Are we talking profit or revenue? Because the XBox division of MS still hasn’t turned a profit – don’t know if this will carry over to the next gen or not. If we are talking straight profit, I might be inclined to say the PS3. If we’re talking units sold and total revenue, I’d say the 360.
Not to be argumentative, but several companies have their own proprietary online and don’t wish to be coopted by Xbox Live. EA has its own online system, Blizzard has Battle.net, etc. Unfortunately, little guys who don’t have their own network are seemingly out of luck.
The big drawback I see in not having a central service for matchmaking online games is that once an individual developer has made its buck on a title, there’s no reason to continue to support it - because they could shift the hardware over to a new title instead of laying out cash on more infrastructure as they release more titles. However, with Live I know I can still pick up a 1st Gen xbox game and play it on the service 5 years later.
Also, I think they’re missing a lot of cross sales there. Sony gets a bite of every game sold, and if I’m on Live and can see that a zillion people are playing game X that I don’t have, I’m going to consider picking that game up. If that game’s population is invisible to me, then I don’t have the urge to buy it for that reason. Do you buy a PS3 game thinking “Boy I hope there’s some people online when I get there”? On live you can SEE the numbers and base your purchase decision on that.
Not to be argumentative, but several companies have their own proprietary online and don’t wish to be coopted by Xbox Live. EA has its own online system, Blizzard has Battle.net, etc. Unfortunately, little guys who don’t have their own network are seemingly out of luck.[/quote]
The problem with that logic is it goes against the whole console concept. Its supposed to be all about fast and easy one stop gaming. Xbox Live! is the natural extension of consoles to the online world. Certain companies can be succesful because they have a very popular game(ala Blizzard), but in general Xbox Live! is the right way to go. If Sony goes the same route with the PS3 they will regret it in a few years.
Pretty much the only real regret I have over buying a PS2 was seeming lack of enthusiasm by Sony for supportting for online gaming on the console. I kind of hate myself for buying the network adaptor on day one because of how little I’ve used it.
Granted, I’m not a sports game fan, which seems to get the most online attention from developers, but there were a number of games that would have definitely benefitted from online capable play, let alone a nicely integrated service like Live.
That’s a big presumption, though. If that report is right, the cost to manufacture the PS3 will be $495 per unit when it launches. Can Sony afford to sell the hardware at a $100 loss per unit? I suspect that they can’t, however much they’d like to. I’d expect the PS3 to come in at more like $449 or even $499, based on those figures. They have really been playing up how advanced the hardware is, so it seems like their marketing guys already know they are going to be selling a price-premium item.
It’ll be really interesting to hear what the Revolution is going to sell for. If it comes in at $199, it really could clean up, potentially. Microsoft and Sony may have actually pushed past the breaking point for consumers with this generation. If not past it, then they have to be really close.
Microsoft did, though I know that’s a bad example given their relative position in the market at the time. But you know profit in this business is entirely software and service (online, MMO, etc.) driven. If Sony can score the right brand and number of software exclusives (or 1-2 year blackouts) and gets GTA-level sales, it might just offset a $100 initial console loss (which as you know they’d scale off quickly anyway… it’s not as if they’d still be in that sort of margin hole a year later). My reading of the various half-conjecture stories is that Sony’s made the PS3 as proprietary as possible to forge monolithic development deals that make it the only place to go for whatever critical smash hit (though you could argue that certainly hasn’t saved Nintendo’s bacon with Zelda or Metroid or Mario).
Of course the real answer to this question is going to be driven by how well the 360 penetrates. If you have tens of millions of people forking out $400 for a 360 with a slew of hit titles, maybe coupled with an economic recession driven by a downturn in the housing market next year, by the time Sony comes in, it may have to take some kind of loss on the hardware.
^H^H^H^H^H is what you used to get in certain systems where backspacing didn’t do what it was supposed to do. So if you screwed up and tried to go back, you just got the above output tacked onto your message.