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Microsoft almost bought Sega to crush PlayStation, former exec reveals

But Bill Gates "didn't think that SEGA had enough muscle to eventually stop Sony"

Microsoft once considered buying venerable publisher Sega to counter Sony's PlayStation business, the company's former vice president of Windows sales has revealed. Sonic the Hedgehog - the brother-in-law Master Chief never had?

"There were three companies at that point in time, I think this was [Sony,] SEGA and Nintendo," Joachim Kempin recounted to IGN in an interview. "There was always talk maybe we buy SEGA or something like that; that never materialised, but we were actually able to license them what they call Windows CE, the younger brother of Windows, to run on their system and make that their platform.


"But for Bill [Gates] this wasn't enough, he didn't think that SEGA had enough muscle to eventually stop Sony so we did our own Xbox thing.

"There were some talks but it never materialised because SEGA was a very different bird," he added. "It was always Sony and Nintendo, right? And Nintendo had some financial trouble at that point in time, so Sony came out with the PlayStation and bang! They took off, and everyone else was left behind."

Intriguing stuff, no? While we're discussing missed opportunities, it might interest you to know that Microsoft was once in a position to block the sale of the Wii.