OK, let’s start with a quiz. How many game consoles can you name? I already gave you two, Atari and Xbox. Can you name ten more? Fifteen? How many were there ever, in total?
I’ll give you a moment to think about that while I show you some pictures of some game consoles.
OK, so, now, how many different game consoled ever existed?
Answer: I don’t actually know, but when Evan Amos, who has done yoeman’s work on Wikipedia documenting game consoles, wrote The Game Console: A Photographic History from Atari to Xbox, he identified 86 of them.
The Game Console: A Photographic History from Atari to Xbox is very simple in concept, and at the same time lays down a gauntlet on how to categorize console. I know what you are thinking. How can categorizing game consoles be a thing to gauntlet about? Well, we’ll see.
Amos’s categories are generations, 1st through 8th. The Atari 5200, which came out in 1982, is 2nd Generation, while the Nintendo Virtual Boy (insert joke here) is 5th Generation and the Microsoft Xbox 360 is … well, I’ll let you guess.
So, after they are categorized, Amos took excellent photographs (see above) of the outside of each game, and the inside. For the most part, one page spread covers one game (but there are other things going on as well) and includes some basic information, like initial price, processor, power, and memory specs, etc. that more or less apply to all games. In addition, each game gets additional information as needed to make sure you don’t miss anything important, like the use of high speed oscillating mirrors by the Virtual Boy, and information on the different names some of the games had in different markets.
This is a perfect gift to give to the old person in you life that has always been a gamer, as a sort of coffee table gift. The book is cloth bound (hard cover) and medium-large format, suitable for an actual coffee table. As noted, the photographs are excellent, and the layout and quality of printing are both excellent. Author Evan Amos is a passionate video game fan and photographer. His work has been featured in Game Informer, Kotaku, Wired, Retro Gamer, and other popular media outlets..