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Bill Loguidice

Vintage Game Consoles - new book on computers, consoles, handhelds

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Many of you already know about this, but just in case, I wanted to start the topic for my upcoming book, Vintage Game Consoles: An Inside Look at Apple, Atari, Commodore, Nintendo, and the Greatest Gaming Platforms of All Time, which will be released in February, but is available for pre-order now. This is the next entry in the Focal Press Vintage Games series, which started with the critically acclaimed 2009 release, Vintage Games: An Insider Look at the History of Grand Theft Auto, Super Mario, and the Most Influential Games of All Time. In contrast to Vintage Games, which covered 35 of the most influential computer, console, and handheld games of all time (up to the book's publication date), Vintage Game Consoles covers 20 of the greatest game playing computer, console, and handheld platforms of all time (up to 2001, which means no platforms still actively sold (i.e., their history is still being written)). It's full color throughout, with 400 images, an extensive preface, and major section introductions to complement each platform chapter, which provides a thorough history of the industry through the lens of the very platforms that helped define it. Any questions? Ask away! (also be sure to check out my other recently released book, CoCo: The Colorful History of Tandy's Underdog Computer, and the next book to see release after Vintage Game Consoles, My Xbox One; March will also see the first unveiling of our major feature film documentary on the history of videogames (based loosely on the Vintage Games series books), Gameplay: The Story of the Videogame Revolution)

 

Contents:
Preface
Generation One (1971 – 1984)
Arcade (1971)
Apple II (1977)
Atari 2600 VCS (1977)
Atari 8-bit (1979)
Mattel Intellivision (1979)
PC DOS Computers (1981)
Commodore 64 (1982)
Coleco ColecoVision (1982)
Generation Two (1985 – 1994)
Nintendo Entertainment System (1985)
Commodore Amiga (1985)
Sega Genesis (1989)
Nintendo GameBoy (1989)
Nintendo Super NES (1991)
Generation Three (1995 – 2001)
PC Windows Computers (1995)
Sony PlayStation (1995)
Nintendo 64 (1996)
Sega Dreamcast (1999)
Sony PlayStation 2 (2000)
Microsoft Xbox (2001)
Nintendo GameCube (2001)
By the way, the cover art is by none other than Nathan Strum, long-time AtariAge member and renowned homebrew cover artist. For those not familiar with the style, it's meant to evoke my first (and favorite) childhood magazine, Electronic Games. I think he nailed it:
51PhkXXhWIL.jpg
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That cover definitely screams Electronic Games. I am sure Bill Kunkel would be complimenting it if he were still with us.

 

He was a good guy. I'm glad that I got to meet him in person and speak to him on a few different forums. Definitely one of my key influences growing up.

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Sorry, no discount codes (this is a traditionally published book, so the publisher is in control of everything). The Amazon price is probably the best price, though you'll want to check Wal-Mart and a few of the other usual places to be sure. Also, in regards to the price, it's actually pretty good when you consider the whole thing is color. I've had black and white books sell for more (with fewer pages) because the publisher produced fewer copies.

 

While it takes a while for stock to stabilize, it will likely be available on or around the 18th, since I've not been informed of any delays. Thanks for the support!

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Looks like a great book! Just stuck it in my Amazon.com shopping cart, and will be sure to order it once I have a bit of spare cash! I'll also be sure to give it a review once it shows up.

 

I'm definitely going to have to check out the Tandy/CoCo book as well!

Edited by Retro-Z
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The color paperback is widely available now, but it looks like the ebook version and Look Inside feature won't be active until some time next week. I'll post again when that's all in place.

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How come NES is in Generation 2, it was released in 1983 (Famicom).

 

That's discussed fully in the chapter of course, but the NES is the pivot point of the chapter. This has a North American focus, though we do talk a bit about other territories like Europe, Japan, and Australia throughout the book. The NES is also the more recognizable platform name for these purposes. For all of the platform chapters, the North American release date is the one used, though again, the launches in other territories and any respective impacts are also discussed.

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I call the discriminating against Japanese releases, which is of course the original (always the original release is relevant). I wouldn't put the VCS release 1983 (Japanese release), that's just wrong. It might have been called 2800, but its original release was 1977.

But ok, US-centric, bummer really. Wikipedia mentality.

 

You could change Generation 2 (1983 - 1994), that would make it right. And I just noticed, no SMS? Yes, it belongs in there, outselling NES in Brazil for example. Did better in Europe too.

Edited by high voltage

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I call the discriminating against Japanese releases, which is of course the original (always the original release is relevant). I wouldn't put the VCS release 1983 (Japanese release), that's just wrong. It might have been called 2800, but its original release was 1977.

