When Xbox wanted to make Nintendo GameCube “the best video game console”

Since the early 2000s, the video game market (consoles) has seen three giants compete for leadership with, on the one hand, the timeless Nintendo, Sony, which started its video game career with the PlayStation in 1994, and the newcomer Microsoft, which launched its Xbox in November 2001. At the time, SEGA was still in the game, but the Dreamcast, despite immense qualities and a clearly avant-garde side, marked the end of video game consoles for the Japanese group.

When Microsoft tried to buy Nintendo

You will not have escaped your notice, Microsoft has been celebrating for a few days now the twentieth anniversary of its Xbox, the first video game console of the American group, launched on November 15, 2001 in the United States. The American giant then attacked the all-powerful Sony PS2 but also Nintendo’s GameCube, launched a few days later in the United States (and in May 2002 in Europe). A shattering entry for Microsoft, despite some approximations (too high selling price, unsuitable “duke” controller…) which were quickly corrected.

As part of its twentieth anniversary, Microsoft is therefore reviewing many anecdotes that preceded the launch of this first Xbox. Also, more than 20 years ago, Microsoft had in the idea of ​​teaming up with… Nintendo. Indeed, determined to launch its video game console, Microsoft had some concerns on the video game production side, and a certain Steve Ballmer then had the idea of ​​getting closer to Nintendo.

If we know today that Nintendo would have swept the offer laughing in the face of the leaders of the American company, Microsoft took advantage of its site dedicated to the twenty years of the Xbox to unveil some evidence of this acquisition attempt. This includes a letter from Xbox vice president Rick Thompson to Nintendo America.

Xbox sheet

Xbox sheet

In this letter, we discover that Microsoft understood Mr Takeda’s doubts, but that the American giant was also ready to “make the Dolphin (the code name for the GameCube) the best video game console ever“. This, however, without renouncing the “xbox project“, Also mentioned in the mail. At Xbox, we wanted to see Nintendo working on games (on behalf of Xbox), while the American giant was going to take care of the hardware section.

According to some, there would have been a little less than ten meetings between Microsoft and Nintendo, but without anything really concrete in the end. The story you know it, Microsoft will launch its Xbox on November 15, 2001, while Nintendo will launch its GameCube a few days later. Nintendo will sell a total of 21 million consoles worldwide, against just under 25 million for Microsoft’s Xbox.

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