In 2020, there were discussions within Xbox about the possibility of acquiring Nintendo and Valve
In the FTC case against Microsoft regarding the acquisition of Activision Blizzard King, several unredacted documents were shared, revealing informati...
In the FTC case against Microsoft regarding the acquisition of Activision Blizzard King, several unredacted documents were shared, revealing information that Xbox certainly did not intend to disclose. One of the details uncovered in these unredacted emails was Xbox Chief Phil Spencer's intention to acquire Nintendo, Valve, and Warner Bros. Games.
"Nintendo is the standout asset for us in the gaming industry," Spencer stated. "I see no approach for a short-term mutually agreeable merger between Nintendo and Microsoft, and I don't believe hostile actions would be a wise move. That's why we're playing the long game. However, our board has reviewed the comprehensive proposals concerning Nintendo (and Valve) and fully supports the opportunity, should it arise, just as I do [...] Confidentially, we are currently engaged in two quite active M&A discussions in the gaming industry, Warner Brothers Interactive and ZeniMax."
We know how this has unfolded - Microsoft acquired ZeniMax, leading to the exclusivity of Starfield and Redfall on Xbox. It was also revealed in 2020 that Microsoft had an interest in acquiring Warner Bros. Games, but evidently, this did not come to fruition.
Whether Microsoft still maintains interest in Nintendo and Valve is unknown. It remains a possibility, as Spencer emphasized that Microsoft and Xbox must "play the long game" and that it would be a "career moment" for him. However, given the resistance faced in the acquisition of Activision Blizzard King, it is highly unlikely that Microsoft could overcome regulatory authorities to acquire one of the three major console manufacturers and the owner of the largest PC game store.
"I love this discussion and appreciate that you're considering the possibilities here," said Spencer. "At some point, it would be a career-defining moment to acquire Nintendo, and honestly, I believe it would be a smart move for both companies. It just takes a long time for Nintendo to realize that their future exists beyond their own hardware."
Not only have Microsoft's acquisition strategies leaked, but also their future console plans along with new design photos. In the unredacted FTC documents, we see that Xbox is working on an interim-generation refresh of the Series X, which is exclusively digital, meaning it does not have a disc drive but offers a storage capacity of 2 TB. The price will remain the same as the current model, as the hardware does not feature any improvements.
Microsoft plans to release this new version of the console in October of next year, along with a new controller called 'Sebile,' which features gyro and haptic feedback.