Blake Harris

Console Wars

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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.
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Atlantic Books


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    Hvis du er vokset op med Nintendo eller SEGA, så bliver du nødt til at læse denne bog. Giver en fantastisk indsigt i hele forløbet omkring starten og slutningen på SEGA.


    Jair Ibarraцитує4 роки тому
    The Genesis and SNES were neck and neck. Game Gear was about to catch up to Nintendo’s Game Boy. And Sega CD, Sega Channel, and development on Sonic 3 were all great examples of the company’s continued commitment to reaching the Next Level. For the time being, Sega was firing on all cylinders, but it was the future that had Kalinske concerned.
    Particularly when it came to a next-generation console. After Sega and Sony had spent nearly six months trying to jointly develop 32-bit hardware, it appeared that they couldn’t come to an agreement on the system’s architecture, and the entire thing fell apart. What it boiled down to was that Sony’s Ken Kutaragi wanted to create a machine that was 100 percent dedicated to 3-D graphics, whereas Sega’s Hideki Sato wanted to build a machine that could also accommodate the typical 2-D sprite-based gaming. This didn’t make any sense to Kalinske; weren’t three dimensions undoubtedly better than two? Hadn’t Sega CD proven that players craved lifelike graphics? What was the issue here? But when Kalinske pressed for an answer, he was told that this was better because developers would have a very difficult time making games in 3-D.
    Jair Ibarraцитує4 роки тому
    In 1971, when he was only three days old, Ryan White was diagnosed with hemophilia A. As treatment for this disorder, he was given weekly transfusions of a blood-clotting protein called factor VIII. This enabled him to live a relatively normal life throughout most of his childhood, but that changed in 1984 when the thirteen-year-old was rushed to the hospital with symptoms of pneumonia. Following a partial lung transplant, he was diagnosed with AIDS, which he had acquired through a transfusion. White was given only six months to live, but after beating those odds and regaining some of his strength, he wanted to try to resume a normal life. A large part of that normalcy entailed returning to school, but when community members learned of his intentions, they protested.
    Fearing that he might be contagious, fifty teachers and over a hundred local parents signed a petition to ban Ryan White from Western Middle School. Even though the health commissioner of Indiana informed the school that White posed no risk to other students, he was expelled from the school. The White family challenged this decision and turned to the legal system to get their son readmitted. Over the next year, White remained at home as his case went through various courts and appeals until finally, in August 1986, he was allowed to return to school for eighth grade. Although this appeared to be a major victory, White was generally unhappy upon returning to classes because he had few friends and was often accused of “being a queer.” Meanwhile, his family received threats on a nearly daily basis, and after a bullet zinged through their living room, they decided to withdraw their son from the school.
    Jair Ibarraцитує4 роки тому
    The reason they could do this was because of the extremely liberal return policies that most retailers had in place.

    In 1991, someone could walk into a store with no receipt and no original packaging—they didn’t even have to have all the parts (“Um, I don’t remember this NES coming with a controller”)—and receive a full refund by claiming there was a defect. No proof had to be provided, nor did the retailers even really care. In their eyes, the customer was always right, and financially it didn’t hurt them much because they would just send the supposedly defective product back to the manufacturer for their own refund. As a result of retailers empowering their customers with the gift of infinite rightness, companies like Nintendo would suffer the costs of that moral wrongness.

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