Nintendo’s Response to Microsoft Sale Rumour: No.

Nintendo have replied to rumours floating around since yesterday that Microsoft wants to buy the Japanese games company with a big flat No.

Nintendo’s chief of public relations Yasuhiro Minagawa said “Nintendo is not on sale, and there is no such talk at all.” In fact, Microsoft have not even contacted Nintendo about a possible deal.

So where did the rumours come from? German finance magazine Wirtschaftswoche reported Bill Gate’s comments from the sidelines of a press conference: “If Hiroshi Yamauchi phones me, I will pick up at once,” he said.

Nintendo are a very Japanese company – America is a reasonably large market for them, Europe have historically not been a priority, but they are unstoppable in Japan. Microsoft, on the other hand, are a very American company – they have no understanding of the Japanese market. The size of the XBox, the games they’ve released in Japan, even the games they’ve cancelled in Japan, demonstrate this. Even if they had a hands-off approach in their home territory, the brand would be irrevocably damaged. Western gamers, all too aware of the rubbish that gets released under the Atari brand these days, would also know the difference.

Larry Hyrb from XBox Live’s blog

Published by

Fraser Lovatt

Fraser Lovatt has spent the last fifteen years working in publishing, TV and the Internet in various capacities, and believes that they will be seperate platforms for at least a while yet. His main interests at the moment are exploring where Linux is taking home entertainment and how technology is conferring technical skills on more and more people. Fraser Lovatt was born in the same year that 2001: A Space Odyssey was delighting and confusing people in the cinemas, and developed a lifelong love of technology as soon as he realised that things could be taken apart, sometimes put back together again, but mostly left in bits or made into something the original designer hadn't quite planned upon. At school he was definitely in the ZX Spectrum/Magpie/BMX camp, rather than the BBC Micro/Blue Peter/well-behaved group. This is all deeply ironic as he later went on to spend nine years working at the BBC. After a few years of working as a bookseller in Scotland, ("Back when it was actually a skilled profession" he'll tell anyone still listening), he moved to England for reasons he can't quite explain adequately to himself. After a couple of publishing jobs punctuated by sporadic bursts of travelling and photography came the aforementioned nine years at the BBC where he specialised in internet technologies and video. These days his primary interests are Java, Linux, videogames and pies - and if they're not candidates for convergence, then what is?