This is how Microsoft tried to buy Nintendo

In 1999 Microsoft was working on the launch of the first Xbox and was missing a more extensive catalog of games to accompany the console on its arrival on the market. To remedy this situation, it occurred to someone that they could buy Nintendo, one of the largest companies in the video game industry. When you have almost unlimited funds and are used to buying anything this may seem like a seamless plan, but I had more than one.

That Microsoft tried to buy Nintendo is a true story and that we already know. Earlier this year Kevin Bachus, former head of relations third-party of Microsoft, explained that at the end of the last century Steve Ballmer, who by then was about to be the CEO of Microsoft, said they would meet with Nintendo to see if they would consider being acquired. “They just laughed out loud. Imagine an hour of someone laughing at you. That’s how that meeting was, ”explains Bachus.

Today this story takes center stage again because Microsoft has published (partially) the letter it sent to Nintendo to address the possible acquisition. The epistle is part of the virtual museum that the company has opened on the occasion of the 20th anniversary of Xbox. The text is proof that the operation existed and that the meeting was high-flying, as it was attended by Hiroshi Yamauchi, historic president of Nintendo, and Genyo Takeda, Nintendo’s first video game designer as well as the person in charge of the design of N64 , GameCube and Wii.

Capture taken from the Xbox virtual museum.

In the letter sent to Nintendo America and signed by Rick Thompson, Microsoft’s vice president, the executive says he understands “Mr. Takeda’s concerns” about the possible alliance. It also seems to indicate that Microsoft could help make Dolphin, codename for GameCube, the best video game console. At the end it is said that the details of the operation will be offered in person during the meeting. Little else can we deduce from the text because a considerable part of the letter is hidden.

That Microsoft tried to tackle the Nintendo purchase shows that the company was going all out to support Xbox. We may know more about this chapter in the documentary Power On: The Story of Xbox that we can see from December 13. On the other hand, the video game industry would hardly be better without an independent Nintendo.


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