Microsoft Considered Buying Nintendo, Says EA Exec

In the corporate world, rare do you find a leader as charismatic and passionate as Peter Moore. Having entered the videogames business for the Sega Dreamcast, Moore eventually became the face and voice of the Xbox 360 before moving to his current position as the head of EA Sports.

Speaking to the Guardian’s Gamesblog in a candid interview, Moore shared some interesting bits about his journey from starting as a sports shoe mogul all the way through the hardware and software of videogames.

While it should surprise no one that Microsoft commonly considers buying out the competition, it’s still interesting to learn that the world’s largest software company at one point looked at acquiring Nintendo. In a lunch meeting with Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer, Peter Moore was quizzed on his ideas on how Microsoft could best compete with Sony in the living room gaming space. One such topic was on the possibility of Microsoft buying out Nintendo.

“[Ballmer] wanted my attitude, he didn’t care what I’d achieved at Sega, he wanted to know how I was going to win for Microsoft, how we were going to take on Sony, how would we compete with – or acquire – Nintendo,” said Moore. “Those were the conversations in those days. It was a classic build or buy conversation.”

Of course, it’s unlikely that Microsoft would have ever been able to purchase Nintendo, hostile takeover or not; but if it had, it would have completely changed the landscape of gaming today.

Five years ago, Microsoft was plotting hard on how it may be able to overthrow Sony from its market leadership, and Nintendo was mostly ignored as a non-factor. Now, both Sony and Microsoft are battling it out for second place as Nintendo’s lead in the current generation as its Wii console makes it seemingly impossible to match.

“Xbox had launched but it was an aggressive black box for shooters, and how do we evolve that, how do we build the next Xbox, how do we get after Sony?” Moore added. “Interestingly, we were just completely fixated on Sony – Nintendo didn’t even come into the conversation.”

Peter Moore stepped down from his role at Microsoft during summer 2007, and is now the president of EA Sports.

Nintendo currently leads both the worldwide home console market with the Wii and handheld market with the DS. Microsoft now plans to integrate into the Xbox 360 features that it believes to make the Wii popular, such as cartoon-like avatars.

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  • Pei-chen
    Will Nintendo is about 1/4 to 1/3 the size of Microsoft so I wonder how this will work if they act on it now. 30 billion in cash and 55 billion in sotck?
  • Anonymous
    that would be bad... Nintendo is awesome
  • Master Exon
    What the hell? Microsoft considered that YEARS ago. Why did Tomshardware publish old news? This is like announcing the benchmarks for the new GeForce 5700...