Review: Console Wars

CONSOLE WARS (2020)

An alternative title for this intriguing documentary could be The Rise and Fall of Sega as the key to the war of the consoles was Sega’s arrival on the scene and ultimate demise when the landscape changed. 

Console Wars follows the long battle between the powerhouse Nintendo and the newcomer Sega, a company who took video games into a grittier direction and ultimately unseated Nintendo as the king of consoles. Featuring interviews with numerous employees from the companies who were instrumental in products enjoyed by so many, this documentary is factually stimulating and culturally revealing. For one, Sega was able to capture the American market due to their focus on older kids and more mature properties, something that Nintendo had never done. Overseas, however, Sega didn’t have the same success. 

There are times when Console Wars seems to drag on and fails to focus. While viewers will get an overall picture of the business battles, everything is kept surface level without much of in-depth investigating. There even is an odd time jump midway through that seeks to explain the background of Nintendo, an odd structuring choice that doesn’t fit. 

Overall, if you are a gamer and you’re interested in how the industry, now worth over $150 billion, got its start, this is the documentary for you. Stream it now on CBS All Access.

Rating: 3/5

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