A gripping behind-the-scenes history of video games in the twenty-first century
If there is one thing that defines the video game industry, it is survival of the fittest. It’s a business where no one can confidently say what people will be buying and playing even a year from now. And as gaming has grown to a $160 billion market, the cost of that uncertainty has never been higher.
Steven L. Kent has been playing video games since Pong
and writing about the industry since the Nintendo Entertainment System. In his last book, he used his encyclopedic knowledge and unparalleled access to game designers and executives to tell the story of the industry’s first thirty years. Now he chronicles gaming’s second century, as Nintendo, Sega, Sony, and Microsoft wage a life-or-death 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, the machines that had made their fortunes were aging or obsolete. 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 world, Bill Gates announced the development of one console, the Xbox, to beat them all–even if Microsoft had to burn a few billion dollars to do it.
With unparalleled reporting and gripping storytelling, The Ultimate History of Video Games, Volume 2
explores the origins of modern consoles and of the franchises–from Grand Theft Auto
to Call of Duty
and Guitar Hero
–that would define gaming in the twenty-first century.