TIL that Microsoft tried to buy Nintendo for $25 billion in 1999

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Jag85

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#1 Jag85
Member since 2005 • 14784 Posts

TIL that Microsoft tried to buy Nintendo for 25 billion dollars in 1999

When Microsoft offered the deal back in 1999, former president of Nintendo America, Minoru Arakawa, originally thought that this was a joke, but once Microsoft had detailed their intentions Nintendo was taking the offer seriously and the discussions began in Japan and lasted over 6-7 meetings. Microsoft's deal was that Nintendo would stop making consoles and instead make games for the Xbox. But in the end Nintendo's CEO at the time, Hiroshi Yamauchi didn't like the idea and believed that Microsoft lacked the understanding of the industry. The chances of the offer being taken died shortly before the GameCube's launch.

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Daniel_Su123

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#2 Daniel_Su123
Member since 2015 • 1102 Posts

I have to admit, Sony and Nintendo haven't really gone up in value that much since the 1990s in fact Sony pretty much lose value since then.

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Litchie

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#3 Litchie
Member since 2003 • 26158 Posts

GameCube is my favorite console ever made. With this deal, we would never have seen it.

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PC_Rocks

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#4 PC_Rocks
Member since 2018 • 4111 Posts

I thought there are laws that prevent the acquisition of a Japanese company by a foreign company.

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VFighter

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#5 VFighter
Member since 2016 • 7056 Posts

@daniel_su123: WTF are you talking about lol.

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BenjaminBanklin

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#6  Edited By BenjaminBanklin
Member since 2004 • 6391 Posts

Yep. They also were instrumental in convincing Sega to leave the console market, saying their games would have a home on Xbox if they did...

... cut to the Xbox being a graveyard for Sega's IPs.

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DaVillain-

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#7 DaVillain-  Moderator
Member since 2014 • 42937 Posts

@Jag85: I remember reading this on one of my game magazines (Game Pro) when they were still a thing. MS was totally new to the word of console at the time and I'm more surprise MS didn't learned what happened between Nintendo & Sony and that would have been a red sign to not make any deals with Nintendo. So yeah, MS still to this day lacked how the gaming industry works and we have seen this how they handle with Xbox One.

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Shewgenja

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#8 Shewgenja
Member since 2009 • 21456 Posts

What an unmitigated disaster for gaming that would have been!

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SecretPolice

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#9 SecretPolice
Member since 2007 • 36351 Posts

Poor Nintendont, they could have become Ninten-Do, decades ago. :(

lol :P

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Sgt_Crow

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#10  Edited By Sgt_Crow
Member since 2004 • 6099 Posts

Seeing the piss poor state of the Xbox brand since 2013; let's all be very happy this deal never came to fruition.

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tocool340

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#11 tocool340
Member since 2004 • 21454 Posts

...I actually remember reading about this in one of the gaming magazines I was subscribed to back then (Gamepro or Game Informer....or perhaps both shared that news)...

@Litchie said:

GameCube is my favorite console ever made. With this deal, we would never have seen it.

This. Definitely glad Nintendo didn't take the bait and decided to remain independent. If they did, that would've been the end to GBA and the handheld gaming market as we know it along with GC....

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pyro1245

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#12 pyro1245
Member since 2003 • 6529 Posts

Ooooo I wish we had a What If machine

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Sevenizz

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#13 Sevenizz
Member since 2010 • 5218 Posts

@BenjaminBanklin: Wrong! It’s well known that Sega and MS have had a working relationship since the Dreamcast which featured the Windows CE operating system.

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R4gn4r0k

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#14 R4gn4r0k
Member since 2004 • 34473 Posts

Thank God for the Gamecube.

Best console ever.

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jcrame10

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#15 jcrame10
Member since 2014 • 5675 Posts

Would have been terrible. More console makers more competition in the market means better quality product and service.

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BenjaminBanklin

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#16  Edited By BenjaminBanklin
Member since 2004 • 6391 Posts
@Sevenizz said:

@BenjaminBanklin: Wrong! It’s well known that Sega and MS have had a working relationship since the Dreamcast which featured the Windows CE operating system.

How is that wrong? Why do you think they were able to talk them into it? After watching Sega hobble after contributing to the DC, they threw their hat in the console ring themselves. With Sega out the way, MS planned to cannibalize most of Sega's output (except for Virtua Fighter and a few others) and userbase for their own console. And after a lot of the games flopped on Xbox, due to the console not having any real penetration in the market, they stopped giving MS so many full exclusives.

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Random_Matt

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#17 Random_Matt
Member since 2013 • 5317 Posts

Well, Nintendo was right in that MS do not understand the industry, they still don't.

