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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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  • This brings up an interesting point. Sure, Microsoft has always been known to gobble up smaller companies and absorb the market share that they previously held. But with the antitrust trial, would it really have been a good idea to buy Microsoft?

    If Microsoft really wanted to be immediately successful in the console market, they should've bought Sega late last year. The Dreamcast was a great system, and with the Microsoft marketing machine behind it and a potential sequel, there would be almost guaranteed success. Plus, Sega could be bought for a whole lot less money (especially now).

    • The Gamecube Europe article mentions that they tried, and then threw their weight into trying to by Nintendo next. Seems a little out of order. I think that MS is doing an OK job with the XBox personally. A merger with either would have serious potential to have turned the tables on Sony. Did anyone think about what influence the Sony empire has on market penetration due to the fact that every retailer wants to carry Sony TV's Audio... etc. That's how they make their console a success... They have the power to make every VAR buy them. MS of course does too... but the less physcial products you ship to retailers the less sway you have.
    • I really don't see why they didn't. They already had their hands in the Dreamcast with WinCE and IE for web surfing. But, if the X-box was in development at the time of Sega's leaving the console market, that would have conflicted with their PR stance. To hear of a new console from them right after they bought Sega out would have a few people thinking that it was nothing but a rehash of the dreamcast with microsoft logos and a big green X on it.
    • I disagree with the point about buying Sega. Why would Microsoft buy a company that has a history of lying to its customers, putting out faulty products which they don't support for very long and then throwing a brand new one on you once you realize how terrible the old version was. Oh wait...
    • Re:What about sega? (Score:2, Informative)

      by azosx (568180)
      Microsoft wanted Nintendo to drop its GameCube console and get behind the Xbox.


      As the gamers.com article states, Microsoft wasn't looking to purchase the GameCube's technology when making an offer for Nintendo, they just wanted the name and licenses (Mario, Zelda, Pokemon). Despite the opinion of many gamers that the Dreamcast was a great system, the fact was Sega had been in second and third place for the last six years behind Nintendo and Sony. Microsoft didn't want that kind of recognition with their Xbox. They wanted the only heavy hitter at the time that could potentially smoke Sony.

  • because, although MS would have eliminated/assimilated a competitor with the deal, with MS's name on the console the public reactions would have been the same.
  • On the plus side, Im just glad we dont have to use X-Cubes. On the negative, it would have been an uncommon sight of an American company taking over a Japanese one.
    • Not really. General Motors and Ford both own significant shares in Japanese car companies.

      It's that neverending recession of theirs. Despite the insistences on both sides that Japanese companies are just that more efficient and successful than American ones, the Japanese recession is already over a decade old.

      If I owned Nintendo, I would have definitely cashed out; they're just not worth 25 billion, and a lot of their money is from the Pokemon franchise (and the chances are very slim that they'll get a new fad to match that anytime soon).
  • Crashes (Score:2, Funny)

    by SiIverFish (544878)
    Now when your gamecube crashes, there is no blue screen of death, just Maro popping up saying "Mama-mea, iv'e crashed AGAIN"
    • >> just Maro popping up... I'll ignore the unintentional Magic: the Gathering reference and mention how humorous Bill Gates in a red-and-blue plumber's uniform would be. :)
  • by Anonymous Coward
    MSNES
  • 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 ?
    • 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.
    • 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 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.
      • The talks broke down because Sony was a little too greedy about branding and royalties. The basic plot is that it would have mutated into a Sony device using Nintendo's fan base.

        MS was probably looking to do the same thing. Had Nintendo been bought by MS, that would have seriously made me cautious about investing in Nintendo products anymore. Nintendo's an awesome company that *knows* how to make games. If MS bought them (and changed them....) I'd have serious doubts about the future of the game market. Still, I'd much prefer MS buying Nintendo than Sony.
    • Ninetendo wanted to learn from Microsoft about making console games and systems. Because Ninetendo lacks experience in that field you know.

      Unless Ninetendo needed urgent information on how to make a bussiness plane or a golf simulator, i would suggest you have it backwards.

      • Notice how Nintendo is pricing their products to be cheaper than Microsoft's. Microsoft makes a move to cut prices, so does Nintendo. Nintendo now knows MS's price points, and their strategies, further enabling them to stay ahead.

