More by Steven L. Kent

The definitive behind-the-scenes history of the dawn of video games and their rise into a multibillion-dollar business
 
“For industry insiders and game players alike, this book is a must-have.”—Mark Turmell, designer for Midway Games and creator of NBA Jam, NFL Blitz, and WrestleMania
 
With all the whiz, bang, pop, and shimmer of a glowing arcade, volume 1 of The Ultimate History of Video Games reveals everything you ever wanted to know and more about the unforgettable games that changed the world, the visionaries who made them, and the fanatics who played them. Starting in arcades then moving to televisions and handheld devices, the video game invasion has entranced kids and the young at heart for nearly fifty years. And gaming historian Steven L. Kent has been there to record the craze from the very beginning.
 
The Ultimate History: Volume 1 tells the incredible tale of how this backroom novelty transformed into a cultural phenomenon. Through meticulous research and personal interviews with hundreds of industry luminaries, Kent chronicles firsthand accounts of how yesterday’s games like Space Invaders, Centipede, and Pac-Man helped create an arcade culture that defined a generation, and how today’s empires like Sony, Nintendo, and Electronic Arts have galvanized a multibillion-dollar industry and a new generation of games. Inside, you’ll discover
 
• the video game that saved Nintendo from bankruptcy
• the serendipitous story of Pac-Man’s design
• the misstep that helped topple Atari’s $2-billion-a-year empire
• the coin shortage caused by Space Invaders
• the fascinating reasons behind the rise, fall, and rebirth of Sega
• and much more!
 
Entertaining, addictive, and as mesmerizing as the games it chronicles, this book is a must-have for anyone who’s ever touched a joystick.
The definitive behind-the-scenes history of video games’ explosion into the twenty-first century and the war for industry power

“A zippy read through a truly deep research job. You won’t want to put this one down.”—Eddie Adlum, publisher, RePlay Magazine

As video games evolve, only the fittest companies survive. Making a blockbuster once cost millions of dollars; now it can cost hundreds of millions, but with a $160 billion market worldwide, the biggest players are willing to bet the bank.

Steven L. Kent has been playing video games since Pong and writing about the industry since the Nintendo Entertainment System. In volume 1 of The Ultimate History of Video Games, he chronicled the industry’s first thirty years. In volume 2, he narrates gaming’s entrance into the twenty-first century, as Nintendo, Sega, Sony, and Microsoft battle to capture the global market.

The home console boom of the ’90s turned hobby companies like Nintendo and Sega into Hollywood-studio-sized business titans. But by the end of the decade, they would face new, more powerful competitors. In boardrooms on both sides of the Pacific, engineers and executives began, with enormous budgets and total secrecy, to plan the next evolution of home consoles. The PlayStation 2, Nintendo GameCube, and Sega Dreamcast all made radically different bets on what gamers would want. And then, to the shock of the world, Bill Gates announced the development of the one console to beat them all—even if Microsoft had to burn a few billion dollars to do it. In this book, you will learn about

• the cutthroat environment at Microsoft as rival teams created console systems
• the day the head of Sega of America told the creator of Sonic the Hedgehog to “f**k off”
• how “lateral thinking with withered technology” put Nintendo back on top
• and much more!

Gripping and comprehensive, The Ultimate History of Video Games: Volume 2 explores the origins of modern consoles and of the franchises—from Grand Theft Auto and Halo to Call of Duty and Guitar Hero—that would define gaming in the new millennium.
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