Console Wars: Sega, Nintendo, and the Battle that Defined a Generation

by Blake Harris

Dey Street Books

Featured on/in MSNBC, BBC, Slate, NPR’s Marketplace, Grantland, Forbes, Wired, Kotaku, and many others
Optioned as a feature film and documentary to Sony Pictures and Scott Rudin Productions, with Seth Rogen and Evan Goldberg attached to write, direct, and produce.

Console Wars had me hooked from the first page… The story zings along at a breakneck pace. Infighting, corporate greed, scrappy genius vs. antiquated business models – Console Wars has it all. A thoroughly good read!”
—Ben Mezrich, author of The Accidental Billionaires and Bringing Down the House

“Pegged for both documentary and feature-film adaptations, Console Wars is remarkably detailed and fast paced, pitting speedy Sonic against more-of-the-same Mario in a blow-by-blow account of the battle for supremacy in the burgeoning video-game industry.”
Booklist, starred

“A riveting story full of colorful characters… a fascinating, illuminating history… an essential read.”
Publisher’s Weekly, starred

“A highly entertaining behind-the-scenes thriller.”
Kirkus Reviews

About the Book

Following the success of The Accidental Billionaires and Moneyball comes Console Wars—a mesmerizing, behind-the-scenes business thriller that chronicles how Sega, a small, scrappy gaming company led by an unlikely visionary and a team of rebels, took on the juggernaut Nintendo and revolutionized the video game industry.

In 1990, Nintendo had a virtual monopoly on the video game industry. Sega, on the other hand, was just 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 videogames 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.

Based on over two hundred interviews with former Sega and Nintendo employees, 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.

About the Author

Blake J. Harris is a writer and filmmaker based out of New York. He is currently co-directing the documentary based on his book, which is being produced by Scott Rudin, Seth Rogen, and Evan Goldberg. He will also serve as an executive producer on Sony's feature-film adaptation of Console Wars.