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Microsoft tried to buy Nintendo 20 Years Ago

… but got laughed out of the room.

Taken from Bloomberg … The box looked like an old VCR, the controller was comically large, and it was made by one of the most boring companies on earth. Somehow, the Xbox triumphed and gave Microsoft Corp. the first—and last—successful video game console brand from an American company since Atari.

Twenty years later, Bloomberg asked two dozen people instrumental in creating the Xbox to recount how they did it. Microsoft broke into an industry dominated by Japanese companies and reshaped the business around shooting games and online play. Efforts by Amazon.com Inc.Apple Inc.Facebook Inc. and Google to crack the industry in the years since have come nowhere close. Video games now account for more than $11 billion a year for Microsoft and have established the Xbox as a premier brand.

Video games didn’t come naturally at Microsoft. The company had been singularly driven by the sale of Windows and Office software. It emerged in 2001 badly bruised from an antitrust battle on two continents and with a crippling anxiety about what to do next. Microsoft was increasingly paranoid about the rise of Sony Corp., which had the PlayStation, and became fixated on carving out a place for itself in the living room.

Read the rest at Bloomberg

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Richard Aizlewood

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