Console Wars

Sega Vs Nintendo - and the Battle that Defined a Generation

Console Wars

In 1990 Nintendo had a virtual monopoly on the video game industry. Sega, on the other hand, was a faltering arcade company with big aspirations and even bigger personalities. But that would all change with the arrival of Tom Kalinske, a man 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, transformed Sega and eventually led to a ruthless David-and-Goliath showdown with rival Nintendo. 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 schoolyards 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 US against Japan. Console Wars is the underdog tale of how Kalinske miraculously turned an industry punchline into a market leader. It's 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, birth a $60 billion dollar industry.

The History of the Future

Oculus, Facebook, and the Revolution That Swept Virtual Reality

The History of the Future

The dramatic, larger-than-life true story behind the founding of Oculus and its quest for virtual reality, by the bestselling author of Console Wars. From iconic books like Neuromancer to blockbuster films like The Matrix, virtual reality has long been hailed as the ultimate technology. But outside of a few research labs and military training facilities, this tantalizing vision of the future was nothing but science fiction. Until 2012, when Oculus founder Palmer Luckey—then just a rebellious teenage dreamer living alone in a camper trailer—invents a device that has the potential to change everything. With the help of a videogame legend, a serial entrepreneur and many other colorful characters, Luckey’s scrappy startup kickstarts a revolution and sets out to bring VR to the masses. As with most underdog stories, things don’t quite go according to plan. But what happens next turns out to be the ultimate entrepreneurial journey: a tale of battles won and lost, lessons learned and neverending twists and turns—including an unlikely multi-billion-dollar acquisition by Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg, which shakes up the landscape in Silicon Valley and gives Oculus the chance to forever change our reality. Drawing on over a hundred interviews with the key players driving this revolution, The History of the Future weaves together a rich, cinematic narrative that captures the breakthroughs, breakdowns and human drama of trying to change the world. The result is a super accessible and supremely entertaining look at the birth of a game-changing new industry.

Vintage Games 2.0

An Insider Look at the Most Influential Games of All Time

Vintage Games 2.0

Super Mario Bros. Doom. Minecraft. It’s hard to imagine what life would be like today without video games, a creative industry that now towers over Hollywood in terms of both financial and cultural impact. The video game industry caters to everyone, with games in every genre for every conceivable electronic device--from dedicated PC gaming rigs and consoles to handhelds, mobile phones, and tablets. Successful games are produced by mega-corporations, independent studios, and even lone developers working with nothing but free tools. Some may still believe that video games are mere diversions for children, but today’s games offer sophisticated and wondrously immersive experiences that no other media can hope to match. Vintage Games 2.0 tells the story of the ultimate storytelling medium, from early examples such as Spacewar! and Pong to the mind blowing console and PC titles of today. Written in a smart and engaging style, this updated 2nd edition is far more than just a survey of the classics. Informed by hundreds of in-depth personal interviews with designers, publishers, marketers, and artists--not to mention the author’s own lifelong experience as a gamer--Vintage Games 2.0 uncovers the remarkable feats of intellectual genius, but also the inspiring personal struggles of the world’s most brilliant and celebrated game designers--figures like Shigeru Miyamoto, Will Wright, and Roberta Williams. Ideal for both beginners and professionals, Vintage Games 2.0 offers an entertaining and inspiring account of video game’s history and meteoric rise from niche market to global phenomenon. Credit for the cover belongs to Thor Thorvaldson.

Debugging Game History

A Critical Lexicon

Debugging Game History

Essays discuss the terminology, etymology, and history of key terms, offering a foundation for critical historical studies of games.

The Media Snatcher

PC/CORE/TURBO/ENGINE/GRAFX/16/CDROM2/SUPER/DUO/ARCADE/RX

The Media Snatcher

An in-depth exploration of a neglected video game platform of the 1990s and a reflection on the way we construct the cultural history of video games. In The Media Snatcher, Carl Therrien offers an in-depth exploration of NEC's PC Engine/TurboGrafx-16, a little-studied video game platform released in the late 1980s. The PC Engine was designed to bring technological expandability to the world of game consoles; The Media Snatcher's subtitle evokes some of the expansions and the numerous rebranded versions of the system released by NEC, including the first CD-ROM add-on in video game history. The platform makers hoped that expandability would allow its console to remain at the cutting edge and even catch up with such perceptually rich media as cinema and anime. More than a simple shape-shifter, the PC Engine became a media snatcher. Therrien examines the multidirectional interactions of video game technologies, commercial structures, and cultural dynamics. He considers, among other things, hyperbolic marketing and its impact on how we construct video game history; glitches, technological obsolescence, and the difficulty of conducting media archaeology of the recent past; the emergence of male-centered power fantasies through audiovisual rewards; the rise of original genres such as visual novels; and the sustained efforts to integrate PC Engine software in the sprawling media landscape of Japan (where the PC Engine found much of its success). Avoiding the usual techno-industrial glorification, Therrien recounts the bold technological aspirations of the platform makers and the struggles to make the actual technology realize its potential.

Entertainment Industry Economics

A Guide for Financial Analysis

Entertainment Industry Economics

Fully updated, this ninth edition remains the definitive source on the economics of entertainment in the United States and overseas.