        I don't think Microsoft would've approached Nintendo if they weren't serious about a buyout attempt. Nintendo learned their leson from the Playstation ordeal.

        MS came to Nintendo and said "This is our plan. Want to be part of it?" Nintendo said, "Maybe, tell us more." MS gives Nintendo their full strategy, at which point Nintendo blows them off.

        No matter what your market position is, knowing what the costs of your competitor's product is, and what their strategy is definately helps.
        • "Notice how Nintendo is pricing their products to be cheaper than Microsoft's."

          Correction: Notice how Nintendo is aware that parents don't want to spend a lot of money for a game system?

          Their price motives have nothing to do with what they learned from MS. It has to do with the fact that $200 is far closer to an 'impulse buy' than a PS2, XBOX, or any of the other ridiculously priced systems. Even Sega knew this when they made the Dreamcast.

          If you want more proof that Nintendo's pricing is a result of careful planning vs. leveraging of 'MS Price points...' (which they would not have known back in 99, heh), then crack open a GameCube, then crack open a PS2 and an XBOX. What you'll find upon opening a GameCube is that a bunch of guts won't fall out. It's a very clean, elegant design. They didn't add DVD player capability (i.e. no royalties to pay to MPEG/DVD groups...), it's small so it requires fewer resources, and there's only one main circuit board plus a riser card for the controller inputs.

          Nintendo's pricing is based on knowledge of what people who buy games spend their money on, not based on what they couldn't have known about MS. Remember, it may sound great to have a DVD player built into a game machine, but this machine's main focus is kids. Parents buy the game machine. They look at price tag, not features.
          • I know Nintendo always sells their new systems for $200. But look at Europe. It's even cheaper there. As soon as MS dropped the Xbox price their, Nintendo dropped the GameCube price.
  • by Navius Eurisko (322438) on Saturday April 27, 2002 @11:09PM (#3423148)
    Super Mario Bros: "Hey, kids, itsa Mario! I wanna taka some time from da game, to tell you about the dangers of competition in da OS market. If da 9 US states of Bowser have their way, competition will enter da OS market and Yoshi willa die! Mama Mia!"

    Pokemon: "Picachoo just evolved into the most stable, user friendly, Pokemon ever: XPachoo!"

    Legend of Zelda: "Link, Hyrule can only be saved from the evil free office suite spread by Ganon by gathering the three pieces of Mircosoft Office to form the triad!"
    • Better yet, a version of Super Smash Brothers featuring Clippy! Seeing how much people complain about him, there are probably millions of people willing to buy the system if they'd get get a chance to beat the little bastard to a pulp, again, and again, and again.

      [Maybe that's the killer app the xbox needs ... they could start a whole subgenre of `torture clippy' games ... `Clippy Tied to a Post Knife Party'... ]
      • That would be the one thing that would get me to buy an X-Box; I'd love to pit that Office Dog against Einstein or the Clippy. They could have special key combinations to unlock their "productivity" powers: Clippy could open a can of printer-spooling whoop-ass by sucking his opponent into the printing animation of his.

  • by Anonymous Coward
    Is there serious sentiment in Germany to ban all violent video games due to the recent tragedy? I know Slashdot readers will not support such a measure, but I am wondering if anyone has insight into the opinions of the general populace.

    (Of course this is offtopic, but unless JonKatz posts a story about this I have no where else to ask.)
    • I'm impressed. You managed to use "insight" and "opinions of the general populace" in the same sentance while keeping a straight face. Just keep on holding your breath- Jon Katz ought to put your question on the front page next friday or so.

  • Internationally.. (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward
    ..this would only have helped put MS ahead in the game. Outside of North America, XBox sales are weak (to say the least). It goes to reason, however, that with the Nintendo name behind the console (including the good hardware/game engineering that goes into Nintendo products) that the Japanese and European markets would have taken MS' offering a little more seriously.
  • by shr3k (451065) on Saturday April 27, 2002 @11:13PM (#3423156) Homepage
    The fact that the initial code name was Project Midway -- they don't want the Japanese people to know that because it will hurt their feelings."

    Well, it could have been worse. Project Hiroshima anyone? It will obliterate the competition!

  • Without going into a huge rant here, I'll express my thankfulness that this did not happen.

    THERE IS A GOD.

