To this very day, when people tell Nintendo fans what books they should read I almost always hear about David Sheff’s Game Over. It’s a great book, and really details how Nintendo rose to dominance in the 1980’s video game market, especially in North America. However, now I think that it is time to add two more must-owns to the list of incredible Nintendo books.
The two I’m talking about are The History of Nintendo Volume 1 1889 – 1980 From playing-cards to Game & Watch, and The History of Nintendo Volume 2 1980 – 1991 The Game & Watch games, an amazing invention.
Both books start off with just under 50 pages of written history about Nintendo in the era the book covers. This portion of the book also features smaller pictures as well to help drive home what is being covered and the people that were involved. There is some great information here, and Nintendo fans will likely learn a lot from this section alone.
After the intro, The History of Nintendo Volume 1 1889 – 1980 From playing-cards to Game & Watch goes in depth with the products Nintendo produced during this era. It’s broken down into multiple chapters including Playing Cards, Games & Toys, Board Games, Electronic Toys, Other Products, Nintendo and the Arcade Games and The First Games Consoles.
The History of Nintendo Volume 2 1980 – 1991 The Game & Watch games, an amazing invention focuses solely on the Game & Watch handhelds that were the precursor to the Game Boy. Chapters in this book include The Integral of Game & Watch Games, Collecting Game & Watch Games, and Game & Watch Still Alive.
The chapters in each book, after the previously mentioned initial history chapter, are chock-full of pictures. There are so many that, in addition to being a great resource and a good read, these books would easily be right at home on a coffee table.
To go along with the pictures are full text descriptions and even more history of the items shown on each page. The books have release date information, variants are mentioned and much more. Volume 1 is 240 pages long, while Volume 2 is 200 pages.
Due to the pictures and information, those wishing to learn about what Nintendo did before and leading into video games, Volume 1 is an amazing read. Even a die-hard fan like myself that has spent countless years and time studying the company was able to learn much from this book. I think one of the main problems is that there are very few resources on the Internet that have this information, making the books a great source of information.
Volume 2, which focuses solely on Game & Watch games, is also a great read and has the pictures and written information on every Game & Watch released. Just like with Volume 1, I was able to learn a lot about the innovations and advancements in game play that Nintendo created with these simple devices. I was already familiar with these games, but still this volume still had great information just like the first and serves as a great resource.
I was fortunate to meet the author of both of these books, Florent Gorges, at E3 a few weeks ago. He mentioned that if the current sales of the books didn’t pick up that he would be unable to continue the series. This broke my heart since the first two volumes tease that there will be a Volume 3 on the NES/Famicom, Volume 4 on The Game Boy Series, as well as a History of Mario book and a Gunpei Yokoi Biography.
I highly recommend that every Nintendo fan purchase these books. Not only will reading them increase your Nintendo knowledge, but also they can be fantastic coffee table books. Additionally, supporting these books will hopefully increase the chances of the others finding their way to the market. It would be a damn shame if they didn’t get released due to lack of interest, because the first two are incredible.
The History of Nintendo Volume 1 1889 – 1980 From playing-cards to Game & Watch and The History of Nintendo Volume 2 1980 – 1991 The Game & Watch games, an amazing invention can be purchased from the publisher’s website at: http://www.pixnlovepublishing.com/
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