This is what you've been looking for; it tells with an exciting and precise style the history of video games from early pinball machineries to the 2001 events; it focuses and mignifies events and milestones such as the advent of Nintendo of America and its legal battles; the fight among Nintendo and Sega and the rise of Atari throughout interviews with their direct protagonists (Bushnell, Alcorn, Myamoto etc.)
Only a pair of complaints: the book as bad layouts, it's heavy and bulky for no apparent reason. It's sad it has only a few photos: you will find yourself consantly writing down notes of the games it talks about and go on the web to see what they look like.
Other than these things, I strongly reccomand it for any videogame fun(atic)!!
This is without doubt the best detailed book on the history of videogames, from its beginnings until 2002, in my opinion this is still the best detailed and most accurate read there is and the author Steven Kent is well respected in the arcade and gaming community, a must for all gamers wanting to learn its roots.