Microsoft Switch? Nintendo Series X? The video game market today would’ve been different had the Redmond giant bought Nintendo. The former tried to do so 20 years ago, but apparently the Nintendo bigwigs at the time just laughed them off.
That’s right, we would have Mario on an Xbox or maybe Master Chief on the Switch had the acquisition succeeded. But alas it was not meant to be. As published by Bloomberg’s Dina Bass, former Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer invited Nintendo to a business proposal to see if the latter was willing to be acquired.
Microsoft’s pitch was that they could supply a more powerful gaming hardware to run Nintendo’s venerable list of first-party games. The idea was sound, as the Japanese company historically released inferior consoles specs-wise across generations. Nintendo’s response? Apparently, the reps were just laughing during the entire meeting.
It was a bold move for Microsoft to buy Nintendo in 2000. But they had to. At the time, Microsoft was prepping to enter the video game market with its original Xbox, so the company had to ensure it would have developers working on games for it. Besides Nintendo, Microsoft even tried to buy EA and Square, but obviously, they declined the offer.