Starting with its humble beginnings in the 1950s and ending with its swan-song, the Dreamcast, in the early 2000s, this is the complete history of Sega as a console maker. Before home computers and video game consoles, before the Internet and social networking, and before motion controls and smartphones, there was Sega. Destined to fade into obscurity over time, Sega would help revolutionize and change video games, computers and how we interact with them, and the Internet as we know it. Riding the cutting edge of technology at every step, only to rise too close to the sun and plummet, Sega would eventually change the face of entertainment, but it's the story of how it got there that's all the fun. So take a ride, experience history, and enjoy learning about one of the greatest and most influential companies of all time. Complete with system specifications, feature and marketing descriptions, unusual factoids, and now enhanced Europe-specific details, exclusive interviews, and more make this the definitive history of Sega available. Listen and learn about the company that holds a special place in every gamer's heart. Funded on Kickstarter.
©2013 Sam Pettus (P)2014 Sam Pettus
Let me preface everything I'm about to say with a quick tl;dr: If you are a Sega fan and are looking for an interesting history of just how Sega fell so quickly look no further.
Now that that's out of the way let me expand on that thought. This book is an interesting listen, but not an engrossing one. All the time I was listening I couldn't help but compare it to "Console Wars" by Blake Freeman, and often times I felt like this book came up lacking, but then I thought on it for a moment and I came to the real heart of the issue. Console Wars entertains first and informs second while Service Games does just the opposite. If you want a story that dramatizes the rise of Sega by elevating the team responsible to the height of heroes of the industry and does so expertly this is not the book for you, Console Wars is. This book reads like an essay written for a college level business class not a novel.
That last sentence there really describes all of the problems I found with the book perfectly. While I was consistently presented with new factoids about Sega's fall I was rarely entertained by them. The best example of this comes with the amount of time spent discussing the CPUs of all of the consoles. Not a single evolution in the technology is even remotely glossed over, which while very interesting at an academic level, left me thinking get on with it more often than not.
This only leaves one real complaint unsaid: the focus given on Sega's fall versus its rise. The title may lead you to believe this is the complete history of that company we all love and hate, but really it isn't. The first few decades of Sega's history are so sparsely covered when compared to how much time is given to its mistakes it isn't even funny. I know for many the failings of Sega are more interesting than its beginnings but I was left wanting.
Summary time for the time strapped: This book tells the story of Sega's fall in a dry yet interesting matter that glosses over two of the most engrossing aspects of the company: its humble beginnings and the very human story behind the scenes.
Wow very detailed in the complete history of Sega from beginning to now. It sucks to hear how Sega of Japan killed this company from creating hardware with all thier. stupid desicions and arrogance. Sega was great and i wish they still made consoles. one of the best Video game books ever
Listener of audiobooks.
I didn't grow up playing Sega games. I played the Sonic games in my youth, as well as Toejam and Earl, but at other kids' houses. Still, Sega pervades the video game industry whether you played their games, so I remember Panzer Dragoon and the Dreamcast a bit. This book though—it made me CARE.
Although this book is deeply researched it lacks entertainment value. I found myself getting restless halfway through. Not a terrible book but "Console Wars" is far better.
Service Games was an enjoyable audio book. Given the length of the book, I never would've tackled actually reading it. The narrator did a really good job in my opinion, though it does take a while for the book to get to its point. It was quite repetitive from section to section, often reiterating the same facts using the same quotes, over and over.
As someone who grew up with Sega while never really knowing their story, this book kept my interest. It does focus on the hardware and contains lots of technical jibberish, so if that kind of stuff isn't your thing, maybe pass on this one.
As others have said, Console Wars is a more enjoyable read, but this book is more of a history book. This book focuses more on numbers and data while Console Wars focuses more on the people involved and their personal stories. That said, any fan of Sega should give both a try.
I got half way done with book before it stopped working. In chapter 10 at the 28 min mark it freezes and a can't skip over it. All the other books work fine and app is fully functional, so I know it's the book causing the problem. Thankfully audible refunded my credit right away.
What I did manage to listen to was interesting, but rushed and poorly written and laid out to the listener. The author absolutely skips the rise of the Genesis and only focused on the subsequent fall of Sega. He presents names of individuals and tech devices as if you already know who or what they are, yet he hasn't mentioned or explained them even once before in the book. The details and research in this book are impressive, but I enjoyed the book 'Console Wars' much, much more, despite it having less info on the subject and companies involved in the story. Wish I could have heard the rest, but oh well, I know how the story ends....
This is a good read about Sega, but mainly about the 1990s Sega, I was actually hoping for a lot more about the beginnings of the company as it's quite interesting from what I've read elsewhere. Still it does cover many subjects in a good amount of detail, but you get the feeling the author knows best what he experienced, which is generally true for all people. Some of the stories sound a little like speculation and not all of it jives with stuff I've heard elsewhere. One big difference is the take on the 32X, what I've read elsewhere is Sega of America wanted nothing to do with the 32X, but in this version Sega of America is strongly pushing and wanting to rush it to market. I've never heard that anywhere else - and I could have heard wrong, I don't know. But overall most of what I read is in line with what I thought I knew, just with a lot of detail - but not boring detail, I was never bored when listening to this.
The reader was good, professional, the sample is what you'll hear the entire time.
Definitely a must for those wanting to know the whole story behind Sega's fall. But just understand it seems like an eternity to get there.
Better editing, and better flow. Stop telling the reader what is going to happen later in the story (We already know anyway.) and stick to the relevant subject.
The last three chapters in regards to the European gaming scene should have been edited into the story line as they were relevant, and not something tacked on at the end.
This provides a great perspective to people to young to have realize what happened and to players of old who want to see what could have been. Great read.
"An interesting story poorly told"
I imagine anyone who finds this book will be looking for an in depth history of Sega. That's what the book provides, but it does so with such amateurish writing as to make it a slog to get through. Sentences are often oddly short, and rarely flow together. The writer also lurches wildly between saying how wonderful everything was going to Sega, to how everything was falling apart. This radical change of outlook may be achieved within a few sentences. The narrator tries his best but the writing is so weak that he often struggles.
I'm also unsure as to how accurate it is. I'm well versed with the technicalities of the various Sega consoles, and factual errors abound in this book. If those areas are incorrect, perhaps others may be too.
This book is very different to Console Wars. That book is largely fictionalised and reads more like a soap opera. For all its faults though, at least it feels like it was written by a professional. By contrast, Service Games is clearly the work of an amateur.
Report Inappropriate Content