Interesting book to read: Retro Gaming: A Byte-sized History of Video Games

Fan of retro gaming and/or someone who like to watch/play/get to know with retro games and wanted something easy-to-read and easy-to-digest book on history of video games? This book by Mike Diver may be your good choice to spend your time with.

This book is good for:

  • Gamers of all ages
  • Veteran in gaming world, to bring back your memories
  • Anyone who would like to know how video game was conceive and became what it is today
  • And especially light and visual readers, because the book explained video game history in byte-size format: 1 page for 1 console and/or games.
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Book Summary: Retro Gaming: A Byte-sized History of Video Games

Although this is not the most comprehensive book when it comes to detail (share, show and tell) on video game history – because like the book title suggested, what you get is just byte-size history of video games, but this is the most interesting retro gaming related book that I managed to find so far. The book has a lot of pictures on it. Every video game console and every games being reviewed come with at least 1 picture and they (all pictures) are in full color! So depends on the year you were born, with the pictures that come with the book, you can either bring back good ol’ memories of yours on the games you played before (if you have started playing games on that era) or you can imagine how the games on that era look and feel (if you were born and started playing game after that era).

The book started with Atari and Pong, then continue with Commodore and Spectrum before going into Nintendo with its Nintendo Entertainment System (or also known as NES) – which saved the (US) gaming industry after the 1983 crashed. During this era, many of today’s gaming icons were born, some of them are: Pac-Man, Space Invaders, Mario, Donkey Kong, Zelda.

Sega genesis sega megadrive console
Challenger to the dominant Nintendo back in 90’s: The original Sega Mega Drive (Japan version) or in the U.S known as Sega Genesis

Then come the challenger, SEGA with 16-bit power: The SEGA Genesis / Mega Drive which slowly but surely took over Nintendo dominance in US, before Nintendo finally striked back with its Super Nintendo Entertainment System (aka SNES). At this era, Nintendo Game Boy and SEGA Game Gear were also born. Same goes to Pokemon, Sonic, Street Fighter and Mortal Kombat. This was also the era when game ratings and ESRB was conceived.

Nintendo64 great games
The iconic N64 Controller and Nintendo 64 console. Image courtesy of Evan Amos & Nintendo.

Fast forward to the 32-bit era, this is when Sony with its iconic PlayStation was born and eventually dominated the 32-bit era, despite SEGA with its Saturn which launched earlier and Nintendo launched with more powerful console – instead of 32-bit, Nintendo came with 64 bit – the Nintendo 64. This is the era where 3D games started to flourish. Iconic games on this era were Metal Gear Solid, Panzer Dragoon, Super Mario 64, Tekken, Resident Evil.

After 32-bit and 64-bit era sunsetting, “bit” in game console was no longer became the major marketing gimmick nor selling point of a console as people didn’t really care as long as they could play great games on it. Sony has become from new comer to be a champion, with its PlayStation console sold for record breaking, before finally broke only by its successor – the PlayStation 2 – which until today still hold the most sold game console ever. At this era, SEGA sold its final game console – the DreamCast – which after then, SEGA became software house only which sold and distributed games to other game console. At the same era also marked the new challenger – Microsoft entered the ring with Xbox to compete with Sony and Nintendo.

sega dreamcast best games recommendation
SEGA final new console: The Dreamcast.

Book Review: Why I read this book & you should consider reading this too

Light to read yet fun to see and easy to digest – because each sections comes with picture(s) of the game console and their games. Mike Diver – the writer of the book – also gave bonus to each book’s chapter by providing the best and worst accessories/add-on for the game console being reviewed (such as Zapper for NES, SEGA 32x for Genesis) as well as the top 10 games for each of the game console.

So if you are fan of retro games and doesn’t want something heavy or all texts book to read, you may want to consider Retro Gaming: A Byte-sized History of Video Games by Mike Diver.

Where you can get & read Retro Gaming: A Byte-sized History of Video Games

In case you are also interested with this book, here’s where you can get the book.

1) Amazon

Physical book (Hardcover):

Alternative link in case you can’t see the link above: Retro Gaming: A Byte-sized History of Video Games (Hardcover).


Alternative link in case you can’t see the link above: Retro Gaming: A Byte-sized History of Video Games (eBook).

If you are getting the digital copy, here’s where you can read the book:

AndroidKindle app for Android
iOSKindle app for iOS
KindleKindle tablet on Amazon
macOSKindle app for macOS
WindowsKindle app for Windows

Note: If you buy anything from Amazon using any of the links above, I shall earn a small commission at no extra cost charged on your purchases.

2) Local library

Head to your local library or log in to your local library app to find and rent this book.

Here’s the book ISBN number to help you search the book in library.


Want more books related to Retro Gaming?

These are my suggestions:

ultimate history of video games vol1 book review
The Ultimate History of Video Games Vol 1 & 2 at JILAXZONE. Image courtesy of Steven Kent, Crown and Amazon.

1) The Ultimate History of Video Games Vol 1 & 2 By Steven L. Kent – Get to know in detail what, who, why, where & when about video games history. Book review link: The Ultimate History of Video Games Vol 1 & 2 at JILAXZONE.

blake j harris console wars sega nintendo pdf
Console Wars – Sega, Nintendo, and the Battle that Defined a Generation at JILAXZONE. Image is copyright to respective owners.

2) Console Wars – Sega, Nintendo, and the Battle that Defined a Generation.
Book review link: Console Wars – Sega, Nintendo, and the Battle that Defined a Generation at JILAXZONE.

Want more games and retro games related articles?

console wars who will win this time
Check out Gaming and Games at JILAXZONE for more game and retro games articles and reviews. Image courtesy of Final Weapon (

Check them out here: Gaming and Games at JILAXZONE.

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