When Microsoft first began thinking about creating the first Xbox, they met with Sony and Nintendo to discuss a partnership, but were turned down by both, Xbox co-creator Ed Fries revealed.
In the latest episode of IGN Unfiltered, Fries was asked if the rumors about Microsoft attempting to buy Nintendo were true. While he says at the end of the interview that “if anyone thought about buying Nintendo, I never heard [it],” his earlier comment reveals their attempts to reach out to Sony and Nintendo:
When we first started thinking about doing Xbox we met with Nintendo and we sat down with [Satoru] Iwata and others and we said, ‘This is what we want to do. Could we do it? Could we partner? Could we work together on this?’ And basically they said no.
Fries says Microsoft offered to do the software and networking, while Nintendo would do the hardware, but “they said no.”
After Nintendo, Fries says Bill Gates met with Sony to discuss a partnership, only to receive the same answer:
Then Bill met with Sony. Same deal. ‘Can we work together? Can we partner?’ And they said no.
If Sony and Microsoft did partner, what do you think the console would have been called?