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

4.5 out of 5 stars 13 customer reviews

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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
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (13 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #979,263 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Top Customer Reviews

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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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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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Little has been published about the company Nintendo which has created an insatiable demand to learn more of the inner workings of this top Video Game Company. Osamu Inoue was allowed to write a series of articles for a Japanese magazine which detailed the history and business strategy of Nintendo giving one of the first looks into this secretive company. From its early history as a playing card manufacturer to its first foray into the Game and Watch series you can see the psyche of the company developing towards innovation and the personalities at the time. With Myiamoto taking the stage and launching Mario and Donkey Kong to the characters in the Legend of Zelda series you see a time where story and plot become prominent in addition to just graphics.
It is this idea of function over form that allows Nintendo to take a chance and scale back top line graphics in an effort to expand their market into those who don't play video games with the DS and Wi. The idea of the brain drain series, Wi fitness and Wi sports were all seen as ways to expand the target market and create new pockets of gamers that the competition of Sony and Microsoft were not going after. The sleek design of the Wi and friendliness of the Wi remote were all aimed in this effort to expand. The only complaint I have about the book is since it was a series of articles the book feels disjointed and there is some repetitiveness in the chapters that could have been avoided. Overall though it is still the first real look we have into the company and for Nintendo fans this is not one to miss.
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