Alan Stone, former President and CEO of Sega Enterprises, passes away

alan stone

Alan Stone, the former President and CEO of Sega Entertainment and Founding President of Sega GameWorks, passed away last Friday due to cancer. He was 71.

Stone had a long career in the video game industry. He co-founded Far East Video in 1979 that imported Japanese arcade games to America, which lead to his being Co-Founder and Vice President of Nintendo of America when the subsidiary opened up in 1981.

Stone remained at Nintendo until 1994, when he jumped ship to Sega Enterprises (now Sega Entertainment). He was a good fit with his long history in the arcade industry. He remained at Sega Enterprises for 10 years before moving onto other ventures.

On Stone’s passing, former President and CEO of Sega of America Thomas Kalinske shared his thoughts on Twitter yesterday:

SEGA almost licensed the technology that created the Virtual Boy

SEGAVirtuaBoyFormer SEGA of America President Tom Kalinske has revealed on a Reddit community podcast that not only was SEGA in talks with Trip Hawkins about releasing the 3DO console (also talks with other manufactures including Sony), Tom reveals they also dodged another bullet by not entering an agreement with Reflection Technologies – the company that went on to make Virtual Boy with Nintendo. Seems that SEGA America was really interested in Virtual Reality headsets (they even showed their own prototypes at public events, but nothing was released).

“It was pretty cool. You could put it on and literally you were in a virtual world, and it moved as you moved your head.

One of the problems was almost everybody got sick. It caused severe motion sickness. Other people got severe headaches. I think we were right in turning it down.” – Tom Kalinske, former SEGA of America President on Virtual Boy tech

What are your thoughts? Did SEGA do the right move by passing on the ‘Virtua Boy‘?

[Via: Nintendo Life]

Former SEGA of America CEO Tom Kalinske has harsh words for the company

segabits tom kalinske

Tom Kalinske oversaw SEGA of America in the early 90s during the Genesis era, arguably the company’s most successful time in the console space. Despite their incredible Western success under his leadership, his relations with SEGA of Japan were sometimes strained, most notably with regard to the launch of the Saturn. He departed the company in 1996.

Speaking to Gamesindustry.biz at the DICE Summit, shortly after the recently-announced downsizing and relocating of SEGA’s American headquarters, he does not mince words when discussing his former company.

“[Their departure from hardware] was not inevitable,” Kalinske said. “It could have been avoided if they had made the right decisions going back literally 20 years ago. But they seem to have made the wrong decisions for 20 years.”

Watch the full ‘Console Wars: Sega, Nintendo, and the Battle that Defined a Generation’ San Diego Comic Con panel


 
This past weekend, SEGAbits writers Ben, Shigs, and Nuckles hit San Diego Comic Con and SEGA’s game preview event located at the nearby Nerd HQ. While Comic Con isn’t as game centric as E3, there was quite a bit of SEGA goodness to be found. We were able to check out the latest preview builds of Alien: Isolation and Sonic Boom: Rise of Lyric, as well as interview Archie Comics on the upcoming Sonic Boom comic book series. But the main event had to have been Sunday’s Console Wars panel. The panel, which centered around the SEGA and Nintendo rivalry of the 90’s, featured special guests Tom Kalinske (Sega of America), Al Nilsen (Sega of America), Bill White (Nintendo of America), and Perrin Kaplan (Nintendo of America), as well as Console Wars author Blake J. Harris and Julian Rosenberg, producer of the upcoming Console Wars documentary.

Thanks to Blake, Nuckles and Shigs were given the VIP treatment and secured some awesome seats – allowing us to film the panel and Q&A session and meet the SEGA and Nintendo legends! Check out the full panel above, and make sure to pick up your copy of Console Wars if you haven’t already!

Want more Console Wars discussion? Check out our three part interview series with Tom Kalinske, Al Nilsen, and Blake J. Harris.

Console Wars panel announced for San Diego Comic Con on Sunday, July 27th

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The official site for the Console Wars book has officially announced that a Console Wars panel will be taking place at San Diego Comic Con featuring SEGA and Nintendo all-stars Tom Kalinske (Sega of America), Al Nilsen (Sega of America), Bill White (Nintendo of America), and Perrin Kaplan (Nintendo of America), as well as Julian Rosenberg, producer of the upcoming Console Wars documentary alongside Console Wars author Blake J. Harris. The panel will be in Room 23ABC at 2:30 p.m. on Sunday, July 27th and Blake will be signing copies of the book in the autographing area, table AA09, from 4 – 5 p.m.

And guess what? SEGAbits just might be attending, as we’ve obtained press passes for the convention! We’ll alert our readers on the social networks once we have our Comic Con plans finalized.

Swingin’ Report Show #62: Console Wars with Tom Kalinske – SEGA of America’s President (’90-’96)

This is it! Our third Console Wars focused episode of the Swingin’ Report Show in which we speak with the man himself, SEGA of America’s former President Tom Kalinske! Tom has an amazing history with the toy and game industry. Before his years with SEGA, Tom served as President and CEO of Mattel, reviving the Barbie brand and creating the He-Man and the Masters of the Universe line. During his time at SEGA, Tom reinvigorated the SEGA Genesis brand, helped in the creation of Sonic the Hedgehog, and led the launch of many famous pieces of SEGA hardware including the Game Gear, Pico, 32X, Nomad, and Saturn.

Tom Kalinske’s career is chronicled in the book “Console Wars: Sega, Nintendo, and the Battle that Defined a Generation” by Blake J. Harris, and if you haven’t purchased a copy yet, do so today. If you’ve read the book, are reading the book, are awaiting delivery of the book, or are simply a fan of SEGA during the 90’s, our latest show is a must listen!

Also, make sure to check out our other Console Wars interviews including our discussion of SEGA’s marketing efforts with SEGA’s former Director of Marketing Al Nilsen and our interview with the author of Console Wars, Blake J. Harris.

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SEGA Memories: Game Gear promotional events of the 90’s

The Game Gear, SEGA’s little handheld that had a color screen and a very bright back lit screen, is over 20 years old. Sure the device never out sold Nintendo’s juggernaut known as the Game Boy. But if you were a SEGA fan back in the day, the bad battery life didn’t keep you away from owning one. Some people may wonder what sort of promotional events SEGA did before launching a device like the Game Gear. Well, this week on Monday Memories we take a look at “Operation Game Gear” and “Superstar Kids Challenge”.

Round Table: Our favorite SEGA heroes

We all have heroes that we look up to, since we here are big SEGA fans, we also happen to have SEGA heroes. I decided to make this article a bit more intresting and allow anything SEGA. This includes workers, game characters or marketing icons.
As always you can share your thoughts in the comment section.