Sony and Nintendo Rejected Microsoft’s Joint Console Plan

Sony and Nintendo Rejected Microsoft’s Joint Console Plan

Before Microsoft began work on its first console, the DirectX Box – later to become known by the more familiar moniker Xbox – the company approached both Nintendo and Sony, separately, to propose a joint console release, the co-creator of the Xbox has revealed.

Ed Fries, the former Vice President of game publishing at Microsoft, told IGN that both Nintendo – who were approached first – and Sony rebuffed proposals to collaborate together on a game console, despite Bill Gates himself handling one approach.

“When we first started thinking about doing Xbox we met with Nintendo and we sat down with Iwata and others and we said, ‘This is what we want to do,” Fries said. “Could we partner? Could we work together on this?’ And basically they said no.”

Fries elucidated on the discussion, saying that Microsoft offered to operate the console’s software and networking if Nintendo created the console. Denying rumours that Microsoft later made a move to buy the Japanese company, Fries said, “If anyone ever thought about buying Nintendo, I never heard that.”

After being rejected by Nintendo, Microsoft set its sights on the market leader: Sony, creator of the PlayStation.

“Then Bill [Gates] met with Sony,” Fries added. “Same deal. ‘Can we work together? Can we partner?’ And they said no.”

Had Sony or Nintendo agreed to Microsoft’s proposed collaboration, how different would the console landscape be now?

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