    I got into computers with the hope of one day becomming a programmer for a game company, hopefully Nintendo. If MS had bought them out I'd have found an alternative employer. The Bungie buyout was disapointing enough...
  • Shigeru Miyamoto (Score:1, Insightful)

    by alphaseven (540122)
    Why didn't they just offer a tenth of that 25 billion to Miyamoto? He's the Steven Spielberg of video games, and he'd be the primary boon for buying Nintendo (aside from the Pokemon liscense).
    • He's the Steven Spielberg of video games

      Hardly high praise in my book. I'd rather buy games by the Orson Welles or Robert Altman of video games (any ideas? :)

      • Re:Shigeru Miyamoto (Score:2, Interesting)

        by alphaseven (540122)
        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.

  • 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

    • Yes - it does throw Microsoft's strategy into a tailspin when the company rejects their offer to be taken over. Then they go to plan B - offer a similar product for free at a vastly reduced price (or free) - force them out of business - then you have a monopoly!
      • by NanoGator (522640) on Sunday April 28, 2002 @05:13AM (#3423952) Homepage Journal
        "Then they go to plan B - offer a similar product for free at a vastly reduced price (or free) - force them out of business - then you have a monopoly! "

        Harldy a winning strategy. If MS were to drop the price of the XBOX, they'd go DEEPER into the hole on each machine sold. As it is, it costs like $400 or $500 to build one of the machines. Nintendo, however, is either close to break even point, or even making a profit on their $200 machine.

        MS cannot legally undercut the price of the XBOX, it's called 'Dumping'. The FTC would strangle them over it. (In theory, so far the US gov't doesn't seem too wild about telling MS no to anything.) I vaguely remember Atari threatening to sue Sony over it when the Playstation was announced to be $200 (I think it was released at $300, though...) for similar reasons. (Anybody remember that?)

        Nintendo could easily afford to drop the price of the Gamecube even farther. It'd either be extremely bold or extremely stupid of MS to try to get into a price war with them. That's not MS's biggest problem though.

        XBOX just doesn't have the winning titles yet. There are some okay games for it, but they really need a Miyamoto on their side. One of the things that kind of drove me away from being a game player is the lack of imagination and thought being put into games. If MS were smart, they'd drag out every Miyamoto and RARE game ever made and devote a group to figuring out why they're fun. Then, they need to set up a division intended to make games like these. (not copy them, I mean continue the spirit of them.)

        MS would be smart to make better games, that'd be a far better strategy than trying to beat them at price. That is unless they start giving away XBOX's along with the purchase of Gateway PC's....
        • "Harldy a winning strategy. If MS were to drop the price of the XBOX, they'd go DEEPER into the hole on each machine sold." - yes but they know that even if they make a loss in the short term - selling more machines now will result in greater profits in the long term - and Microsoft aren't short of a bob or two - or are they looking to make a quick buck! "MS cannot legally undercut the price of the XBOX" - ha! They can sell it at whatever price they like - they've already reduced the price in the past few days by £100 in the U.K. - and in Europe, and in Australia!
        • XBOX just doesn't have the winning titles yet.

          They already have one...... called *Monopoly*.

        • "Harldy a winning strategy. If MS were to drop the price of the XBOX, they'd go DEEPER into the hole on each machine sold. As it is, it costs like $400 or $500 to build one of the machines. Nintendo, however, is either close to break even point, or even making a profit on their $200 machine."

          Even if Nintendo isn't at the break even point yet, remember that the GameCube is 66% of the price of the XBox, so dollar-for-dollar Nintendo gets more market penetration than XBox.

          "MS would be smart to make better games, that'd be a far better strategy than trying to beat them at price."

          Making better games is only part of it. You also need a large library in general to really make money. If you have a large library with many companies developing for you, you're more likely to find some real gems in that library.
          • "Making better games is only part of it. You also need a large library in general to really make money. If you have a large library with many companies developing for you, you're more likely to find some real gems in that library.

            I agree, sort of at least. I think Nintendo has proven that's not an unbreakable law. The Nintendo 64 was creamed by Playstation in terms of how many games were available. Yet, the N64 still made Nintendo a good deal of cash that they aren't complaining about. They were #2 to Sony in terms of how many ppl have a PS vs. N64, but Nintendo still got a good dosage of cash. Why? Because Nintendo also made some killer games for the N64 that sold really well. (With some help from Pokemon for the Game Boy)

            Nintendo is in the unique situation where no matter how popular another console is, they still have an audience that'll follow them around. They'll still make oodles of money provided they keep their standards up.

