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Nintendo Magic: Winning the Videogame Wars Hardcover – April 27, 2010

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Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Osamu Inoue was born in 1974. After graduating from Keio University he joined Nikkei BP (book & magazine publisher of Nikkei, the Japanese Wall Street Journal) with a focus on personal computers and international IT development. As an editor in charge of Nikkei`s Nikkei Computer column Inoue is considered to be an expert on the development of computers within the automobile, entertainment, and services industries. As of 2009 Inoue is an exclusive reporter for Nikkei Business Online, Nikkei`s web-based news service.

Nintendo Magic: Winning the Videogame Wars is his first book.
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 224 pages
  • Publisher: Vertical (April 27, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1934287229
  • ISBN-13: 978-1934287224
  • Product Dimensions: 5.7 x 1 x 8.9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 9.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (13 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #939,826 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

14 of 14 people found the following review helpful By Brian on June 17, 2010
Format: Hardcover
Books on the inner workings of Nintendo are few and far between. To-date, there have been two : "Game Over Press Start To Continue" by David Sheff and this. This book fills in a number of gaps left present in the "Game Over" book, most notably the underlying psychology and upbringing of former president Yamauchi, who almost never does interviews, and was largely responsible for Nintendo's success, and where Nintendo went after the N64 came out. The two books dovetail with each other so extraordinarily well, that reading one without the other will not present a complete picture of what led to Nintendo's previous and current success. This book also details the blunders along the way in off-shoot enterprises Nintendo tried to venture into to differentiate itself outside of the entertainment industry, which is also valuable information to the aspiring businessman.

Pros :
As far as this specific book is concerned, while the book is haphazard and scatterbrained in terms of what topic is brought up in what order, the actual *content* gives such tremendous insight into the philosophy that is Nintendo, that it is to any game developer or game businessman (or Nintendo fanboy) literal GOLD in book form. The strategies of Miyamoto, Yokoi, Iwata (current president), and Yamauchi (past president) are all here in transparent form. Anyone looking to capitalize on the mentalities that led to these men becoming the legends that they are will love this book. In succinct form, they, their personal philosophies, guiding principles, and lives are all mentioned and elaborated on with piercing consideration. Hows and whys of Nintendo's product releases (with main focus on Wii and DS-era) are covered in exhaustive detail.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Derek VanDyke on May 29, 2010
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
For decades, Nintendo has been synonymous with video games. Whether you're talking to a casual or die-hard gamer, grandparent or child, ask what the first thing is that comes to mind when your hear "video game", and they're likely to respond with "Nintendo" or one of its products. Now, especially, Nintendo is top of many people's minds thanks to the wild success of the Wii and DS. But it wasn't always that way, and that's what makes this book such a compelling read.

More than anything, Nintendo Magic reveals the people, philosophies, and business decisions behind the company's iconic characters and products, and even how it got into the video game business in the first place. Of course it covers the advent of the now iconic DS and Wii, but it just as importantly shows how a company that started out as a manufacturer of traditional Japanese trading cards became the king of a fledgling video game industry, only to fall from heaven at the hands of Sony, and how a shift in leadership and a re-emphasis on core principles allowed it to expand its audience to record-breaking size.

Along the way, a lot of interesting anecdotes are discussed about specific products and people that will particularly please Nintendo fans (like myself) but also give the general reader a more rounded understanding of such a mysterious company. For example, when the original DS was being developed, President Satoru Iwata demanded that it be durable enough to survive repeated falls onto concrete from up to five feet, highlighting Nintendo's obsession with durability. As explained in the book, that fixation on build quality stems from the company's core philosophy that as a toy company, a broken product is an invitation for a customer to never use it again.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By SGR on August 20, 2010
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This was a book I bought with semi high expectations, and was pleasantly surprised. The book is extremely informative, explaining many of Nintendo's business strategies and the reasons and origins behind them, and does a good job of explaining the company's recent success and the famous figures at Nintendo. I really enjoyed reading it and would recommend it to just about any one interested in Nintendo and how the company came to be. The only flaw I found was that the book can be a little too pro Nintendo, to the point where it makes you wonder how such a great company made such great mistakes with the Nintendo 64 and Nintendo Gamecube. But regardless, the book does an exceptional job at showing more light on the company we know so little about, and that everyone should know more of.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Inon Zuckerman on July 5, 2011
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
"Nintendo Magic: winning the videogame wars" is a compilation and extension for a series of journalistic articles written by Osamu Inoue, a correspondent for the Nikkei Business Publications (Nikkei BP). Osamu conducted several interviews with past and present leading figures in Nintendo, a company that is often very considered very discrete with respect to involvement with the journalistic media.

In the different chapters Osamu leads us from the early days of Nintendo as a cards manufacturer company (more than 100 years ago). The company started growing and survived over the years due to its unique flexibility and innovative nature (similar to Apple's success in the last couple of years). The most interesting period is the 90th, as the company almost went under after two consecutive failures with the N64 and Game Cube, and manage to come back in the new millennia and take huge market share with the unique DS and Wii consoles. (DS is currently the most sold gaming device ever.)

One of the most interesting aspect for me was to encounter the unique and anti-western style of management, which can be mainly seen by Nintendo's managers ability to execute their personal vision, together with their lack of pretentiousness. The company's few managers, each ruling for a long period, had almost exclusive voice and ability to navigate the company to where they believe Nintendo should go. In the book there are examples of engineers working hard on a prototype just to see Miyamoto or Iwata throwing it away without a second though as it does not fit their vision. They were not afraid to make hard decisions, and embrace their responsibility for the company.

With respect to pretentiousness, the managers understand that a significant part of their success was,.. luck!
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