Super Power, Spoony Bards, and Silverware: The Super Nintendo Entertainment System (Platform Studies)

April 7, 2018 - Comment

This is a book about the Super Nintendo Entertainment System that is not celebratory or self-congratulatory. Most other accounts declare the Super NES the undisputed victor of the “16-bit console wars” of 1989–1995. In this book, Dominic Arsenault reminds us that although the SNES was a strong platform filled with high-quality games, it was also

Buy Now! £20.83Amazon.co.uk Price
(as of April 19, 2020 4:38 pm UTC - Details)

This is a book about the Super Nintendo Entertainment System that is not celebratory or self-congratulatory. Most other accounts declare the Super NES the undisputed victor of the “16-bit console wars” of 1989–1995. In this book, Dominic Arsenault reminds us that although the SNES was a strong platform filled with high-quality games, it was also the product of a short-sighted corporate vision focused on maintaining Nintendo’s market share and business model. This led the firm to fall from a dominant position during its golden age (dubbed by Arsenault the “ReNESsance”) with the NES to the margins of the industry with the Nintendo 64 and GameCube consoles. Arsenault argues that Nintendo’s conservative business strategies and resistance to innovation during the SNES years explain its market defeat by Sony’s PlayStation. 

Extending the notion of “platform” to include the marketing forces that shape and constrain creative work, Arsenault draws not only on game studies and histories but on game magazines, boxes, manuals, and advertisements to identify the technological discourses and business models that formed Nintendo’s Super Power. He also describes the cultural changes in video games during the 1990s that slowly eroded the love of gamer enthusiasts for the SNES as the Nintendo generation matured. Finally, he chronicles the many technological changes that occurred through the SNES’s lifetime, including full-motion video, CD-ROM storage, and the shift to 3D graphics. Because of the SNES platform’s architecture, Arsenault explains, Nintendo resisted these changes and continued to focus on traditional gameplay genres.

Comments

Brian Clegg says:

Academic but surprisingly readable account of the tech and business reasons for the rise and fall of SNES This quirkily-titled exploration of the rise and fall of the Super Nintendo Entertainment System (SNES) will fascinate if, like me, you sit at the intersection of being interested in computing, gaming and business.Once I had got over a few sniggers at the idea that game studies/platform studies could be an academic discipline, about which you can write a serious academic work with Harvard referencing and everything, I found this a genuinely fascinating book. I was never a SNES user…

Comments are disabled for this post.

The owner of this website is a participant in the Amazon EU Associates Programme, an affiliate advertising programme designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.co.uk.
Home Privacy Policy Terms Of Use Super Power, Spoony Bards, and Silverware: The Super Nintendo Entertainment System (Platform Studies) Anti Spam Policy Contact Us Affiliate Disclosure DMCA Super Power, Spoony Bards, and Silverware: The Super Nintendo Entertainment System (Platform Studies)