And were then laughed out of the room. This revelation comes as part of an oral history
of the original Xbox
console covering Microsoft
's entry into the home console business back in 2001. The fascinating story is told by key members of the original Xbox team, including technology officer Seamus Blackley, director of third-party relations Kevin Bachus, and more.
It's an awesome read, and we get to hear some candid insight into the development of the console. With the team focused on hardware, as per the headline Microsoft looked to Nintendo for a potential acquisition. And EA too.
"The first company we reached out to buy was EA. They said, “No, thanks,” and then Nintendo," head of business development Bob McBreen tells Bloomberg. And that's where the story goes from interesting to downright incredible.
"Steve [Ballmer] made us go meet with Nintendo to see if they would consider being acquired," Kevin Bachus recalls. "They just laughed their asses off. Like, imagine an hour of somebody just laughing at you. That was kind of how that meeting went."
Of course the Xbox story is ultimately one of success where the right acquisition turned out to be Bungie and the debut of Halo. Fast forward to 2021 and we know have the next-gen goodness of both Xbox Series X and Xbox Series S -- where as per our in-depth review write-up
it's a console that not only pushes games forward but managed to support two decades of Xbox history.
Read: Xbox: The Oral History of an American Video Game Empire