Microsoft tried to purchase Nintendo previous to launching the primary Xbox in 2001, former Xbox executives have revealed, in a bid to safe its coveted first-party titles — the likes of Mario, Pokémon, and Zelda — however the Windows large was laughed out of the room by the Japanese large. Microsoft additionally unsuccessfully tried to buy then-leader Electronic Arts, Square Enix, and Mortal Kombat writer Midway Games.
“Steve [Ballmer, Microsoft’s then CEO] made us go meet with Nintendo to see if they would consider being acquired,” Microsoft’s former Xbox director of third-party relations Kevin Bachus instructed Bloomberg, for an oral retelling of the creation of the Xbox. “They just laughed their a**** off. Like, imagine an hour of somebody just laughing at you. That was kind of how that meeting went.”
But it appears that evidently wasn’t the one assembly. “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,” Xbox’s then head of enterprise growth Bob McBreen mentioned. “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.”
At the time, Nintendo 64 was round, and the corporate was engaged on its subsequent console, that will become the GameCube and launch alongside the Xbox. The two bought 21.74 and 24 million models respectively, however these numbers have been dwarfed by PlayStation 2 that bought over 100 million models.
Microsoft approached EA earlier than Nintendo, that primarily mentioned “No, thanks.” Square Enix declined Microsoft’s supply as a result of “the price [was] too low” and Midway Games fell out as a result of it was low worth for Microsoft. Eventually, Microsoft ended up buying Bungie that approached itself, and that resulted in Xbox’s flagship title: Halo.