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May 2014 Retro Gaming Article


May 28, 2014 Retro Gaming Blog Post:

I was stoked to find Console Wars at a local Barnes & Noble, but it's $10 cheaper on Amazon

When my local Borders book store closed, I was shocked. I couldn't imagine such an enormous chain of book stores disappearing so quickly. And in that horrific wake, it doesn't seem as though Barnes & Noble or indie book stores are faring any better! Borders' closure didn't fortify existing book stores, it strengthened online retailers, like Amazon, at the expense of these other stores.

I'm a bit conflicted regarding brick & mortar vs online retail. I love book stores, but I also love the convenience and pricing via online shopping. I find the decline of print-media disheartening when it's digital replacement hasn't enhanced the true reading experience. I can store a large library of books, magazines and newspapers on a small tablet, but reading these items has not changed or been enhanced by the digital revolution.

I've been wanting to buy a copy of Blake Harris' book, Console Wars: Sega, Nintendo, and the Battle that Defined a Generation and was excited to see it on the shelf at my local Barnes & Noble. I saw the cover price of $28.99 and assumed it would be discounted...

The new McDonald's Happy Meal character The clerk rang it up for $28.99 and confirmed the price when I questioned it. I told her it was on Amazon for $10 less. If there had been a modest difference I'd have bought it, but ten bucks is a lot of money when you're getting the exact same product.

At home I confirmed the online price. The original cost I'd seen may have been a pre-order price, but Amazon had it listed for $19.98. Out of curiosity, I looked it up on Barnes & Noble's online site and saw it listed for $20.38! So... bn.com is undercutting their own brick and mortar stores?!?

Clearly there is something I'm missing or I simply don't understand all the elements that are at play. All I know is $10 is worth saving. I won't alter my shopping habits to save a few dollars, but if I can save $10 - I will!

Console Wars: Sega, Nintendo, and the Battle that Defined a Generation

About the book:
In 1990, Nintendo had a virtual monopoly on the video game industry. Sega, on the other hand, was just a faltering arcade company with big aspirations and even bigger personalities. But that would all change with the arrival of Tom Kalinske.

Based on over two hundred interviews with former Sega and Nintendo employees, Console Wars is the underdog tale of how Kalinske miraculously turned an industry punchline into a market leader. It's the story of how a humble family man, with an extraordinary imagination and a gift for turning problems into competitive advantages, inspired a team of underdogs to slay a giant and, as a result, birth a $60 billion dollar industry.

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