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.
You can read the full oral history of Xbox over on Bloomberg, and you can read our coverage of another famous rejection from Nintendo right here on Nintendo Life.
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.