Gates interested in buying Nintendo



Gates interested in buying Nintendo

Rob Fahey 15:52 04/08/2004
Wishful thinking from the world’s richest man?

Microsoft chairman Bill Gates has told a German financial magazine that he remains interested in buying Nintendo, stating that “if Hiroshi Yamauchi phones me, I will pick up at once.”

Gates told WirtschaftsWoche magazine that he would immediately make an offer for the company if Yamauchi, who remains the largest shareholder in the firm despite retiring from his position as president over two years ago, indicated willingness to sell.

However, his comments seem to be largely in the realms of wishful thinking, as Yamauchi retains a keen interest in the running of the company, which has been in his family for over a century, and is highly unlikely to consider a sale to the American software giant.

Indeed, Yamauchi rebuffed an offer from Microsoft only a few years ago, just after the firm decided to enter the console market with the Xbox. The final decision to develop its own console operation is believed to have been taken only after attempts to buy both Nintendo and Sega failed.

The fact that Gates is still keen on acquiring Nintendo can be seen as a statement of his respect for the Japanese company, which remains the most profitable business in the games industry, but is unlikely to lead to any business deal - with the two companies, whose US headquarters are only a stones throw away from each other in Redmond, Washington, set to continue battling for second place in the current generation of console hardware.


Mario and Link on the XBOX?

maybe i shouldnt sell mine


Nintendo has no reason to sell. Like was mentioned in the article, they are making a huge amount of money for themselves, and have no need to sell. The only way I can see Nintendo being sold, is by a hostile takeover, aka stocks. But ever since Microsoft expressed interest back when they bought RARE, I think Nintendo has taken actions against any sort of shareholder buy-outs. I don’t think Microsoft needs to buy Nintendo. Xbox seems to be doing pretty good on it’s own, and with there being a three way split in the console market, hopefully that will keep everyone competitive, which IMO, is good for the consumer.


Yes I agree it would be good for the consumer if Microsoft didn’t buy Nintendo… however you have to realize that it is business after all and its not up to the consumers to decide what happens. Everyone can say they will boycott… but they won’t. Its just one more way for Microsoft to become the biggest and the best…like they aren’t already.



What a horrible nightmare. :eek:


didnt I hear this 2 years ago?


Yeah, it was about two or three years ago. Or whenever the Gamecube and Xbox came out.



Bill Gates is interested in owning the most profitable business in the games industry… I’m sure it’s a statement of his respect.


That’s it.




of course they would. With the xbox going 2nd/3rd… 2nd 3rd (and that’s with gates digging really deep into his pockets to fund the entire xbox business; which is bleeding finances and NOT turning a profit) and its also losing Japanese devs along the way plus all credibility in japan; dev houses like Capcom and koei are no longer going to release games on the xbox. ; they’d would need to acquire a powerhouse like Nintendo to ensure that XENON survives. Nintendo has everything else MS doesn’t have. Franchises, brandname, recognisability. How many pc ports/fps/car-driving games can you play before you get nausated? PGR2 and RSC both sold like rubbish (when they shouldn’t have). The only thing that still sells and sells is HALO.

that said, its probably not going to happen (because this is old news and Nintendo has no affection for MS) so… let’s see how much longer the MS console brand continues. I give it one more gen. I love their mantra. We can’t beat them, buy them.


and nintendo is interested in buying capcom…


This is wrong by the way. You’re linking news from 2002.

Capcom asked Nintendo for an investment last or this year; but Nintendo said no. Because they’d rather have independent relationships with their 2nd/3rd parties. Their core business for their console is Nintendo games. IMO, They should have but they don’t want to buy Capcom or even invest in.

fyi, of the 3 console makers, Nintendo is the one that has increased profits

SONY has negative profit growth
MS has loss
Nintendo has profit growth.


ah. thanks for clearing that up, I saw a link and clicked it :slight_smile:

Anyways, just goes to show that these rums float around alot and its very rare anything ever happens


The only way this would happen is if it was a merger of some sorts and nintendo kept creative control over their stuff and the consolses and controllers etc, something microsoft wouldnt like probalby, Otherwise nintendo can and will do it their way and succeed, second place is still hell of a alot of console and games sales.

1 thing nintedo have over everyone else is price of their consoles, usually alot less than other competitors and they still make a profit from it, microsoft could learn something :wink:


old news or not, microsoft would buy your soul if they could.


That’s not the Microsoft way.

They’d partake in a corporate takeover of Heaven/Hell - then simply merge everyone’s souls.

