The story of Nintendo’s rise and the beloved icon who made it possible
Nintendo has continually set the standard for video game innovation in America, starting in 1981 with a plucky hero who jumped over barrels to save a girl from an ape.
The saga of Mario, the portly plumber who became the most successful franchise in the history of gaming, has plot twists worthy of a video game. Jeff Ryan shares the story of how this quintessentially Japanese company found success in the American market. Lawsuits, Hollywood, die-hard fans, and face-offs with Sony and Microsoft are all part of the drama. Find out about: Mario’s eccentric yet brilliant creator, Shigeru Miyamoto, who was tapped for the job because he was considered expendable; Minoru Arakawa, the son-in-law of Nintendo’s imperious president, who bumbled his way to success; and the unexpected approach that allowed Nintendo to reinvent itself as the gaming system for the nongamer, especially now with the Wii.
Even those who can’t tell a Koopa from a Goomba will find this a fascinating story of striving, comeuppance, and redemption.
“One of America’s favorite pastimes is covered in exhaustive, enthusiastic detail.” (Publishers Weekly)
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Ray Porter is my favorite narrator and his reading can make an average book feel great. I think this might be why this book gets such good reviews. Either that, or die-hard Nintendo fans love hearing lists of the gazillions of variations on all the Mario games.
What I got from this book was that Nintendo found a formula that worked and were careful to not change things too much and milk that baby for all they could get out of it.
Don't get me wrong - I like Nintendo. I like that their devices and games are usually high quality, family friendly and I especially liked the Wii with its introduction of less sedentary gaming.
But after the first hour the book, it became less of a personal story and entrepreneurial success story and more like a high level chronology of a corporation's product rollouts.
Still, Ray Porter can make the ingredients list on a packet of peach rings sound enthralling :-)
- TM "TJM"
A Must! For the gamer, 80's nerd, business man.
As someone who was born in 71, this book was meant for me. It should be required reading for people who read Ready Player One, which I highly recommend. I knew things the reader was going to say before he said it, which is always a treat when listening to an audio book, but the real treat was that he would then give you the behind the curtain details. Pop culture has put forth so many myths about games, characters, and the Big N itself and this book dispels them all. This book even features snip-its about Mikhail Gorbachev, George W. Bush, astronauts, the Beatles and to many others to list. As the book went through each era, I can remember where I was, who my friends where, the rumors that would fly about the next greatest thing that was coming out. It's easy to be an armchair quarterback and hindsight is always 20/20 right... but I can look back and remember how my friends and I would think than Nintendo was genius at times or wondering what the hell they were thinking. This book gives you real insight to the evolution of a business, an industry, a culture and a way of life. From a business stand point this shows how making sure it's right before it comes out is critical... "there's no such thing as late game once it comes out, but a bad game will always be bad". On the other hand the race could be over by the time your unbeatable car is finished.