Former Microsoft VP: company briefly thought about buying Sega

Former Microsoft VP Joachim Kempin is at it again. The man who earlier this week was quoted as saying that Microsoft launched the Xbox game console to "stop Sony" now says that the company briefly thought about buying Sega to quickly get into the console business.

"There was always talk maybe we buy Sega or something like that; that never materialized," Kempin told IGN," 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."

While it is true that Microsoft did indeed announce an agreement with Sega in 1998 to use Windows CE for the Dreamcast, it's also truth that the Dreamcast launched in 1999 with its own operating system, although Windows CE was used for some Dreamcast games.

Kempin claims that ultimately, Microsoft chairman Bill Gates decided not to acquire Sega, saying, "He didn’t think that Sega had enough muscle to eventually stop Sony, so we did our own Xbox thing."

Sega got out of the hardware console business in early 2001, several months before the launch of the Xbox in late 2001. Sega developed a number of Xbox exclusives and Peter Moore, who was president of Sega America, later joined Microsoft as an Xbox executive.

Source: IGN | Image via Sega

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Why doesn't some enterprising journalist dig into this and find the truth? It is quite interesting. Here's a hint.

In the famous 1978 photograph of the first 15 Microsoft employees you can see right in the middle one Bob Greenberg. Greenberg met Gates at Harvard and came to Microsoft as one of Microsoft's early managers. He is also the son of Arnold Greenberg, CEO of Coleco - famous for ColecoVision (PacMan) the Coleco Adam console and (later) the Cabbage Patch Kids product lines.

Another hint: In 1982 Microsoft introduced a revolutionary operating system specifically for games consoles in Japan called MSX. About 20 manufacturers produced "MSX boxes" - including Sony. The brains behind MSX, Microsoft's legendary Japanese boss Kazuko (Kay) Nishi was a personal friend of Akio Morita, founder of Sony. Nishi was later acrimoniously squeezed out of Microsoft by Gates himself.

Did Nishi and Morita later conspire to squeeze Microsoft out of the Japanese games business? Did Microsoft hurriedly bring in Greenberg to do the Xbox in response? Why did Nishi later erect a 40 ft high statue of Godzilla in Tokyo? And why did Nintendo choose the space next door to Microsoft in Redmond for their US HQ?

There's a Pulitzer Prize in there somewhere. Any enterprising journalists?

Dreamcast was basically XBox Alpha, right down to the OS and comically boxy design.

I just could never take the dang thing seriously. Any console that can raise a cult following as disconnected as that can't possibly be good for my mental health.

It was like people who loved the Wii because of the motion technology developers stopped taking advantage of by year two.

I for once wish this had happened. It's not to late, bring us Shenmue 3 as a Next-Box exclusive

-T- said,
I for once wish this had happened. It's not to late, bring us Shenmue 3 as a Next-Box exclusive

Agreed, and Panzer Dragoon Saga 2, and Skies of Arcadia 2... Seg's properties are second only to Nintendo.

nub said,
Dreamcast was awesome.

It really was. And as new products come out, it just shows how ahead of their time they were with the Dreamcast... That was the biggest problem with the console.

And this is news? "Microsoft discussed acquiring another company as a means to get into an area where they had no market share".... wow.

Breaking news: "A lot of companies discuss acquiring other companies"

just modify it a bit, the color of Window 8's logo will almost similar to the color of SEGA's logo.

perhaps similar fate would happen then.

Torolol said,
just modify it a bit, the color of Window 8's logo will almost similar to the color of SEGA's logo.

perhaps similar fate would happen then.


I laughed, but not because this was funny.

This former exec really isn't breaking any news, he's just reiterating things that some people may have forgotten.

Tomorrow's story will be that Microsoft also asked Sony and Nintendo to use Windows, but they rejected or that MS briefly considered buying Nintendo, but instead ended up buying Rare.