Buy Console Wars: Sega, Nintendo, and the Battle that Defined a Generation by Blake J. Harris: Book/eBook
Seth Rogen, best known for those movies you either love or revile (there seems to be no middle ground) and longtime-collaborator, Evan Goldberg, are working on a film about the great Console Wars of the 1990s. Now you might be wracking your brain, trying to place the great Console Wars of the 90s, and how they resulted from the end of the Cold War and the Gulf War… but you’re overthinking it. We’re talking about the rivalry between Nintendo and Sega, two of the great videogame developers and publishers of that decade. Rogen and Goldberg acquired the rights to “Blake Harris’s Console Wars: Sega, Nintendo and the Battle that Defined a Generation, an upcoming behind-the-scenes oral history of the classic gaming industry battle,” explained Kwame Opam of The Verge, based on the original report from The Collider. Rogen and Goldberg provided a foreword for the book.
Hoping to follow in the steps of The Accidental Billionaires, which spawned Aaron Sorkin’s The Social Network, a semi-ficitonal biopics about the creation of Facebook, Harris’s Console Wars: Sega, Nintendo and the Battle that Defined a Generation is “a mesmerizing, behind-the-scenes business thriller that chronicles how Sega, a small, scrappy gaming company led by an unlikely visionary and a team of rebels, took on the juggernaut Nintendo and revolutionized the video game industry.” Scott Rudin, producer of The Social Network will serve as executive producer.
The big question is who Rogen will cast as the legendary, inestimable Hiroshi Yamauchi, the Japanese businessman who, as the third president of Nintendo, turned the company from a small playing card manufacturer in the ’50s into one of Japan’s most successful multi-billion dollar companies, and defining the childhood’s of millions of people worldwide in the process. Any videogame fan above the age of 25 lived through that golden age of the industry and likely knows how fascinating the industry was during the mid-90s, as it continued to recover from the devastating crash in the 70s and began planting the roots of what would eventually become the goliath we know today.
Unfortunately for Rogen, we all have the benefit of hindsight and know that the eventual winner (and objectively more awesome/superior) game console is Nintendo’s SNES. So, uhh… spoilers for the film, I guess?
Console Wars: Sega, Nintendo, and the Battle that Defined a Generation is available on May 13, 2014. There is no release date for the film.
Ending several weeks of speculation (and a couple of years of wishful thinking and fervent hoping among fans), Atlus announced Persona 5, the latest installation in the long-running Japanese RPG series. “Persona 5 will launch for PlayStation 3 in Japan during winter 2014,” reports Polygon, followed by ‘three spin-off titles coming for various platforms.’
At this point, Atlus has only released a (traditionally) vague teaser trailer for Persona 5 highlighting the game’s early tagline: “You are a slave. Want emancipation?” Each of the recent Persona releases have also featured a predominant colour in their design, blue for Persona 3 and yellow for Persona 5, and it appears that the next game will heavily feature the colour red in its design.
NeoGAF user Duckroll has translated early reports from Dengeki (a Japanese videogame magazine), with some vague details about the game’s premise. “The setting of the chairs in the teaser is a highschool classroom,” Duckroll translates. “The theme of the game is about the emotion joy of being released after overcoming trials – hence the imagery of chairs and chains. The game will continue to be focused on school juvenile setting of the series, but the tone this time will be completely different.”
It’s interesting to note that Persona 5 has been announced for release on the PlayStation 3, rather than the recently-released PlayStation 4. Atlus, and the Persona series in particular, has a history of releasing instalments on legacy platforms. Persona 4 was released on the PlayStation 3 several months after the PlayStation 3 hit stores.
In addition to Persona 5 several other titles were announced. These spin-off titles include:
- Persona Q: Shadow of the Labyrinth (Nintendo 3DS), an Etrian Oddysey-style ‘dungeon crawler that brings the heroes of Persona 3 and Persona 4 together.’
- Persona 4: Dancing All Night (PlayStation Vita), a ‘sound action game [where] players will be able to compete in “Battle Dances” against shadows.’
- Persona 4: The Ultimax Ultra Suplex Hold (PlayStation 3), a sequel to Persona 4 Arena.
At the time of this article’s writing, there is no North American release date for Persona 5 or any of its spin-off titles.
IGN has learned that Telltale Games, award-winning developer of the acclaimed videogame series based on Robert Kirkman’s The Walking Dead (considered by many to be one of the finest examples of videogame narrative), is working on a videogame adaptation of George R.R. Martin’s A Song of Ice and Fire. Based on their previous work, which includes games set in the universes of Fables, Jurassic Park, and Back to the Future, it is likely that the game will tell a new story in Martin’s universe, rather than directly cover the events of the novels and/or television show. “It’s currently unclear what title Telltale will be using for its game,” IGN reports, “and whether the storyline will be based on the show, books, or something entirely new.”
Details about the story of the game are murky, however. IGN is confident it’s in development despite no confirmation from the developer. They have reports from ‘multuple sources’ confirming its existence. Expect an official announcement in the coming months.
2014 Hugo Award Nominations (ver. 0.5)
So, the Hugo awards have come and gone for 2013. People have blogged widely about it, and all that need saying has already been said (see here for my thoughts on this year’s ‘Best Novel’ winner, Redshirts by John Scalzi, for instance). So, instead of recapping the conversation (which, to be frank, I’m a little behind the curveball in catching up on), I thought it would be more interesting to look ahead at next year’s awards, and start the conversation a little early. This way, I can hopefully convince you to check out some of the year’s best works while there’s still time to enjoy and nominate it.
I’ll work through several of the categories, those which I have any sort of opinion of, and discuss the works that I think are most impactful and important, and will, as of right now, appear on my ballot (until they’re replaced by something even more awesome between now and the time nominations are due.) And then, in the ‘Also/maybe/are these good?’ sections, I’ll list off a few choices that I haven’t read/experienced yet, but feel that they deserve to be in the conversation and will likely be considered when I do get around to them.
I’d also encourage you to join me in the comments. Tell me why I’m wrong. Tell me what you’ve read this year that resonated with you. Because, what’s the point of award season if not to encourage people to discover great new books, films, and every other story of art? Continue reading
The great old stories break and bend rules modern audiences take for granted. For example: Journey to the West, which I talked about last month, is a story of high-flying magic, transformation, kung fu, divine war, and so on—that, for all its epic scope, reads more like Sword and Sorcery.
That is, to borrow Liz Bourke’s definition of S&S: Journey to the West is a story of encounter, in which central characters going about their daily business keep running into strange, fascinating, terrifying things—and befriending them, or beating them about the head and shoulders, or both.
By contrast, let’s talk about one of the best war-and-intrigue novels of all time, the Romance of the Three Kingdoms. At first glance, Three Kingdoms seems an epic fantasy, in that it describes the fall of a massive empire through the lens of central characters with dynastic ambition. But, though set in a time of miracles, Three Kingdoms relies on the traditional Sword & Sorcery mix of cleverness, combat, and betrayal rather than prophecy or magic. Continue reading