The largest leak in Xbox history revealed Microsoft's plans for the future of gaming. The Xbox Series X is set to be refreshed and a new Xbox console is on the way, likely in 2028. We also learned that Microsoft Gaming CEO Phil Spencer wants the company to purchase Nintendo.
Spencer said that Microsoft purchasing Nintendo would be a "career moment." His email also explained that he believes the future of Nintendo is on non-Nintendo hardware.
"At some point, getting Nintendo would be a career moment and I honestly believe a good move for both companies," said the CEO. "It's just taking a long time for Nintendo to see that their future exists off their own hardware. A long time... :-)"
While the gaming CEO referred to Nintendo as "THE prime asset for [Microsoft]" it's difficult to see a deal happening. Microsoft had to fight tooth and nail to purchase Activision Blizzard. Buying Nintendo would likely require moving heaven and earth. Honestly, even a miraculous legal effort likely wouldn't get Microsoft the opportunity to acquire Nintendo.
Microsoft's Activision Blizzard purchase was valued at $68.7 billion. Nintendo is reportedly worth around $54 billion right now. Based solely on those figures, it may seem possible that a deal could happen. But Nintendo isn't Activision Blizzard, and I predict regulators would treat any potential acquisition of Nintendo differently.
But that's not what I'm going to focus on today. Instead, I want to know if you want Microsoft to purchase Nintendo.
Do you think it would be good for gamers if Nintendo was owned by Microsoft? What would a combined Microsoft/Nintendo look like? Is there a franchise that you're dying to play on Xbox hardware or Xbox Cloud Gaming? Let us know in the latest thread in our forums.
I'll kick things off with what I said in the thread:
"While I would enjoy being able to play Nintendo games on Microsoft hardware and Xbox Cloud Gaming, I think those benefits would be overshadowed by the negatives of a potential Nintendo that was part of Microsoft. Nintendo, for better and for worse, is willing to experiment. I don't see the Wii or the Switch coming out of a Nintendo made by Microsoft.
I'm frustrated by many things Nintendo struggles with, and I honestly think Microsoft could alleviate some of those issues, but overall, I don't think Microsoft buying Nintendo would be a good thing."
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I would certainly like it, as I would need to buy one instead of two consoles per generation. However, it would be a nightmare to merge two quite different corporations, resulting in a bigger, worse company. Also, Nintendo is moving towards being an entertainment company. Considering the pile of cash they are sitting over, I think it is more likely to Nintendo buy Universal, which is already a partner in movies and parks than to have Microsoft acquiring it, especially because I doubt regulators would allow it.Reply
I just wish Nintendo would go 3rd party like Sega. Some of us truly hate their hardware, not to mention the way they sit on some of their IPs forever and don't even remaster the old ones for the current system. Like how hard would it be to port Punch-Out Wii without the garbage motion controls? The game worked entirely with the controller buttons anyway. I'd totally buy Mario 64 again too. Maybe Pilotwings. etc but I'm not subscribing to some garbage streaming/online service for them. I just want to buy the retro games I want.Reply
The world, and Microsoft, has moved on.
Nintendo is in great shape financially and unless they get too cute with Switch 2 (ala Wii U) they'll be fine for another ten years.
Note that the emails predate the Zenimax and Activision deals. At that time a merger made sense.
Today, MS doesn't need to buy Nintendo for credibility and the console gaming world is better with three big players than with two. What would be best, and might yet happen, is MS and Nintendo trading the odd game (I'll give you COD and ES6, you give me Metroid and XX, or some such.) Azure might host a Nintendo Gamepass cloud gaming service. Partners helping each other.
At this point their portfolios are complementary. And keeping things that way is best. If nothing else, both MS and Nintendo doing different things doubles the pressure on Sony.
(Back in the 90's HP bought Apollo to bulk up its Unix Workstation business and when asked about the merger, SUN ceo McNeally, shrugged: "Before I had two competitors to worry about, now just one." A year later, Sony was number one and stayed there until that market faded before NT.)
Big mergers are tricky and MS-ABK is a black swan, unlikely to repeat.Todsy, the player to keep an eye on is Embracer. They are deep in mobile, over extended, and Own CRYSTAL DYNAMICS and their IP. Other than BioWare there is no better match for MS.
In fact it is a good bet that after MS is done absorbing Activision, they'll Keep two publishing arms: one for exclusives and another for multiplat. That'll put an end to the will it/won't it games.
Besides, if Nintendo were to merge (big IF) with a big american company, Apple would be a better fit today (but they're too cheap) and then Nintendo or Amazon.