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Microsoft reveals behind the scenes of its failed Nintendo takeover


In its new virtual museum for the 20th anniversary of Xbox, Microsoft unveiled the letter sent to Nintendo officials during the takeover attempt in 1999.

To celebrate 20 years of Xbox (it’s a pretty original gift), Microsoft had fun bringing out the letter sent by executives to Nintendo 20 years ago, an unsuccessful attempt to get hold of Big N and get a foothold in video games.

At the beginning of the year, we had already had the confirmation of this project with hilarious behind the scenes: according to Microsoft, Nintendo had laughed at them for an hour during the proposal. On its 20-year-old museum, a letter sent at this time has been unveiled.

If it is original, it dates from October 20, 1999, the year before the release of the Xbox. Sent to Jacqualee Story, who was vice president of business at Nintendo of America, this document signed Rick thompson, vice president of hardware at Microsoft, is unfortunately half hidden but we understand again that Big N never wanted to go further in the discussion:

I understand Mr. Takeda’s concerns about a possible partnership and will try to [mots cachés] the directives he requested.

Earlier this year, Bob McBreen, boss of the Xbox business part at this time, clarified this intention:

Our argument was to tell them that compared to the Sony PlayStation, their console was at the pickup. This was the case. So the idea was to say “look, you’re a lot better at the game part with Mario and stuff.” Why don’t you let us take care of the hardware part? ” It didn’t work.

the “Xbox project” is indicated in the letter, which clearly indicates that a “Strategic partnership between the two companies for an upcoming video game console” has been discussed. We can also read that Microsoft had for ambition to help the “Dolphin project” (the GameCube, editor’s note), to make it the “best console”.

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As a reminder, the discussion ended in disqualification, just like a few times earlier. with EA. The editor had simply replied “no thanks” to them.

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