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Microsoft Were Offered The Wii Tech Before Nintendo But Turned It Down

Tom Quinn, founder of Gyration and the owner of a worldwide patent on gyrometer-based motion control technology has revealed to CVG that he approached Microsoft for the technology behind the Wii before Nintendo. Microsoft didn’t see the appeal of the technology, and thought they could do a better job themselves – so they turned it down. Quinn then went to Nintendo and pitched the product handing it the “exclusive rights to application of inertial sensors in a product which senses angular human motion in order to control a graphic or cursor on a display.”

“Through my business connections, the first games person I got in touch with was [current Microsoft CEO] Steve Ballmer. I pitched this motion control device to him and he loved it. He set me up with the Xbox team in Redmond [Washington] for a second pitch and I remember how incredibly excited I was about it. Things were happening so fast.

“But the meeting went terribly. The attitude I got from them was that if they wanted to do motion control, they would do it themselves and make a better job of it. I mean, they were just rude. In fact, the meeting went so terribly that one of the executives came over to me afterwards and apologised on behalf of others. I remember him saying how this was not how Microsoft should be engaging with potential partners.”

81 thoughts on “Microsoft Were Offered The Wii Tech Before Nintendo But Turned It Down”

    1. seriously what in the hell was microsoft thinking??? there too full of themselves and i think its going to show a lot in this generation. wii u is going to kick ass, especially microsoft’s if they keep ripping off nintendo’s ideas

      1. This is nothing new. Nintendo takes chances and sees opportunity. SEGA was offered Silicon Graphics tech and turned it down, which Nintendo took on board and gave us the N64. Who knows where we’de be at today in the gaming industry if games like Mario 64 and Goldeneye were never developed.

    2. To be fair, while I don’t exactly like them, I acknowledge that the Kinect holds the record for the fastest selling piece of tech in history. It was very successful in the eyes of Microsoft.

      With the motion tech that the Wii had, I’m not sure Microsoft could have pulled off the same results that Nintendo amassed.

      1. Hehehehehe then the kinectimals were released and people were like no! I love Nintendo and Sony, Microsoft are like Rome and Greece, soft and fruity mega kingdoms hahahahaha.

    3. Kinect is just an Eye-Toy rip off with “3D” scanning… which doesn’t work well… AT ALL.

      Yeah, I hear they are using the tech of the Kinect in the Next Gen Xbox… oh boy… Microsoft, I knew you… not very well but well enough to know you are greed bastards

  1. Of course you could do it better, Microsoft.
    Let’s just compare some good ol’ Nintendo Wii games with your Xbox Kinect games.
    What did you say? Kinect has no games? Aww, what a shame…

  2. Microsoft already had Rare working on Kinect so you can understand their choice. And if anyone says “Kinect has no games” I’m going to kick them in the balls. It’s an add on. The Wii has more games as it’s an actual console, you have to remember that they aren’t two products that compete in the same space. If you want to make fun of a motion controller, make fun of Move. That’s easy to port Wii games to and yet it has very few decent games. The only stand out ones are decisively casual and the rest are literal dog shit. Add to that that it runs on ancient tech and you’ve got a pretty awful motion controller.

      1. The Playstation Move was actually really good, it improved on what the Wii had and it actually has a handful of games that are actually good like Killzone 3, Little Big Planet 2, Sports Champions, Counter Strike: GO, Ape Escape Move, Child of Eden, MAG and so on.

        Kinect has… Kinectnimals and Kinect Adventure… YYYYAAAAA…

        1. I own a PS3 and don’t have an Xbox, but I was disgusted at the notion of the PS Move. There was little to no attempt to differentiate it from the Wii controller. At least the Kinect tried to be a bit different. Yeah, it failed in the games department then, but at least the concept was a bit more original

          1. “At least the Kinect tried to be a bit different”

            No, just no… its just an Eye-Toy rip off so how is it different? Plus, I have the playstation move and its actually really awesome.

            1. I looked a lot like the Eye Toy (hence the A BIT different) but it still introduced new features. Which is more than can be for the Wii remote rip off with a duct taped glowing ball on top

        2. PS Move is good, but it is basically an identical replica to the Wii control scheme (not that that’s a bad thing…since Nintendo mainstreamed stuff like shoulder buttons, analogue sticks, and rumble force feedback.)
          Little nit-pick differences like a wireless nunchuck and adding a few extra buttons to it, and a very bright globe swapped out for the infra-red sensitivity are ok to “set it apart” from the competitor.
          But MAG was great, yeah.

          1. You do know the Move was rechargeable and its motion controllers are better than the Wii’s.

            Not saying the Wii is terrible in anyway but Move just improved on it and hell, the move actually was in development way before the Wii and Sony only introduced it into because back then when they where making the Move they thought the market wasn’t there but then when people started buying the Wii, Sony decided to release it.