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Blackhairedhero

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#18 Blackhairedhero
Member since 2018 • 3232 Posts

@pc_rocks: They can't do a hostile takeover( when a company simply buys all the shares on the stock market)but if the Japanese company wanted to sell they can.

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nintendoboy16

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#19 nintendoboy16
Member since 2007 • 37518 Posts

Japan would've disowned Nintendo if that happened.

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cainetao11

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#20 cainetao11
Member since 2006 • 37160 Posts

@daniel_su123 said:

I have to admit, Sony and Nintendo haven't really gone up in value that much since the 1990s in fact Sony pretty much lose value since then.

With adjustment of the US dollar? Somewhat.

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cainetao11

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#21 cainetao11
Member since 2006 • 37160 Posts

@tocool340 said:

...I actually remember reading about this in one of the gaming magazines I was subscribed to back then (Gamepro or Game Informer....or perhaps both shared that news)...

@Litchie said:

GameCube is my favorite console ever made. With this deal, we would never have seen it.

This. Definitely glad Nintendo didn't take the bait and decided to remain independent. If they did, that would've been the end to GBA and the handheld gaming market as we know it along with GC....

@R4gn4r0k said:

Thank God for the Gamecube.

Best console ever.

I remember lurking SW in 2004 and the Dreamcast held this position with some. Gotta love nostalgia.

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Jag85

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#22  Edited By Jag85
Member since 2005 • 14784 Posts

But in the end Nintendo's CEO at the time, Hiroshi Yamauchi didn't like the idea and believed that Microsoft lacked the understanding of the industry.

The irony of this part is that Hiroshi Yamauchi himself wasn't even a gamer. He said he'd never played video games in his life. Yet this non-gamer is largely responsible for shaping the video game industry as we know it, transforming Nintendo from a shady card company (with Yakuza links) to the king of video games (and other stuff before that, like toys and adult stuff like love hotels). He didn't play video games, yet he clearly understood how the game industry works. So this wasn't necessarily a dig at Microsoft being non-gamers, or anything like that, but a dig at them lacking an understanding of how the game industry works.

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dotWithShoes

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#23 dotWithShoes
Member since 2006 • 5585 Posts

@Sevenizz said:

@BenjaminBanklin: Wrong! It’s well known that Sega and MS have had a working relationship since the Dreamcast which featured the Windows CE operating system.

Dreamcast games largely did NOT run on Windows CE. There were some that ran on the Windows CE platform that was embedded in the console(Which is what Windows CE was designed for, being embedded into hardware), a majority of Dreamcast software ran Sega's own proprietary OS that was included on disc with the games.

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FireEmblem_Man

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#24 FireEmblem_Man
Member since 2004 • 19873 Posts
@Jag85 said:

But in the end Nintendo's CEO at the time, Hiroshi Yamauchi didn't like the idea and believed that Microsoft lacked the understanding of the industry.

The irony of this part is that Hiroshi Yamauchi himself wasn't even a gamer. He said he'd never played video games in his life. Yet this non-gamer is largely responsible for shaping the video game industry as we know it, transforming Nintendo from a shady card company (with Yakuza links) to the king of video games (and other stuff before that, like toys and adult stuff like love hotels). He didn't play video games, yet he clearly understood how the game industry works. So this wasn't necessarily a dig at Microsoft being non-gamers, or anything like that, but a dig at them lacking an understanding of how the game industry works.

Well, Yamauchi's words still resonates today for those that still don't think Exclusives don't matter.

The hardware is just a box you buy only because you want to play Mario games

A quote Miyamoto repeated during an Iwata Ask interview

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Raining51

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#25 Raining51
Member since 2016 • 1151 Posts

I'm pretty sure this is a great decisions by Nintendo retrospectively....

The Gamecube and so on became very cultish and powerful well regarded systems... and then of course the Wii's smashing success....

Cue my previous point about wanting to go 600 extra innings ... Nintendo won the game period... if there's other games to be played so be it... but...

Even in 2002 Nintendo still had the best console basically.... so.. not much to say....

And this isn't een even discussing portable devices where MS hasn't even shown up so.. idk what else to say.

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shellcase86

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#26 shellcase86
Member since 2012 • 4975 Posts

If this happened, then Halo may not have been the Halo we know.

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X_CAPCOM_X

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#27 X_CAPCOM_X
Member since 2004 • 8967 Posts

In those days, MS basically tried to march into major video game publishers offices and tell them that they were only going to make games on xbox for $$. Some of them literally laughed in the meetings. Can't recall where I exactly read this, but it's some good material.