But ok, US-centric, bummer really. Wikipedia mentality.

 

You could change Generation 2 (1983 - 1994), that would make it right. And I just noticed, no SMS? Yes, it belongs in there, outselling NES in Brazil for example. Did better in Europe too.

 

We'll agree to disagree then. There's no discrimination. The story is complete and leaves nothing out. 1983 - 1994 is too long, so you may as well not even break it up into generations. If you bother to ever read the book, though, I think it will be quite clear why the generations are the way they are. Each generation has an opening chapter describing the overall generation. How we did it was indeed the best way to split it up given the parameters we set for the book. Honestly, it's kind of disingenuous to be critical of the book without reading it first. You're making a lot of assumptions that simply aren't correct, and "Wikipedia mentality" is outright insulting given my (and my co-author's) ongoing contributions to the literature.

 

Also, you're right, no dedicated chapter for the SMS, just like there's no dedicated chapter for the 7800. They're both discussed in the book (and in fact, the unusual regional sales of the SMS are discussed and the reasons WHY), but it didn't make the cut of 20 systems. The SMS might have made the cut if we covered 25 systems instead of 20, but as it is, like with the Saturn, Atari ST, MSX, etc., it will just have to be content being mentioned as part of more influential systems.

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Yeah, didn't want to moan too much, still gonna be a good book, by all means.

No ST, wow I didn't even think about that!!!! That screams for another book for sure......

Edited by high voltage

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Yeah, didn't want to moan too much, still gonna be a good book, by all means.

No ST, wow I didn't even think about that!!!! That screams for another book for sure......

 

Yeah, the ST is definitely mentioned, but with room for only that or the Amiga, the Amiga had to be the one chosen for a full chapter, particularly with the North American focus (a better way to put it is "the North American perspective"--there are other books out there with a European focus).

 

Years ago (2004ish), my first book was going to cover every platform released in the US ever, with more than 90% of the platforms having dedicated chapters. What sunk that book was obviously that that idea was way too ambitious and would have resulted in (at least) an 800 - 1000+ page book, which the publisher would have never been able to produce. Towards the end, the ambitions were scaled back to stop at 1987, but even then, it was too much, so it was canceled. By going with the "Vintage Games" book model of forcing the focus to be on only the most influential and successful game playing platforms (Vintage Games focused on 35 of the most influential games of all time, but of course talked about hundreds of others along the way), the history can be told without short changing any of the stories. Naturally, since I personally love all of the platforms, I would still prefer to do a book on every platform ever, but it's just not practical. I'm not even sure if it would make for the better read. I actually really like how "Vintage Game Consoles" turned out. By telling the history primarily from the perspective of the "winners," it's really easy to provide a complete, interesting history. Of course, a book primarily from the perspective of the "losers" would also be rather interesting, but the point is, to make a book really work, it's best to keep the focus tight. Again, I'm not asking you to take my word on any of this, but to understand the kind of informed, careful thought that went into all of this and hopefully to read it for yourself and make the final decision on if that goal was actually met.

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RETRO Magazine will have five of these to give away soon! Keep on the lookout for how to win one in the near future. Looking great Bill, can't wait to read it. Still finishing up CoCo too! Look for a Vintage Game Consoles ad in our Mar/Apr issue of RETRO.

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RETRO Magazine will have five of these to give away soon! Keep on the lookout for how to win one in the near future. Looking great Bill, can't wait to read it. Still finishing up CoCo too! Look for a Vintage Game Consoles ad in our Mar/Apr issue of RETRO.

 

Excellent, thanks. I'll keep an eye out for issue 2.

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I just received my review copy a few weeks ago. Review is now up on the CGQ site:

 

http://www.cgquarterly.com/articles/vintage_games.htm

 

Thank you for the nice review. One small correction. The subtitle is actually "An Inside Look at Apple, Atari, Commodore, Nintendo, and the Greatest Gaming Platforms of All Time" and the shortened cover subtitle is, "The Greatest Gaming Platforms of All Time." "Videogame" is not in there.

 

Oh, and the Neo Geo is mentioned, albeit briefly and more or less in passing, on page 17. Since there was only room for 20 platforms, it had to be the 20 greatest of all time (with a North American focus). Other systems like the Sega Saturn, Atari ST, etc., would have likely made the second cut if the list were say, 25 greatest, but many other platforms (like the NEC PC Engine/TG-16), even some never officially released in North America, are mentioned throughout the book, and some in a bit of detail.

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