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Games Entertainment

How Microsoft Tried To Buy Nintendo 286

Posted by timothy
from the with-clams-dough-bread-and-smackers dept.
An anonymous reader submits: "A new book, Opening the Xbox: Inside Microsoft's Plan to Unleash an Entertainment Revolution discusses Microsoft's plans to buy Nintendo for $25 billion in late 1999. By January 2000 however, talks dissolved and each company went their seperate way. Makes you wonder how the home entertainment industry would be different if they had gone through with it. Stories are at Gamers and Cube Europe."
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How Microsoft Tried To Buy Nintendo

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  • by edwdig (47888) on Saturday April 27, 2002 @11:06PM (#3423134)
    The way I see the situation, Nintendo probably tried to pull something similar to what MS did back when they entered the mouse market. (MS got into negotiations with Logitech, learned all about their manufacturing process, then broke off talks) Nintendo probably just saw the opportunity to learn a lot about their competition, and entertained MS just enough to get all the info they could from them. Once they did they, they broke off talks. Nintendo is so set on their business model that they won't try anything new. Nintendo of America would love to be more aggressive against Sony, but they have to answer to the Japan branch, who is quite content where they are because they make a hell of a lot more money than the games branch of Sony does. If it's not broken, don't fix it is pretty much their motto, so why would they ever even considering selling out to MS ?
  • by Cornelius the Great (555189) on Saturday April 27, 2002 @11:17PM (#3423170)
    Wouldn't this idea make more sense if you turned this around? Nintendo didn't try anything new. It was Microsoft that entered new ground in the console market.
  • Re:Typical M$ (Score:3, Interesting)

    by JFMulder (59706) on Saturday April 27, 2002 @11:19PM (#3423178)
    .. and you forget to put your foot in your mouth when you wrote this. Come on, of course Microsoft has copied Unix. How could they not!!! Do you accuse Saturn to rip off Ford because they're making cars. Ford has been there for a hundred years! You're right, Saturn are dirty bastards for trying to make a clone or a different version of car.

    Linux and UNIX groupies like you give the community a bad name.

    And what was wrong with trying to buy Nintedo? It's not only a question on buying to beat everyone. This is a pretty normal move in the industry. If you have some ideas, but don't have all the expertise to go forward with them, why don't you make a alliance with another company, or buy the other company and integrate it with yours, so the product will be even better?
  • by Alien54 (180860) on Saturday April 27, 2002 @11:25PM (#3423198) Journal
    The GameCube Eurpoe Site had a short story on this earlier:

    www.cube-europe.com/news/10198973416591.html [cube-europe.com]

    This sound bite is the best:

    When interviewing Nintendo's U.S president Minoru Arakawa, he let slip that Nintendo 'weren't sure what to think when Microsoft made the offer.'' He continued with the commments "I was surprised, we didn't need the money. I thought it was a joke."

    sums it up nicely for me

  • by magicsquid (85985) on Saturday April 27, 2002 @11:26PM (#3423202) Homepage
    Sometimes history is bound to repeat itself. If you recall, something similar happened back in the days prior to the PlayStation. Nintendo and Sony met to cooperate on a CDRom add-on for the SNES. Nintendo broke off talks after Sony had already announced the new drive at E3. Sony went on to create the PlayStation out of what it had learned from Nintendo. Isn't it also possible that exactly the opposite of what you suggest happened... that Microsoft got into talks with Nintendo to learn what it could about the industry because it already new it was going to launch it's own console? Microsoft could gain a tremendous amount of information from the company that has been in the console market longer than any other, Nintendo.
  • by Rayonic (462789) on Saturday April 27, 2002 @11:30PM (#3423214) Homepage Journal
    Enix.

    You've heard of them, right? They put out that little Dragon Quest/Warrior series, the seventh of which is the all-time best selling game in Japan. Heck, there's even a Japanese law saying that Enix can only release a new DQ game on a weekend, because otherwise millions of kids/adults will skip school/work just to get their hands on it ASAP and play it all day.

    Even the mere announcement that the next Dragon Quest game will be an Xbox exclusive would guarantee the console's success in Japan. It's like Japanese gamers wouldn't have a choice in the matter. They'd need Dragon Quest 8, and thus they would need an Xbox, no matter what.
  • Re:Typical M$ (Score:3, Interesting)

    by bmetz (523) on Sunday April 28, 2002 @12:02AM (#3423308) Homepage
    Pioneered my ass. It plainly said in the Netscape executable that the report-bugs-back-to-netscape technology was licensed from some other company. (This is to say nothing of the shitload of licensed technology in Netscape)

    Welcome to the real world, where software engineering decisions involve deciding whether buying technology is a more soft effective idea than producing technology.
  • by Graymalkin (13732) on Sunday April 28, 2002 @02:50AM (#3423724)
    Nintendo and Sony parted ways not because Sony debuted their technology as I recall. Nintendo halfway through the project decided to go with Phillips and their CD-i technology leaving Sony with a bunch of money invested into their CD system. Sony kept developing it because Ken Kutaragi bet his career on it. He thought a game console would be what Sony needed to spurn some demand for their products. Nintendo and Sony got back together about two years later but the deal broke because Sony wanted to do a stand alone system and Nintendo still wanted a add-on for the SNES.

    Sony then formed their CEE division with Ken Kutaragi at the helm and launched the PSX. It became ultra popular because they managed to get the big wigs like Capcom and Konami to develop native games as well as port Arcade games to it. It whomped the shit out of the Saturn and Nintendo dropped their CD-ROM add-on plans and hooked up with SGI. I remember at the time there was a good deal of confusion as to what the fuck Nintendo was doing. You were never sure if they were making a stand alone 32-bit console or a add-on for the SNES.

    Microsoft I think was in the same position as Sony was in 1992, they had an initiative to get into the game console market but wanted someone more experienced to go in with. What I think people miss is Sony is the Microsoft of Japan. Career minded folks in Japan's electronics industry don't badmouth Sony. With the PSX they were entering into a industry they had no experience in. It was only through learning from Nintendo and Kutaragi's incessant board room bowing and scraping that the PSX saw the light of day.
  • Re:Shigeru Miyamoto (Score:2, Interesting)

    by alphaseven (540122) on Sunday April 28, 2002 @01:55PM (#3425165)
    Hmm, Alexy Pajitnov would be the Orson Welles of video games (one great game, Tetris, but then what?). Hideo Kojima is the Kubrick of video games (technically excellent, but good luck making sense of it). Hironobu Sakaguchi might be the James Cameron of video games (epics with lots of action with a sappy love story, every time).

    If you're looking for art, check out ICO for Playstation2, whoever designed that is the Tarkovsky of video games.

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