According to an oral history report of Microsoft, it was found that the tech giant once tried to acquire Nintendo with the goal of securing its first-party games for their Xbox gaming division. Although the Japanese gaming company responded by not only declining the offer, but laughed Microsoft executives out of the room.
According to Microsoft’s former director of 3rd party relations for Xbox, Kevin Bachus: “Steve [Ballmer, Microsoft’s former CEO] made us go meet with Nintendo to see if they would consider being acquired,” he said. They just laughed their asses off. Like, imagine an hour of somebody just laughing at you. That was kind of how that meeting went.”
During the formative years of Xbox, Microsoft also had meetings with a myriad of developers with developing its roster of games for the Xbox console. The oral history goes on to say that at one point Microsoft was on its way to partnering with Nintendo leveraged by their advanced technology. The former had of Xbox’s business development, Bob McBreen was quoted as saying “We actually had Nintendo in our building in January 2000 to work through the details of a joint venture where we gave them all the technical specs of the Xbox,” he said. “The pitch was their hardware stunk, and compared to Sony PlayStation, it did. So the idea was, ‘Listen, you’re much better at the game portions of it with Mario and all that stuff. Why don’t you let us take care of the hardware?’ But it didn’t work out.”
You can read the full oral history Microsoft Xbox on Bloomberg.com.
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