Microsoft Considered Giving Away the Xbox, Buying Nintendo

Lots of ideas get floated around when trying to develop and market a console, and with Microsoft's first entry, the idea of giving the console away was actually considered, along with outright buying Nintendo. Hit the jump for more details, and more crazy ideas!
Lorne Lanning spoke candidly after a recent interview with GamesIndustry.biz, revealing that early plans included the idea of giving the Xbox away. There was a very strong push behind this, and Seamus Blackley, co-creator, adds that the idea was to use the console as a trojan horse for Windows. The intent was that it would "be forced to run Windows after some period of time."

Lanning adds that there was huge internal resistance to the idea from Kevin Bachus, Seamus Blackley, and Ed Fries, "You got the brand that everyone resents having to buy, how's that going to work in the entertainment industry?" The ideas of being focused on playing movies, running Microsoft content exclusively, and many others were being pushed on the team by Microsoft executives.

In the end, the Xbox development team had proved themselves and these ideas were dumped, paving the way for a successful first entry in the console market. Today, it seems like many of these ideas are being revisited with the Xbox One. It had a focus on entertainment content, TV, and movies at one point. Microsoft are boasting cross-compatibility and interoperability with Windows 10 applications, and providing a development framework that will allow the same games and applications to run in both environments. Internet Explorer is available on the platform, and rumors of Cortana are being floated around.

It seems like the seeds of these original ideas never truly died, but became dormant until an opportune time. How do you feel about the changes in strategy Microsoft are making with the Xbox One? Was it just too early for the original Xbox, and is now the right time? Please let us know!