            Sega was in that position to an extent, unfortunately they relied on rehasing Sonic and Virtua Fighter a little too much. (I don't care what anybody says, a Mario sequal is always incredibly different from it's predecessors. Sonic games were essentially an extension of previous games.) They had a loyal audience, but they blew it.

            Sony doesn't have that. Microsoft doesn't have that. Niether company does any interesting in-house games. That will hurt them in the long run. Nobody has any real reason to stick with Sony or MS. Final Fantasy 7 was a good reason to have a PS back in the 95 gaming era, but Sony no longer has that exclusive today. You'll be able to play an FF sequal on another platform before too long, but you'll never play a Mario game on Sony or XBOX.

            Consider that for a bit. Nintendo is likely to always be successful, even if they're #2 to somebody else. But the #1 place will always be up for grabs. It might have been Sony last time, but it could be anybody this time.
        • Atari's complaints about the Playstation price (which were in an interview in Next Generation magazine a long time ago) dealt with the fact that the Playstation was originally around $400 in Japan before it came out in the US, and the US price was going to be $300. However, Sony redesigned the Japanese version (manufacturing techniques constantly improve on console, the Playstation 2 is on it's 5th revision already) and lowered the price in Japan to $300, which means it would no longer be dumping in the US. If the XBox was $100 everywhere in the world, they can sell it for that in the US. They can give it away if they want, just they can't give it away in the US and then sell it for $500 in Europe.
  • the existence of the X-Box weakening sales for Nintendo making it more susceptible if Microsoft should want to buy them later?
  • 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.
  • I suppose that the "X-Cube" was never meant to be.
  • methinks this article should be under the 'Microsoft' topic.
    Just think if this buyout had gone through...
    gamecube? ..hmmmmm

    anway.. this reminds me of a good ol' borg joke

    Q: How many Borg does it take to screw in a lightbulb?
    A: All of them.
  • by famazza (398147) <<fabio.mazzarino> <at> <gmail.com>> on Saturday April 27, 2002 @11:47PM (#3423270) Homepage Journal

    If MS had bought Nintendo then Pikachu could be an MS Office Assistent.

    THAT would be cool.

  • According to the artivle, the Xbox project was originally called project Midway????

    They have got to be kidding, naming a project after the naval battle in WWII that turned the tide in the Pacific. Thus, in MS' mind, they are "at war" with the Japanese over the game console industry and hope to "turn the tide" with the Xbox.

    How utterly distatsteful to people who gave their lives in such battles, and how *especially* disgusting and disrespectful that must be to the Japanese.

    I am dumbfounded. How about Toyota calling the next Camry project Pearl Harbor.

    Microsoft continually amazes and disgusts me beyond belief.
    • According to the artivle, the Xbox project was originally called project Midway????

      I don't remember the details exactly, and came up empty after 5 minutes of Googling, but...

      Years ago, a WWII veteran either sued or just caused a big stink because he bought a VCR made by a Japanese company (Panasonic, I believe). What upset him so was that the manual's example for setting the date and time showed the date being set to December 7 (Pearl Harbor Day, for the especially dense), and this offended him.

      ~Philly

    • Midway (Score:3, Insightful)

      by The Monster (227884)
      They have got to be kidding, naming a project after the naval battle in WWII that turned the tide in the Pacific
      Uh... you ever hear of the Midway division of Bally? You know, the folks who bought the US
      rights to Pac-Man from Namco (a Japanese company)? I always thought their name was based
      on the notion of a carnival Midway; I suspect that Namco's executives, if they even thought about
      it, either shared that idea, or didn't care so long as they got paid.

      --
      Fight wide posts! Put in your own <br>

    • You are reading into it far, far, far too much.

      You have no idea what the etomology of that name is. You really dont. You have speculation. A co-incidence in naming.

      There are a thousand meanings that could be taken from that name.

      Condemn them for anything you want, but there is no need to make things up.

