Nintendo “Laughed Their Asses Off” At Microsoft’s Buyout Offer – Nintendo Life

We love a good oral history, and Bloomberg’s latest is all about the Xbox.

Wait, come back! It’s still Nintendo Life, don’t worry, we haven’t changed teams. It turns out that Microsoft had big plans back when the Xbox was in development, and those plans involved trying to buy out a bunch of gaming companies.

Long story short, it… didn’t go well. Not only did EA tell them that they had “no clue” how to make a console, and that it was “cute” that they were trying, but Nintendo, quote, “laughed their asses off”, according to Director of Third-Party Relations, Kevin Bachus, who was in the room at the time:

“Like, imagine an hour of somebody just laughing at you. That was kind of how that meeting went.”

Ouch. It’s not hard to understand why Nintendo found the idea of little baby Xbox trying to buy their company so funny, because apparently this was their pitch:

“Listen, you’re much better at the game portions of it with Mario and all that stuff. Why don’t you let us take care of the hardware?”

That’s a quote from Bob McBreen, Head of Business Development, who was also in the room with Nintendo. We can’t imagine the bravery of that man to tell Nintendo that they weren’t very good at consoles.

Bloomberg did reach out to Howard Lincoln, Chairman of Nintendo of America, for their perspective, but you can guess what happened next:

“Nintendo does not talk about confidential discussions with other companies. In any event, nothing came of these discussions.”

Howard, you’re a party pooper.

We’d love to know what Nintendo execs sound like when they laugh. Is it a Mario chuckle? A Peach giggle? Or a Wario WAHAHAHA? Let us know your thoughts in the comments.

Even though the N64 didn’t set the world on fire like the PS1 did, people assume Nintendo was doing badly during those years. This is not true. Not only was Nintendo doing great thanks to Pokémon being the biggest phenomenon around at the time, but Nintendo faced little to no competition on their own hardware from third parties with the N64. Consequently, practically every first party Nintendo game on N64 sold in the millions of units, time and time again for 5 years straight. Then Nintendo never sold the N64 hardware at a loss. This actually was never something Nintendo did and they certainly don’t do it these days either, so they were not losing money on every N64 console sold.