Episode #363: Nintendo versus SEGA with Blake Harris

Blake J. Harris is the bestselling author of Console Wars: Sega, Nintendo and the Battle that Defined a Generation, which is currently being adapted into a mini-series by Seth Rogen and Evan Goldberg.

He’s also the author of History of the Future: Oculus, Facebook, and the Revolution That Swept Virtual Reality.

But we spent the better part of this conversation being nostalgic and unpacking the war that served as a backdrop to our childhood, that of Nintendo v Sega.

Expect to take out numerous business lessons from this one:

  • The value of open v closed ecosystems
  • How to differentiate yourself and dominate the market, even with a much smaller budget
  • Why parent companies meddling in the affairs of their subsidiaries often ends in disaster

We unpack this and a whole lot more, so sit back and reminisce, as I bring you the one and only, Blake J Harris.

Topics Discussed:

  • The gaming landscape in the 1990s
  • Nintendo’s dominant business model
  • Nintendo’s closed ecosystem
  • Sega’s open ecosystem
  • Why it’s challenging to maintain market share when you’re ahead of the pack
  • How Nintendo faltered
  • What SEGA did to diffeerentiate itself, despite small budgets, and knock Nintendo off its perch
  • Mortal Kombat
  • How SEGA blundered
  • SEGA’s meddling parent company
  • The Console Wars documentary and mini-series
  • Identity politis at Oculus
  • On becoming a writer, and following one’s passions
  • Writing tips
  • Dell v Compaq

Show Notes:

  1. https://amzn.to/33jgw3f
  2. https://amzn.to/2MqPZdt
  3. Twitter: @blakejharris
  4. Web: blakejharris.com