      If I were you, I'd be more pissed off with companies like Disney, who own Touchstone, who make movies like Pearl Harbour which without merit make fictional movies in which the selling points are depictions of violent acts comitted against American serviceman and their later retaliation. They even throw in sex and a good bit of debauchery to get you to watch it.

      That's much more offensive to me than some simple name that may or may not be related to a battle.

    • The Xbox is 'mid way' between a computer and a console.
  • Whew! (Score:3, Funny)

    by phillymjs (234426) <slashdot@nosPaM.stango.org> on Saturday April 27, 2002 @11:58PM (#3423295) Homepage Journal
    Thank God this deal didn't go through. The combined evil of Microsoft and Nintendo would have reached critical mass, collapsed inward on itself and formed a black hole that would surely have destroyed us all.

    Years ago, after reading about all the shifty crap that Nintendo pulled in this book [amazon.com], I started thinking of them as the Microsoft of Japan. Price fixing, exclusivity deals with retailers to lock out competitors, the lockout chip feature in their carts, lots of different stuff. Nintendo and Microsoft already have a lot of similar pages in their respective playbooks.

    Microsoft was probably salivating at the thought of having a viselike grip on people's lives from the time they fire up their first video game as a kid, until the final time they turn off their PC before going on to die in their sleep later that night. Luckily for us, the X-Box is proving to be an also-ran, so we won't have to worry about it.

    ~Philly
    • Re:Whew! (Score:2, Insightful)

      by JMMurphy (533825)

      Years ago, after reading about all the shifty crap that Nintendo pulled in this book [amazon.com], I started thinking of them as the Microsoft of Japan. Price fixing, exclusivity deals with retailers to lock out competitors, the lockout chip feature in their carts, lots of different stuff. Nintendo and Microsoft already have a lot of similar pages in their respective playbooks.

      Remarkably, Nintendo has still managed to release games and systems that were of very high quality. I'm sure there are a number of MS haters who would quickly forgive them if Windows and various other products weren't so horrifically bad.

      Not to mention the fact, of course, that Nintendo has done very little to stifle any actualy competition in the console market (outside of the average, everyday stuff, of course). Price fixing and required licensing of third party software is fairly standard.

      As far as exclusivity deals with retailers... Hah. First of all, Sony has used a number of strongarm tactics itself. Secondly, a number of retailers refused to carry Nintendo products, because of policy disagreement, (I believe TRUS was one, though I'm not sure) and came *crawling* back once they realized the sales that they were losing. Nintendo didn't necessarily force themselves on anyone, but ended up being mutually beneficial to both parties.

      random

      • Not to mention the fact, of course, that Nintendo has done very little to stifle any actualy competition in the console market (outside of the average, everyday stuff, of course). Price fixing and required licensing of third party software is fairly standard.

        Yes, but is it fair? Before Nintendo, there was a free market in videogames.

        A developer could port to any system they wished, at their discretion. Now it has become the norm that the developer must pay the hardware vendor for the priveledge to write software for their system. This approach opened the door to price fixing and non-compete clauses in the videogame market, in addition to stifiling homebrew development.

        I know that many Slashdotters grew up on Nintendo, but *they are* the Microsoft of the videogame world.

        Fuzzy
    • Microsoft was probably salivating at the thought of having a viselike grip on people's lives from the time they fire up their first video game as a kid, until the final time they turn off their PC before going on to die in their sleep later that night.

      hahah, that's some desturbing images there... the final time they turn off their PC and go to bed at night to die...

      Anyway, I don't think David Sheff painted Nintendo as totaly evil, although they kind of are :P (just look at their reaction to the emulation scene)
    • Nintendo and Microsoft already have a lot of similar pages in their respective playbooks.
      ALL companies read from the same playbook. Just to (perhaps vastly) different degrees.
  • MSMari~1 (Score:4, Funny)

    by Jon_Sy (225913) <<big_guy_> <at> <hotmail.com>> on Sunday April 28, 2002 @12:00AM (#3423303)
    Can you see it now?

