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The Console (Hardback)

50 Years of Home Video Gaming

Colour Books Hobbies & Lifestyle > Gaming Photographic Books

By Mike Diver
Imprint: White Owl
Pages: 192
ISBN: 9781399040464
Published: 21st February 2024



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THE CON50LE is a comprehensive yet conversational account of 50 years of home video gaming history, leaving no rarely sighted system unturned and providing a chronological account of the evolution of the biggest entertainment medium in the world. From the earliest consoles of the 1970s to the cutting-edge machines of the here and now, a line is drawn from one man’s eureka moment to the multi-billion-dollar global industry of today. All the well-known names and massive-selling consoles are here: the Nintendo Entertainment System, the SEGA Mega Drive, the Atari 2600, the Xbox 360, the PlayStation 2. But there’s plenty of room for hardware that many a gamer won’t have heard of before, from Japan-only releases and home computer conversions to ill-advised experiments with VHS and all manner of micro-console magic. Learn about the creators and their inspirations, the games that made the biggest consoles’ eternal reputations, and the failures and flops along the way. Even the consoles that came and went without notable commercial success left a mark, an imprint, on this compelling history – and THE CON50LE unravels it, explains it, one fascinating machine at a time.

Author interview in

Retro Gamer

As seen in

Debug magazine

As seen in

EDGE magazine

A great effort that anyone with an interesting in video game history should be looking to add to their library.

Read the full article here!

Fusion R Gamer

Whether you fancy yourself a video game historian, or are simply looking to learn more about your favourite hobby, The Console is a genuinely excellent and informative read.

Read the full article here!


As seen in 'New Book Promises "Comprehensive But Conversational" Look At 50 Years Of Game Consoles'.

Read the article here!

Time Extension

As seen in 'Mike Diver interview – writing the history books'.

Read the full article here

Fusion R Gamer

Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

A must-have for avid console gamers, it is also pretty interesting for the rest of us and on the side doesn't do a bad job at telling a slice of artistic history of the world.

NetGalley, Peter Baran

Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

As a long time arcade/video game fan, I could not resist a book dedicated to covering 50 years of video game console history. "The Console" by Mike Diver was a delightful trip down memory lane that also taught me about the games, consoles, and related history that I had missed over the years. I have fond memories of using 3 of the first 6 consoles introduced in Diver's book. I experienced the Magnavox Odyssey for my first (and only) time at a cool Uncle's home in the early 70's and was simultaneously amazed (live video game on the living room TV!) and disappointed (Where's the sound? Why do we have to place a different plastic overlay on the TV screen for each game? Why are there so few games, and why do you have to replace a cartridge each time? :-) Still, it was a blast. Likewise I spent many enjoyable and competitive hours (years?) playing games with friends on Atari and Intellivision while growing up. Diver's book covers all major consoles and a variety of minor between 1970 and 2023. Literally, every home video game console I have owned or played is described along with history and a recap of the key games for each. The many pictures and graphics both bring back memories and are informative, though it might have been nice to have captions to avoid confusion about new (to the reader) hardware. Game screen shots might have been nice, but this is OK since the focus is on the consoles rather than the games.

I absolutely recommend this to other's who have a fond place in their heart for home video games. Once published, I hope to add a copy of this book to my collection.

NetGalley, S Trent

I was the perfect age when the home video game era began. We got an Atari 2600 when I was starting high school. From there, so many other systems came into our homes over the decades - both for myself and my son. Thus, this book instantly appealed to me.

Diver does a great job going back to the very beginning as well as bringing up systems that might not have had as a big of an impact worldwide. I definitely learned a lot of things about the industry and the evolution of the technology. He does a good job with the details, making sure not to bury the reader in the quicksand of technical jargon.

And while this is a book dedicated to the hardware, I did appreciate the additional mentions of key software/games for many of the systems.

NetGalley, Martin Maenza

It was really interesting to learn about consoles that are familiar to me as well as some consoles that I've never heard of. It was great to be able to see the progression through the systems up to the technology that we see today.

NetGalley, Crimson Reagan

About Mike Diver

Mike Diver lives by the sea in East Sussex. His writing on video games has appeared in publications including VICEEDGEThe GuardianNintendo Life and Official PlayStation Magazine. He is the author of three previous books – Indie Games: The Complete Introduction to Indie GamingHow to Be a Professional Gamer: An Esports Guide to League of Legends; and Retro Gaming: A Byte-Sized History of Video Games – and editor of several more.

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