Saturday, January 06, 2007

GAMEplan's Game.Machines

Having been on vacation and an enforced break from games for the past 2 days has allowed me to catch up on my reading. The books in question are "Common Sense in Project Management" and "The Encyclopedia of Game.Machines :Consoles, Handhelds & Home Computers 1972-2005"

Since I don't want to bore you dear reader, this book review is about the latter. Published by Gameplan, the original writers, translators, editors and photographers have created a labour of love with articles on some 500 machines and 600 pictures.

The hardware described in this encyclopedia covers almost everything from 1972 to 2005. This ranges from the earliest consoles such as the Magnavox Odyssey to those introduced in the renaissance of the video games industry in the 80s such as the Famicom and Sega Master System and then on to the advent of high tech machines such as the PS2. Also included are current generation handheld consoles such as the Nintendo DS and PSP.

Each article comes with a detailed profile with a box containing nice tid bits such as the year the console was introduced, the media type, number of titles developed and the year software support for the console ended. A couple of mistakes aside, this book has been an eye-opening experience on consoles of yester-years with many of them I've not seen before. A useful comparison chart at the end of the book helps put the consoles into perspective in terms of hardware capabilities.

The entire book is in full colour (224 pages) and in my opinion deserves to be in any video game aficionado's or historian's reading list/bookshelf.

This book is available for purchase at Play-Asia (here) or you can try looking at other online bookstores or shops. The ISBN for this book is: 3-00-015359-4