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"From Pong to Xbox: Packaging of Video Game Consoles" -- Dean Takahashi, San Jose Mercury-News

Wednesday, May 17, 2006 (3rd Wednesday, this month only)
  • Seated dinner served at 6:30 ($25 if reserved before May 14; $30 after & at door; vegetarian available)

  • Presentation (no cost) at 7:30.

    Ramada Inn

  • 1217 Wildwood Ave (Fwy 101 frontage road, between Lawrence Expressway and Great America Parkway), Sunnyvale, (800) 888-3899 -- see map.


  • For dinner and/or meeting: by email to Janis Karklins
  • Please reserve for "presentation-only", even if not attending the dinner.

    Dean will speak about the hardware strategy that Microsoft pursued as it designed, manufactured and shipped the Xbox 360 video game console. In 2002, Takahashi wrote a book, Opening the Xbox: Inside Microsoft's Plan To Unleash an Entertainment Revolution, which chronicled the birth of Microsoft's first Xbox console. He is now writing a sequel to that book, dubbed The Xbox 360 Uncloaked: The Real Story Behind Microsoft's Next-Generation Video Game Console. The book will be published as an e-book by SpiderWorks as early as May. He will talk about the lessons Microsoft learned from its first attempt and how it plans to compete with Sony and Nintendo this time around.

    Speaker Biography:
    Dean Takahashi is a staff writer in the Business section of the San Jose Mercury News and author of Opening the Xbox: Inside Microsoft's Plan to Unleash an Entertainment Revolution. He currently writes about semiconductor chips, video games and Microsoft for the newspaper of Silicon Valley. He podcasts and blogs on video games for the Mercury News.
    His book on the making of the Xbox book chronicles the efforts of a few Microsoft renegades to convince Bill Gates to spend billions on a bid to challenge Sony and Nintendo in the $20 billion video game industry. The book offers an insider's view of how Microsoft galvanized itself for one of the biggest startups in its history. Since the book's release in April, 2002, Takahashi has been interviewed extensively in game publications and in mainstream media such as CNBC, CNN, USA Today, the San Francisco Chronicle and the TechNation radio show. Takahashi wrote the book while covering the video games and chip beats as a senior writer at the Red Herring magazine.
    For most of his 18 years as a journalist he has written stories about technology, including the video game industry for nine years and the semiconductor industry for 11 years. Previously, he worked at the Wall Street Journal's San Francisco bureau, the San Jose Mercury News, the Los Angeles Times Orange County edition, the Orange County Register and the Dallas Times Herald. He has won several journalism awards, including Best Technology Writer of 2005 for the San Francisco Publicity Club, co-winner of the Society of Professional Journalists Northern California Chapter award for hard news writing in 2005, and a second place award on opinion writing for the Peninsula Press Club in 2005. He was co-winner of an award for investigative journalism for a series of stories on chip theft in the San Jose Mercury News in 1996.
    Takahashi has been an active member in the past of the Asian American Journalists Association. He was president of the Los Angeles chapter of AAJA for two years and recipient of the national organization's prestigious special recognition award.
    Currently he is writing an e-book on the making of the Xbox 360. Due in May, the e-book is entitled: The Xbox 360 Uncloaked: Inside the Real Story of Microsoft's Next-Generation Video Game Console. When he has time, he's an avid gamer. He lives in the suburbs of San Jose.

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