitely recommend this book to the niche audience who enjoy learning and understanding the complex history of video games. Although it may sound boring, the author makes this book accessible enough to the general population. However, it is still assumed that you have at least some degree of interest in Video Games.
Here’s what Console Wars excels at: smart dialogue, humour, accurate storytelling and facts, and good pacing. However, there are some things which it can definitely improve on: length of the book, names and companies which may be too overwhelming, and there are some other issues.
Now, after reading my review, I hope that you can now decide if you want to read Console Wars or not. This book is full of video game facts galore, so if you are a true fan, be sure to check this one out.