“You’re soul is almost destroyed, would you like to upgrade your MicroSoul© account for $20?”


early in the days when MS was thinking of making the Xbox, they asked Nintendo if they were interested. of course, Nintendo said no.

i think most of you are over reacting. if MS bought Nintendo, nothing would change over there in the Mushroom Kingdom [just the fact you would be playing Mario and Zelda on MS hardware]. MS doesn’t want Nintendo for the name, they want them for the games, ideas, and concept that flow through Mother Brain that is Nintendo. they would be silly to change even the littlest thing.

also, if they did, nintendo would still be making hardware. the Gameboy line wouldn’t change, and MS would use the Nintendo home system as the juiced down, cheaper system [no harddrive, no online] and be able to sell both system that played all games, to 2 different demographics.

actually, it would kinda cool.


Nintendo is not exactly on the most stable of grounds, even if they are the most profitable GAMING company (atleast right now), that isn’t exactly saying much.

ALOT of their $ comes from GameBoy sales - and look who is entering the mobile market very soon. Even if they retain their dominance in mobile (which is doubtfull), the Sony PSP is DEFINTILY gonna eat into their profit.

The other area where the Big N makes money is obvious in home consoles (specifically sellings games, not consoles). If N is 3rd place AGAIN next round, they will be bleeding ALOT of money - 3rd place means that the number of people that own their console and thus buy their games, will be alot smaller, thus digging into their profit again. Also, far as I know, they don’t produce any PC games (except maybe Pokemon) to help get more sales.

Not that long ago, the thought of Sega dropping out of the HW business was crazy, but then look what happened to them. I DON’T think it will happen (atleast any time soon), but N getting bought by MS isn’t exactly unheard of. I actually think a partnership would be more reasonable, since N knows games, and MS sure as heck knows computers.

ANd ofcourse even if N didn’t want to sell, if MS REALLY wanted to, they could just buy up their stock and be done with it. Yamauchi might be the largest single shareholder, but that doesn’t mean he owns enough to keep MS at bay.


I hope this “deal” never comes true. Nintendo is such a strong force when it comes to developing new concepts for the industry (they’ve created so many fresh gameplay ideas and hardware standards, etc… and the great thing is that they’ve never stopped innovating) that the games in general would lose a ton if Nintendo falls under MS control.

I am glad to hear that they are not interesting in selling :slight_smile: …at least not yet.


Okay guys, this is the microsoft way. They don’t innovate anything. They never have. Wanna know how microsoft started? They approach IBM saying that they were on the verge or releasing a new “innovative” operating system that would work great on their machines but needed funding. They talked IBM out of $150,000 and went to some out-of-the-garage hobbyist who they read about in a magazine and waved the check in his face.

Yup, the software they bought was DOS. Dishonest, ingenius, the way of Microsoft. Everything they do is like this; another example is the GUI that is now known as Windows. Apple was on the verge of releasing their first version, when Microsoft contacted them with a big schpeel of BS saying they should have an “office suite” for their operating system, but they needed a development kit to work off of. After some negociations, Apple sent them their work, which M$ in turn worked off of to create Windows.

It was buggy, as it was based on an early beta of Apple’s GUI, but it was out first and got all of the attention.

Oh, and don’t get me started on consoles. They talked up the suXBox for almost a year, then tried to buy up Nintendo so they could release their product instead. Oh, and what is now the XBox? that was on some smaller companie’s drawingboard. Picture this: you’re a small company, trying to come out with a gaming computer to storm the market with (oops, did I say computer?) and M$ comes to you with a fat check. They put a diffrent OS on it, made a controller and added some ports on the front for the controller. There may have been some other modifications, but suffice it to say it was not origionally intended as a console. Look at the thing, it’s huge! The company that designed it had lan partys in mind. It was supposed to be a compact computer that would be easy to tote to a lan party.

Microsoft has never actually created anything. Today, they have several third party companies programming Windows. Yeah, they are directly responsible for it at this point, but nothing is their idea. They haven’t released anything that’s stable since DOS, and they bought that!

Bleh, I’m done with my rant. Cross check any of the information I provided if you wish, they are truely a horrendous company.


No one says MS doesn’t innovate. My argument at least is that Nintendo has a very different and particular way of doing things (games) which in no way resembles the way MS does them. Nintendo usually risks a lot every time they come out with new and original comcepts like Pikmin, Paper Mario, cell shaded Zelda, the new DS gameboy etc. etc… but they know how to do it and are usually very succesful because of this. I’m afraid that under MS, they won’t have the ‘freedom’ to choose to make things like these.