    1. “Microsoft already had Rare working on Kinect so you can understand their choice.”
      What? You’re telling me that Microsoft were already creating Kinect before the Wii existed?

    2. Kinect doesn’t have any games… that are good.

      Kinectnimals came close but missed by this much Kinectnimals__________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________> Decent Game Score

    3. Move actually improves on the Wii’s Motion Controls and is actually really good and has a lot of awesome games that uses the Move

  3. Wow lol. The gyroscope is awesome, It’s nothing like kinnect though. It pin points an object into the game (skyward sword) or You can use it to intuitively aim or scan like On ocarina 3D and ZombiU. I love Gyro Aiming and skyward sword style controlls so I hope Nintendo Really push Gyroscope gaming forward.

    It’s not a gimmik , it’s an alternative and in skyward sword and Zelda OOT3d’s case , A vast improvement over analogue and button controll.

      1. Indeed, I just snap the 3d off when I am about to use the Gyro aiming. And it is so much faster and easier than the circle pad and most importantly, it’s immensely more fun!

  4. I am a Nintendo fan, so bash me. I would have turned it down too. If you are asking players to make precise movements…then the tech should be there to do it. How many times in skyward sword did I get killed because of the wii mote couldn’t pick up the movements I was making. The Wii U should have been the Wii.

      1. I agree with you! :) Sometimes players think the controller is stupid and not working but reallly, they aren’t doing the right controls! It is funny when people don’t play games because their brains aren’t gettin’ stuff!

    1. I never had that issue with the Wii Motion Plus because I took the time to double-check the sensitivity settings on the Wii.
      Your settings must have been jacked up, or you were sitting too close or too far, if you were having issues getting the game to respond to your swings correctly.

      1. eh, might have been me. But I had trouble pulling off skyward strikes and kill blows in the game….I died against Demise a lot because I couldn’t pull these off.

        1. I didn’t die, because I used potions, but I is have a difficult time. Didn’t realize that lightning can be used as a skyward strike (~_~;) That was a long and painful fight haha. Think I had about 2 hearts left at the end.

    2. The controls were precise for me and i beat the game. The onky reason i ever died was because of my arrogance at how i kept owning bosses and Ghriahim

  5. I’m also confident that Microfail won’t be able to have a massive multiplayer crossover fighting franchise unlike Super Smash Bros. or PlayStation All Stars Battle Royale.

  6. M$ think their “Smartglass” can do some real damage to Nintendo, that’s all.
    But it’s gonna suck for them cause not everyone’s gonna want a tablet just to play Some games for it. Hell, to replace the “greatest controller of console history” is suicide, for them.

  7. Microsoft sounds like a bunch of asshole douche-bags. No wonder I only own PS and Nintendo products; I don’t deal with inch brained morons who take someone else’s idea (to whom they told was no good?) and try to one up it whilst failing like the slow kid in a college prep class. I wouldn’t buy one of their products if all the other game companies ceased and they were the only ones left on this planet. I’d build my own intergalactic spaceship and find a planet with video game consoles not made by Microsoft, simply because of dirty deeds like this my friends :D Wait until they come up with a GamePad ripoff… Oh wait, Smartglass… HA!

  8. Another example of the us charm.
    No wonder most of the world loves you *rolling eyes*
    Welcome all new ideas!
    We at Nintendo listens to you!

  9. There’s a reason why there are no Microsoft products in my house. After Ballmer took over, everything just started going downhill. I don’t even have Windows anymore; I switched to Linux a few years back, and Windows 8 makes me glad I did.

  10. and then Nintendo was praised for the technology…

    I really want to slap Microsoft’s face so hard that it would send them to the otherside of the world. Talk about Arrogant little bastards.

  11. Pingback: La tecnología del Wii pudo haber sido de Microsoft | TierraGamer

  12. And then came Kinect.

    At least had done it better when they copied Wii’s motion controller by having an actual controller in your hand. the problem with kinect is the design itself. without a physical controller in your hand, you can only do so much. not to mention the ridiculous process of calibrating it so it’ll capture your movement accurately. at least for wii, you only need to push the sync button.

  13. Wow. I’m sure Microsoft didn’t regret that decision AT ALL.


    To be fair though, I’ve actually been a firm supporter of Kinect since day one. Say what you like about its peformance issues, but it’s something new and creative – which is what this industry needs. So called ‘hardcore’ gamers may think it’s garbage – but I see it as a stepping stone for greater things to come. I’m glad Microsft are refusing to abandon it.

    Kinectamals and Sesame Street were fantastic kids titles, and show that the Kinect concept CAN work.

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