The leaked email reveals Xbox boss Phil Spencer really wanted to buy Nintendo, a Japanese multinational video game company, in 2020.
Microsoft‘s AI research team accidentally leaked 38 terabytes of additional private data, including a disc backup of two employees’ workstations.
The tech titan’s trial over the acquisition of another video game company based in the U.S. is ongoing against the Federal Trade Commission (FTC).
It has been revealed in the trial that Spencer had previously expressed interest in a number of other high-profile acquisitions, including Sega, the maker of Sonic, and Square Enix, the maker of Final Fantasy. Hence, the Japanese firm has also been added to the list.
In a leaked email, Spencer talked willingly about buying the home of Mario, stating it “would be a career moment.”
In an email sent in August 2020, prior to Microsoft’s acquisition of ZeniMax, it was disclosed that Spencer had expressed interest in Valve, the owner of Steam, as well as Warner Bros.’s network of video game studios.
This network includes studios like NetherRealm, known for Mortal Kombat, and Rocksteady, renowned for developing the Batman Arkham series, among others.
Prime asset in gaming
The Xbox boss started the email by gushing praise, assuming it was a likely path to consumer relevance.
“Nintendo is the prime asset for us in gaming, and today gaming is our most likely path to consumer relevance,” wrote Spencer.
In the email, Spencer detailed that he had “numerous conversations” with Nintendo regarding the possibility of a closer partnership.
He also indicated that, among U.S. companies, Microsoft was in the most advantageous position for potentially acquiring the developer behind Super Mario Bros. and The Legend of Zelda.
Spencer noted that Microsoft would need to play the ‘long game’ if it aimed to merge with Nintendo.
He also pointed out that the company’s board of directors had reviewed the ‘full writeup’ and expressed full support for such a move under the right circumstances.
“The unfortunate (or fortunate for Nintendo) situation is that Nintendo is sitting on a big pile of cash, and they have a board of directors that, until recently, has not pushed for further increases in market growth or stock appreciation,” said Spencer.
All-digital Xbox Series X is on the way
The leak also reveals that Microsoft will launch a refreshed, all-digital Xbox Series X in October 2023.
Microsoft’s next-generation Xbox plans includes potentially switching to ARM and building a hybrid-cloud-native gaming device in 2028 pic.twitter.com/vSDNrlfPGL
— CharlieIntel (@charlieINTEL) September 19, 2023
The leak also indicates that Microsoft will be rolling out a next-gen “Cloud Hybrid” Xbox in 2028. Cloud Hybrid Games will be introducing immersive game and app platforms as per the leaked Xbox roadmap between 2001 and 2028.
“Cloud gaming is cheeks. Just another way for companies to take control of products we pay for,” wrote a user on X (formerly known as Twitter).
Contrastingly, another user offered his view, countering with, “Well, I can play Garfield on my iPhone thanks to cloud gaming. It actually gives me more flexibility in terms of when I can enjoy gaming, to be honest.”
I have had a Xbox Series X since around launch, but I kind of want this all-digital model. It looks adorable, and there is no need for a disc drive on console in 2023!
— Patrick Thornton (@pwthornton) September 19, 2023
Similarly, another user expressed his interest in the all-digital Xbox Series X, stating, “I have had an Xbox Series X since around launch, but I kind of want this all-digital model. It looks adorable, and there is no need for a disc drive on the console in 2023! Nice to see the storage bumped up. I hope @Xbox prices this appropriately.”