Xbox: This week Microsoft released a fun online museum to celebrate 20 years of Xbox. Among the many virtual items from video game history that visitors can observe is an image of one of the cards from the brief period when Microsoft tried to buy Nintendo.
The negotiations took place in 1999 and are now seen by Microsoft executives as a major “trip” for the company, but it was an important milestone in the creation of the Xbox. After all, it was because this partnership didn’t get a foothold that the company decided to venture into the video game business on its own.
The cannot be read in its entirety, but the excerpts that appear show some of the tone of the negotiations – in which Microsoft wanted to schedule meetings and move forward, but Nintendo was not at all excited. “I understand Mr. Takeda’s concerns about a possible partnership and will try to [erase] the guidelines he asked for.”
The letter was written by Rick Thompson, who was head of hardware for Xbox at the time. Correspondence was sent to Jacqualee Story, Nintendo’s head of business for the US that year. The “Mr. Takeda” mentioned is Genyo Takeda, who was the head of hardware for Nintendo.
This isn’t the first time Microsoft has spoken openly about its bid to buy Nintendo. Earlier this year, Kevin Bachus, the company’s former director of third-party relations, spoke more emphatically about the mistake:
“They just laughed my ass off. Like, imagine a time when someone just laughed in your face. That meeting was more or less like that.”