Console Wars remains the best book I have ever read about the game industry. It’s the exciting story of Sega of America taking over the console monopoly from Nintendo in the 90s. We knew it was going to be a documentary and now we have a first trailer.
The documentary will be available on September 23rd on CBS All Access. If you’re like me, you already have a subscription to CBS All Access so you can check out the new one Star Trek shows. This will be the service’s first documentary.
When I watch the trailer I hope this turns out to be a fun watch. It includes interviews with many of the key figures in history, particularly Sega from America’s former President Tom Kalinske. He̵
The production values look good too. It looks like we’re seeing a lot of the book’s events recreated in pixel form, and we’re also getting archival footage from the old fairs where people first saw milestones like Sonic the Hedgehog.
The trailer also had a short clip of Toejam and Earl in Panic on Funkotron, so that’s amazing. You can see it below.
Great platforms for game stories
I’m glad that the history of gaming is highlighted on the mainstream platforms. Earlier this year, Netflix published its own game documentation. Highscore tells the story of the golden age of the game in six episodes. It’s also about the Nintendo / Sega console war.
Netflix and CBS see value in these stories. I hope this is just the beginning. The industry has so many stories to tell. Hell, I’d watch an entire documentary on the Sega Channel, the ambitious 1994 Genesis add-on that allows users to download games over a wired connection.
These stories have been inaccessible for a long time. Lately, many of them are coming to light thanks to the work of YouTube channels that focus on gaming history, like The Gaming Historian. And even with this renewed interest from big media companies, it will still fall to smaller content creators to teach us about darker facets of gaming’s past.
Heck, I sometimes hope to someday become more of a game historian than a journalist covering the day’s news. In the future, I may be done reviewing new games and fully covering console launches. I’m going to retire to my study with a glass of scotch (in the future I’ll have a study and it’ll be cool as hell) and write the magnum opus about making The Secret of Monkey Island or something.
Until then, I’ll enjoy the works of others, like Console Wars.
The RetroBeat is a weekly column that delves into the past of games, delves into classics, new retro titles, or explores how old favorites – and their design techniques – inspire today’s market and experiences. If you have retro style projects or balls that you would like to send me please contact me.