The Xbox Museum displays the letter Microsoft tried to buy Nintendo with in 1999

In honor of the 20th anniversary of the Xbox, an official virtual museum has been launched, where you can learn key events from the history of the console. One of the exhibits is especially curious – a scan of a letter from work correspondence, when Microsoft tried to buy Nintendo

The story happened at the turn of 1999 and 2000. Microsoft already decided to break into the console market and prepared the Xbox, but did not decide on all the plans to the end. For example, the company worried that the Xbox would have too few games at release. How do I fix this problem? Elementary – buy Nintendo!

I talked about how the negotiations were held not so long ago Kevin Bacchus (Kevin Bachus), former director Microsoft on relations with partners Xbox. Reaction Nintendo turned out to be humiliating:

Steve Ballmer made us meet with Nintendoto see if they are considering purchasing. They almost tore their bellies. Imagine someone just laughing at you for an hour. This is how the meeting went.

And now a letter from the VP of hardware is on display in the Xbox virtual museum Microsoft Rick Thompson (Rick Thompson) which he posted on October 20, 1999 Jacly Storey (Jacqualee Story), executive vice president of business at Nintendo of americaThompson thanked Storey for agreeing to arrange a meeting with Genyo Takeda (Genyo Takeda; one of the leading iron specialists Nintendo) and Hiroshi Yamauchi (Hiroshi Yamauchi; President Nintendo in those years).

The Xbox Museum displays the letter Microsoft tried to buy Nintendo with in 1999

Screenshot of the letter in the Xbox Museum.

Unfortunately, the entire text of the letter cannot be read: the header plate interferes. But let’s say there is a mention of Dolphin – the GameCube codename. General idea Microsoft consisted of the following: iron Nintendo it turns out so-so (the current Nintendo 64 in 1999 already lost to the first PlayStation), but it makes excellent games. That’s why Microsoft will become a strategic partner in the design of the GameCube, and in return will ask for help with video games for the Xbox.

Obviously, the idea didn’t work out. With time Microsoft still found an assistant among the Japanese console manufacturers: when the failure of the Dreamcast became obvious, games SEGA began to appear on the Xbox. Thus on the platform Microsoft migrated Jet set radio future and Shenmue ii… However, in the same period SEGA began releasing its flagship franchises on the GameCube.

And the Xbox Museum turned out to be beautiful and interesting, you can see it for yourself directly in your browser.

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