Console Wars Book

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ESauce
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Console Wars Book

Postby ESauce » February 17th, 2017, 9:53 am

Has anyone else read this book? If you were a gamer in the 90s, especially if you grew up with gaming in the 90s like me, and remember the war between Sega and Nintendo then I highly recommend reading this book. It chronicles the story of the head of Sega of America, and his role in getting Sega a piece of the console market that Nintendo had completely dominated when he was brought on. I am only halfway through it but it is fascinating (it kept me up well past my bedtime).

Just a few of the interesting things I learned from this book

SPOILER ALERT below for things that already happened in real life! if you plan on reading the book I would not read on:

-Joe Montana football on the Genesis feels so much like Madden because it is Madden. Sega of America asked EA to make the game by slapping a new coat of paint on Madden.
-The above deal was part of a deal in which EA was allowed to develop Genesis at a fraction of the cost of other developers. A deal given to them only because EA had reverse engineered the Genesis and was capable of making games without Sega!
-Buster Douglas got his name on a boxing game because of knocking out Mike Tyson of course, but a big part of why that mattered is because Sega of America secretly relished that they were making a boxing game starring the boxer that knocked out the boxer on Nintendo's game.
-Sega of Japan was secretly sending money to Tengen while they were embroiled in a legal battle with Nintendo in an attempt to weaken Nintendo
-The original version of Sonic the Hedgehog that was created by Sega of Japan had fangs, a spike collar and a big breasted girlfriend named Maddonna. Sega of America was responsible for changing him to the character we all grew to love, and the developers at Sega of Japan hated the changes!

Go read the book for more!

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Gentlegamer
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Re: Console Wars Book

Postby Gentlegamer » February 17th, 2017, 10:00 am

That book is about 90% Tom Kalinske lies/spin.

ESauce
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Re: Console Wars Book

Postby ESauce » February 17th, 2017, 10:37 am

Gentlegamer wrote:That book is about 90% Tom Kalinske lies/spin.


It'd be nice if you went into detail a bit. Frankly your response feels pretty rude. I just recommended a book and your response is essentially just telling people to ignore my recommendation without any actual reasons.

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Gentlegamer
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Re: Console Wars Book

Postby Gentlegamer » February 17th, 2017, 11:53 am


matmico399
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Re: Console Wars Book

Postby matmico399 » February 17th, 2017, 11:55 am

That book sounds pretty awesome I will def check it out!

ESauce
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Re: Console Wars Book

Postby ESauce » February 17th, 2017, 12:36 pm

Gentlegamer wrote:Check out this thread at Sega-16: http://www.sega-16.com/forum/showthread ... full-of-it


Thanks for the info. I think not all of the blame should be put on Kalinske if not everything in the book happened as it is written. The author states at the beginning that he has taken some liberties with the chronology to fit the narrative and also that he is doing his best using what are likely pretty fuzzy memories by the time he did the interviews. I think some of it may need to be taken with a grain of salt based on this, but a lot of it seems to hold up when I researched it, but what is likely different is which people were actually involved, and exactly when the events took place.

The link you showed does mention that's Kalinske came on too late to have given feedback about Sonic's appearance, and could only have given feedback about the girlfriend, Madonna. I disagree. The person in that link argues that the gameplay had already been shown and sonic did not have a spike collar and fangs. But Madonna wasn't present in the gameplay either; we only can confirm her existence because Sega released concept art in Sonic Gems. Sonic very well may have had a spiked collar and fangs in concept art that was intended only for advertisements, instruction manual pictures, and non-gameplay scenes. If this concept art existed then i doubt very much that Sega would ever want it to see the light of day. It would shatter sonic's image. So, you can believe it or not, but I don't see that being definitively false.

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Gentlegamer
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Re: Console Wars Book

Postby Gentlegamer » February 17th, 2017, 12:49 pm

ESauce wrote:
Gentlegamer wrote:Check out this thread at Sega-16: http://www.sega-16.com/forum/showthread ... full-of-it


Thanks for the info. I think not all of the blame should be put on Kalinske if not everything in the book happened as it is written. The author states at the beginning that he has taken some liberties with the chronology to fit the narrative and also that he is doing his best using what are likely pretty fuzzy memories by the time he did the interviews. I think some of it may need to be taken with a grain of salt based on this, but a lot of it seems to hold up when I researched it, but what is likely different is which people were actually involved, and exactly when the events took place.

The link you showed does mention that's Kalinske came on too late to have given feedback about Sonic's appearance, and could only have given feedback about the girlfriend, Madonna. I disagree. The person in that link argues that the gameplay had already been shown and sonic did not have a spike collar and fangs. But Madonna wasn't present in the gameplay either; we only can confirm her existence because Sega released concept art in Sonic Gems. Sonic very well may have had a spiked collar and fangs in concept art that was intended only for advertisements, instruction manual pictures, and non-gameplay scenes. If this concept art existed then i doubt very much that Sega would ever want it to see the light of day. It would shatter sonic's image. So, you can believe it or not, but I don't see that being definitively false.


Let me put it another way, Console Wars was essentially ghost-written by Kalinske, he's the source and point of view for everything. So any reader should be aware of his self-interest in painting a certain narrative.

If you want a great Sega book, check out Playing at the Next Level, A History of American Sega Games, by Ken Horowitz (Melf, the owner of Sega-16.com). It focuses on the development side.

ESauce
Posts: 275
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Re: Console Wars Book

Postby ESauce » February 17th, 2017, 1:06 pm

I think the onus falls on the author to verify interviews so while Kalinske might be fabricating, it is more the author's fault if lies appear in the story. If a journalist writes a story and only interviews one side of the story then we don't just blame the person they interviewed. See the University of Virginia story in Rolling Stone for an example.

Howeve, I do concede that not everything in the book happened as it was written, I think it is a very entertaining read, and you will learn some fun things that are true by reading it.

Thanks for the book recommendation. I'll have to check it out when I'm finished with this one.

Sut
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Re: Console Wars Book

Postby Sut » February 17th, 2017, 1:13 pm

I enjoyed Console Wars. I think it's more a case of 'based on real events'. A lot of it is true like the Sega E3 price drop and I found the marketing stories fascinating.
The piece where they imported a SNES to find a chink in it's armour and how they zoned in on the slow (compared to Sega's) processor and came with the whole 'blast processing' campaign was brilliant.

However as Gentlegamer said some things should be taken with a pinch of salt. There is a part where Tom allegedly dismisses the 32x as a Frankenstein machine. However the 32x was Sega of America's baby not Japan's.

Still a entertaining read.


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