This took place in 2001 ahead of the Xbox’s launch and is being recounted by Kevin Bachus, Microsoft’s former director of third-party relations, who told Bloomberg that Microsoft’s then-CEO Steve Ballmer had told them to go to meet with Nintendo and ask if they were interested in possibly being acquired by Microsoft.
According to Bachus, it seems that this meeting ended less than favorable as they were essentially laughed out of the room. “Steve [Ballmer, Microsoft’s former CEO] made us go meet with Nintendo to see if they would consider being acquired. They just laughed their asses off. Like, imagine an hour of somebody just laughing at you. That was kind of how that meeting went.”
We can’t say that we’re too surprised as Nintendo back then was already a very successful gaming company and didn’t necessarily need Microsoft’s help, but it’s interesting to think of a future where only Microsoft and Sony existed in the console space.