Why did Nintendo laugh at Microsoft’s face for an hour?
"Former Xbox executives narrate the story"
The Xbox is now considered one of the main pillars of the gaming industry, with its consoles having sold many millions, managing to stand next to the ones of Nintendo and PlayStation. This was not always the status quo, however. Microsoft is the newest out of them in the gaming industry, and the original Xbox may never have made it.
As the platform celebrates its twentieth anniversary in 2021, Bloomberg has published a detailed tribute with statements from various executives, which tell stories we never knew. Specifically, the "father" of the first Xbox, Seamus Blackley, revealed that the team referred to the console as 'Coffin Box'. The team believed that the console would fail miserably and lead to the end of their career at Microsoft, hence this strange nickname.
Another story we heard is about Nintendo. In particular, Microsoft had tried to buy many companies before entering the industry, such as Electronic Arts, Midway Games, or Square (now Square Enix). Among other things, former Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer had asked the Xbox team to try to buy Nintendo. What we did not know, however, is the reaction of the Japanese legendary company. Kevin Bachus, director of third-party relations, stressed that Nintendo laughed in their faces throughout the meeting.
They just burst into laughter. Imagine someone laughing with you for an hour. This is a proper summary of the meeting.
On behalf of Nintendo, the chairman of Nintendo America, Howard Lincoln, was asked to comment on the incident and gave the following comment:
We are not talking about our confidential discussions with other companies. In any case, nothing emerged from this meeting.
So, what are the morals of this story?
The first one is that Microsoft knows how to make fun of itself.
The second one? Well, don’t try to buy Nintendo!