Microsoft’s recently published the special 20th anniversary memorial site and it showed the letter Microsoft sent when trying to acquire Nintendo before the release of the original Xbox in 1999.
The team at Microsoft obviously wanted Nintendo as a first party studio to bolster their first console with big games such as Mario Kart and The Legend of Zelda etc. The letter was sent from Microsoft’s Vice President of Hardware, Rick Thompson, to Nintendo of America’s Executive Vice President of Business Affairs, Jacqualee Story.
Tried to buy Nintendo?
Microsoft considered using its considerable financial might to buy developers. And Microsoft set its sights high, approaching Nintendo about an acquisition. Microsoft was laughed out of the room, says Kevin Bachus, a director for third-party relations on the Xbox project. “They just laughed their asses off,” Bachus said to Bloomberg. “Like, imagine an hour of somebody just laughing at you. That was kind of how that meeting went.”
Microsoft’s pitch did make some amount of sense. At the time, Nintendo was lagging behind Sony badly from a hardware perspective, but well things have gone quite a different as history shows us.