    First, Mario kills Luigi, who is unnecessary competition. Of course, he has nothing to fear from Bowser: his employer has proprietary rights to hellfire. Soon the Kuppas will be building Mario's .NET empire, while the courts are paid off with funding from Yoshi's magic mushroom factory.
  • If I could buy Nintendo I would, but I can't afford it, so instead I'll sell myself to MS for $25 billion. Unless someone else have an interesting offer?
  • When entering a new market it is always easier to buy another company (if you can afford it) rather than try to force your way in there. When you buy another company you get consumer base, brandnames expertise etc.
    • Re:Makes sence (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Paul Komarek (794)
      What's weird is that they wanted Nintendo to throw their brand and expertise away by cancelling the GameCube and backing the very new, very experimental, very strange Xbox. Seems idiotic to me.

      -Paul Komarek
  • Xbox is in trouble (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Bethor (172209) on Sunday April 28, 2002 @12:47AM (#3423438)
    I think Microsoft will never be a big player in the videogame industry, regardless of how much money they pour into it.
    They need to dominate both the American and Japanese markets to stand a chance.
    Here are some of the things that will stop them:

    - Most important video game developers are Japanese. Those companies have strong relationships with Sony and/or Nintendo. You simply can't buy your way into a closed industry in Japan. I know, I work there.
    - Culture clash. Japanese gamers don't like the Xbox. It's big, ugly and all the exclusive games are very American.
    - Microsoft has absolutely no way to force anyone to buy an Xbox. Their Windows/Office tactics don't apply here.
    - MS actually looses money on each Xbox they sell. If they don't have a big market share a couple years from now (and they wont), they will NOT keep trying. Not even M$ can afford to do this.

    If I was Microsoft, I would make Xbox2 run PC games directly. No porting needed whatsoever.

    Cheers.
    • by alcmena (312085) on Sunday April 28, 2002 @02:08AM (#3423613)
      Microsoft has absolutely no way to force anyone to buy an Xbox.

      Microsoft could start bundling XBoxes with Windows.
    • I was going to entitle this reply "Microsoft is in trouble". But that would have been inflamitory. It is simply not true. But it would be if they continued to look at the market like it has remained the same in the last 5 or 10 years.


      The desktop OS (and possibly desktop computer) as we know it is doomed. Or very likely to be doomed. If the desktop computer remains roughly the same as it is today, it is likely to be overran by commodity operating systems (just as the hardware became largely a commodity market). But more likely the desktop computer will change in drastic ways sometime in the future (leaving techheads like us with a niche market of commodity hardware and software).


      One way or another, Microsoft's current market will change. To maintain their business, Microsoft must also change. The trouble is, technology rarely broadcasts the next Big Thing. So that leaves Microsoft and every other tech pundit guessing.


      But any good pundit knows how to play the odds. The strategy is to figure out what the possibilities are and cover those bases. Hedge the bets. If you can afford it.


      Microsoft acts on the their guesses for future markets. Set-top boxes. PVRs. Web-based services. PDAs. Webpads. And in the Xbox... a game console (with considerably more potential than just console gaming).


      If these initiatives do not provide great return, or actually loose in the market place... well, that is a luxury Microsoft can afford. They must not allow the next industry boom abandon them to being a footnote in IT industry history. They are hedging their bets.

    • If I was Microsoft, I would make Xbox2 run PC games directly. No porting needed whatsoever.

      I've always wondered why there's a relativly big HD in the Xbox. Not for the stupid music options, surely. And it's way too big to save games.

      The HD would make sens if a future OS upgrade would make playing PC-games possible. Cause you need a HD to install those games on.

    • Actually, thats not quite correct. To be a great success in the Console market, they could do so without Japan as long as they get a majority of the market in Europe as well as the US.

      Japan would be a great help for microsoft, but the culture clash would probably kill them there, as it may already be in the process of doing. Microsoft gravitates towards pleasing the majority, and likes to stay Mainstream. In Japan, there is a greater tolerance for Niche markets. After all, could you picture Microsoft getting behind a game where you are a mosquito in a girl's room, and your trying to bite her without being swatted? Such a game already exists in Japan.

      But in Europe, the strategy of sticking to the mainstream will be much more successful. The culture clash will be reduced. All Microsoft has to do to win a good market share in Europe is make sure that the big name titles are released very close to the US release date. If the newest titles arrive on the X-Box 2 months before they arrive on the PS2 or the GameCube, they will win that market. And all that would need to be done to insure that is guarantee that all the "Big" titles are devoloped with the French, German, Spanish, Portugese, Sweedish, and other major languages kept in mind from day one.

      END COMMUNICATION
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