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19. Re: Morning Consolidation Jan 21, 2013, 16:04 jdreyer
The more modest-sounding components of the next XBox (compared to the Sony) could be an attempt to make the hardware pay for itself instead of having it subsidized by game sales (blade sales subsidizing razor costs). And it sounds like MS entertainment is at least breaking even, no? You'll never see the profit margins on games that you do on Windows or Office sales b/c the number of each product sold is orders of magnitude smaller.

The one thing MS absolutely has to do is prevent another RRoD scandal. The design MUST allow for adequate cooling, and it seems like the more modest components are a part of this strategy. Especially since they were selling the 360 at a loss, they took a bath every time they had to replace one.

And there's some logic to a strategy of going with lower specs. Hardware has become so powerful that it's really game design, not graphics, that has become the more important selling point. When I went from an Nvidia 460 to a GTX 670, I really didn't see a huge improvement in performance or fidelity. I'm glad I'm future-proof, and can throw everything on high without worry, but it didn't make a huge difference.

Also, by making a baseline that's lower that Sony's, MS can ensure that games will be made to their spec, then ported to Sony, and less often vice versa. And by having games developed natively to XBox, they'll end up looking as good as the Sony, despite the latter's better hardware. The XBox will be the lowest common denominator, while saving MS money on the hardware in the process. Also, developers will want to develop for XBox due to the ease of porting to the PC (a growing revenue stream), given the commonalities. It's more difficult to go from the PS to the PC.
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