Microsoft Xbox is a behemoth in the gaming industry. It continues to seek acquisition targets whereby its customer exposure can increase even more. Nintendo, a legendary gaming company in its own right, isn't up for sale but Microsoft would surely love to buy it if that ever become possible.
This wish was expressed by Xbox boss Phil Spencer back in 2020. It has only just emerged in a treasure trove of leaks stemming from the FTC v. Microsoft lawsuit.
Microsoft would be willing to buy Nintendo if it ever went on sale
The leak reveals that Microsoft Gaming CEO Phil Spencer wrote to two top Microsoft marketing executives in an August 2020 email that “Nintendo is THE prime asset for us in Gaming,” adding that “getting Nintendo would be a career moment and I honestly believe a good move for both companies.”
This was Spencer's response to an email from a fellow Microsoft executive Takeshi Numoto who wondered why Microsoft wasn't going after acquisition targets such as Nintendo to “increase our consumer exposure and relevance.” This was around the same time that Microsoft was thought to be interested in acquiring TikTok, so it's understandable why executives in the gaming division had their own ideas regarding big acquisitions.
Microsoft has been on a string of acquisitions in recent years to boost the dominance of its gaming division. Just last year, the company announced that it was acquiring Activision Blizzard for $68.7 billion in cash. As of June 2023, Microsoft has over $100 billion in cash and cash equivalents, so it has more than enough financial muscle to go after major acquisitions.
That's not to say that Nintendo is actively looking for a buyer, but if it ever were, it's clear that Microsoft would be in the running to pick it up.