Microsoft tried to acquire Nintendo once and was laughed at. In the late 1990s, Microsoft wanted to get into the world of gaming. However, thanks to the success of Sony’s PlayStation and the legend of Nintendo, the chips were stacked against them from the start. Before entering gaming, the company was best known for Windows and its office software, which was everywhere. They had the money to do what they wanted, but they were still struggling to get socialmediagossips to believe in their idea for a console.
In a new interview, Kevin Bachus, Microsoft Director of Third Party Relations, recalled how Steve Ballmer, President and future CEO of Microsoft, had the idea to meet with Nintendo in 2000. Ballmer is and was a huge Nintendo fan. Bachus said: “[Ballmer] We met with Nintendo to see if they would consider getting purchased. They just laughed at each other. Imagine an hour when someone just laughs at you. So this meeting went. “
While Nintendo had the video games, their consoles weren’t always hailed as giant leaps forward. Sony knew this, and Microsoft wanted to take advantage of it because it knew they had the money to do it. Bob McBreen, Head of Business Development, says, “We had Nintendo in our building in January 2000 to work through the details of a joint venture where we gave them all the tech specs of the Xbox. The pitch was their hardware that stunk, and It was compared to Sony PlayStation, so the idea was, “Look, you’re much better at the game sections with Mario and all that stuff. Why not let us take over the hardware? “But it didn’t work out.” Nintendo didn’t want to give up what they were doing to begin a partnership with Microsoft. It is believed that Nintendo is currently worth over $ 85 billion. So it seems wise to hold onto their guns.
Nintendo of America chairman Howard Lincoln won’t discuss meeting with Microsoft over 20 years ago. Lincoln explains: “Nintendo does not talk about confidential discussions with other companies. In any case, nothing came of those discussions.” Nintendo continued to develop the Wii, while Microsoft conquered much of the market with the original Xbox and consoles that followed.
The Xbox X and S series are officially available but difficult to come by due to immense demand. Meanwhile, Nintendo is still producing its own hits in various games thanks to the Switch, which features a massive open-world Zelda episode, and its mascot Mario. In the end, one can only wonder what would have happened if Nintendo had agreed to the Microsoft deal in 2000. For the full history of the original Xbox, see Bloomberg.