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The Haynes Video Gaming Manual

Posted by Damien McFerran

A coffee table classic that every dedicated gamer should own

Following on from our review of the superb Game Over, we've got another literary classic to bring to your attention.

The Video Game Manual is published by UK firm Haynes (famed for its automotive help guides) and is penned by João Diniz Sanches, former editor of Future's Edge magazine.

The hardback book contains over 175 pages of vital gaming data, including chapters about collecting games, keeping your hardware in tip-top condition, dabbling in the import market and much, much more. It also devotes plenty of space to detailing 20 different video game machines, including the NES, SNES, GameCube and Wii.

Each entry has a history, technical specifications and recommended games. All of this is supported by over 200 photographs especially taken for use in the book.

The timing of this publication is ideal as it's bound to find its way into a fair few Christmas stockings, but if you have particularly useless friends and family who won't have a clue what to buy you this festive season then you can cut out the middle man and order a copy from Amazon UK, where the book currently retails for £12.59 - which is quite a saving on the £17.99 recommended retail price. Alternatively, you can grab it direct from Haynes, although you'll have to pay full whack at the moment.

From the web

User Comments (23)



JayArr said:

What a horrible cover! I know, know, you don't judge a book by its cover.



Mayhem said:

Well the cover is partly in the tradition of Haynes manuals, and also rather harks back to the old school 80s design of books we got here, such as those from Usborne for example.



JamieO said:

£12.59 is a sound price for a 175 page hardback, with an ex-Edge editor's heritage. Damien's Nintendo Life news articles are slowly diversifying my reading collection from predominantly Retro Gamer and gamesTM. I have just received my copy of Smart Bomb!!, which was another cool recommendation.
Who knows I might even, just maybe Literacy improve my, yet !!!



JayArr said:

No, no.

Just make it more eye pleasing. I can dig the retro look but not if it includes grimy yellow consoles. I kinda like your suggestion though. Hey it works for Team Ninja games right?



V8_Ninja said:

Live in the USA, so it's gonna be a bit hard to find this in my local store =(



James said:

But if the Dreamcast is sat on the Saturn, how would you put your discs in?



Ren said:

this looks great. Totally worth it even to have shipped over here. Very retro cover what else would they do with it? The only other cover I could imagine would be one of those cut away engineering diagrams like they have on their auto manuals, but it would be unfair to do it for just one console so what they did is classic anyway, throwing so many on there. that pile of consoles is like diamond jewelry showcase for nerds like me.
I'll ask for it for holidays. I agree, right now if I had 20 bucks lying around I get more games, but as a gift it's perfect.



Starwolf_UK said:

I do wonder how this compares to (and/or compliments) "The Encyclopedia of Game Machines: Consoles, Handhelds and Home Computers 1972-2005" which seems similar though was originally in German and then translated to English.

Though one thing came very apparent. These books have a tendency to go out of print when I typed the aboves book ISBN (3-00-01539-4) into Amazon UK is showed there were no copies available. From what I can tell if you can read German you're in luck as there is a new edition which goes up to 2009 (the publishers website is here) and there seems to the sequels as well (on controllers and graphics).



joao said:

Howdy, joao here. Wanted to thank you for the kind comments and orders, of course - genuinely hope you like the book.

I can't imagine there's a book out there that compares to 'The Encyclopedia of Game Machines 1972-2005'. Winnie Forster has done a remarkable job of cramming in some 500 machines (along with some excellent, extremely rare items featured) and the book provides a short but authoritative overview of the hardware. I can't recommend it enough, if you can get hold of the English edition. It's a beautiful and essential thing.

Going head-to-head with that kind of work would be daunting and silly. So what I've tried to do with my book is narrow the focus to 20 machines but go in a little deeper, as well as give plenty of attention to the games. In addition, the early chapters try to offer some practical advice with regards to gaming and collecting. So the two publications cross over on some of the subject matter, of course, but end up distinct, which was important to me.

Anyway, that's ultimately for others to decide. Just thought I'd say 'hello' and thank people for their support.

Annoyingly, I didn't once consider the inclusion of naked ladies on the cover. A missed opportunity, I fear.

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