Microsoft Shared the 1999 Letter From Its Failed Bid to Purchase Nintendo

  • Just before Microsoft launched the Xbox in 2001, the firm tried out to purchase gaming big Nintendo.
  • Nintendo executives reportedly “laughed their asses off” at Microsoft’s entreaties.
  • Microsoft just published a letter it despatched to Nintendo about the deal in an Xbox retrospective.

20 decades ago, in 2001, Microsoft introduced the first Xbox.

Two several years prior to that, in 1999, Microsoft executives approached Japanese gaming big Nintendo with a proposal: Microsoft would develop the components — a gaming console — and Nintendo would generate the online games. 

Also, Microsoft would outright buy Nintendo in the offer.

Nintendo’s response? “They just laughed their asses off,” former Microsoft third-bash relations head Kevin Bachus instructed Bloomberg earlier this 12 months. “Like, visualize an hour of anyone just laughing at you. That was type of how that assembly went.”

Now, in a electronic museum Microsoft developed to rejoice the 20th anniversary of the Xbox, you can see a letter from that failed proposal:

Microsoft letter to Nintendo regarding an attempt to buy the Japanese gaming giant.

Some of the textual content is obscured, but plenty of is visible to get an notion of the conferences involving Nintendo and Microsoft in late 1999 and early 2000.

Microsoft


Irrespective of the “Spring 2000” be aware at the bottom, the day on the letter alone is October 20, 1999. 

The letter, sent by then Microsoft components vice president Rick Thompson to then Nintendo of The us govt vice president of enterprise affairs Jacqualee Tale, seems to be a follow-up to a company assembly among Microsoft and two of Nintendo’s most essential figures: Nintendo components direct Genyo Takeda and Nintendo president Hiroshi Yamauchi.

In the letter, Thompson reported he “understands Mr. Takeda’s problems about the feasible partnership.” He also directly references Nintendo’s “dolphin” console, which was the codename for what would finally launch in 2001 as the Nintendo GameCube.

In late 1999, Microsoft was performing on its to start with Xbox console at the exact same time that Sony was functioning on the PlayStation 2 and Nintendo was doing work on the Nintendo GameCube. Sony would afterwards defeat both equally Nintendo and Microsoft to the punch by launching the PlayStation 2 in the holiday of 2000. 

Microsoft’s proposal to Nintendo at the time was that, by performing with Microsoft’s components, Nintendo could far more adequately contend on horsepower with Sony’s PlayStation 2.

“We in fact experienced Nintendo in our developing in January 2000 to do the job through the details of a joint undertaking in which we gave them all the specialized specs of the Xbox,” previous Microsoft head of business growth Bob McBreen advised Bloomberg. “The pitch was their hardware stunk, and in contrast to Sony PlayStation [2], it did.”

But Nintendo failed to bite, and Sony’s PlayStation 2 went on to dominate video clip activity society for the adhering to ten years as each the GameCube and the initial Xbox struggled to preserve up.  

Currently, having said that, the movie recreation industry is significantly more diversified and all three major console makers are productive in their have rights.

Look at out Microsoft’s 20 calendar year anniversary celebration of the Xbox ideal listed here.

Got a tip? Contact Insider senior correspondent Ben Gilbert by way of e mail ([email protected]), or Twitter DM (@realbengilbert). We can preserve sources nameless. Use a non-do the job unit to attain out. PR pitches by electronic mail only, please.

Related posts