clock menu more-arrow no yes

Filed under:

Bill Gates thought Sega didn't have 'enough muscle' to help in the hardware race against Sony

New, 20 comments

Microsoft's plans to purchase Sega never came to fruition due to Bill Gates' concerns the video game company didn't have "enough muscle" to assist in the hardware race against Sony, former Microsoft executive Joachim Kempin told IGN in a recent interview.

According to Kempin, who served as vice president of Windows Sales from 1983 to 2003, the original idea to bring Sega into the company was seen as an easy way to get Microsoft into the console market and "stop Sony."

"There were three companies at that point in time, I think this was [Sony], Sega and Nintendo," Kempin said. "There was always talk maybe we buy Sega or something like that; that never materialized, 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."

Kempin stated this was not enough to sway Gates and Microsoft decided to develop its own hardware.

"There were some talks but it never materialized because Sega was a very different bird," he said. "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."

Kempin also said Microsoft's entry into the console business was to "stop Sony," and because Sony had refused to work with them, stating the company was "never Microsoft's friend."

When contacted for more information, a Microsoft representative told Polygon that the company does not comment on rumors or speculation.