Nintendo has always done its own thing, they are Japanese. We should probably be happy that they were not traded by Microsoft.
What was Ballmer thinking?
And if we are to believe the company itself, there was no danger that this could happen: "they laughed Microsoft out of the room".
It was during an interview in connection with the 2001 launch of the Xbox at CES that the interesting information came from Kevin Bachus. Bachus at the time had the title "Director of Third-party Relations".
- They laughed at us for an hour
"Steve asked us to talk to Nintendo to find out if they could consider an acquisition. They laughed to death. Just imagine an hour with people laughing at you. That was more or less how the meeting went ”.
Nintendo and Microsoft are so culturally different companies (from all American technology companies, just so it is said, but especially one that makes the most money in the corporate market), that it is difficult to understand why Ballmer thought it was a nuisance, but the story is good so it was worth them in the end.
There were also talks that Microsoft could be responsible for the hardware and the Nintendo games. It is an agreement that in that case would have made some more sense.