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(Ars Technica)   Interesting: Sony is making money on the PS4 hardware. Fark: $18   (arstechnica.com ) divider line
    More: Interesting, PlayStation, Sony, IHS iSuppli, GPUs, CPUs  
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3155 clicks; posted to Geek » on 19 Nov 2013 at 4:40 PM (2 years ago)   |   Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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2013-11-19 03:50:57 PM  
Yeah, no. Component cost =/= total costs.

And I'm pretty sure that the retailers are making more than $18 a console.
 
2013-11-19 03:53:49 PM  
Yesterday I read that Sony is taking about a $60 loss per console, which isn't too bad.

As far as I know the Wii was the only recent console that was being sold at a profit.
 
2013-11-19 04:00:37 PM  
they don't make shiat on consoles.  their money is in game sales.
 
2013-11-19 04:27:14 PM  

ManateeGag: they don't make shiat on consoles.  their money is in game sales.

 
2013-11-19 04:36:54 PM  
They're not making any money from me.

Because I'm broke. Damn it.
 
2013-11-19 04:40:41 PM  

ManateeGag: they don't make shiat on consoles.  their money is in game sales.


And licensing. Every PlayStation sold new has been sold for a loss.
 
2013-11-19 04:47:52 PM  
What does this generation of consoles actually offer compared to last?  I mean better hardware provides a little better graphics, but was that really a stopping point for games last generation?

I'm familiar with the fact that you get to pay more per month to play online games than you did last generation(and why were we doing that, again?) and some DRM changes.  What do you actually get?
 
2013-11-19 04:51:37 PM  

Elegy: Yeah, no. Component cost =/= total costs.

And I'm pretty sure that the retailers are making more than $18 a console.



Retailers probably got the PS4s for less than $381 wholesale.

No question that Sony isn't making any money on the console hardware, but this is a massive improvement over the PS3 at launch.
 
2013-11-19 04:53:01 PM  

ikanreed: What does this generation of consoles actually offer compared to last?


a new hat!
 
2013-11-19 04:54:44 PM  

skyotter: ikanreed: What does this generation of consoles actually offer compared to last?

a new hat!


Steam, and its free-to-play games aren't on discussion here.
 
2013-11-19 04:55:51 PM  
They sold the PS3 at a loss for several years. So that they're actually making small profit on a brand new console this time is actually an improvement.
 
2013-11-19 04:55:57 PM  

ikanreed: What does this generation of consoles actually offer compared to last?  I mean better hardware provides a little better graphics, but was that really a stopping point for games last generation?

I'm familiar with the fact that you get to pay more per month to play online games than you did last generation(and why were we doing that, again?) and some DRM changes.  What do you actually get?


Better, faster, awesomener games and online experiences.

/you can still buy a PS3 if you don't want the new stuff
//Sony was still manufacturing the PS2 until earlier this year
 
2013-11-19 04:57:44 PM  

ikanreed: What does this generation of consoles actually offer compared to last?  I mean better hardware provides a little better graphics, but was that really a stopping point for games last generation?

I'm familiar with the fact that you get to pay more per month to play online games than you did last generation(and why were we doing that, again?) and some DRM changes.  What do you actually get?


Pretty much "things look prettier" is it.  Of course, I play exclusively on PCs, so meh.
 
2013-11-19 04:58:05 PM  

gingerjet: Better, faster, awesomener games and online experiences.


What I've found is that machine performance hasn't been holding back any of those for a few years now.
 
2013-11-19 04:58:53 PM  

mainstreet62: ManateeGag: they don't make shiat on consoles.  their money is in game sales.

 
2013-11-19 05:00:05 PM  

Geotpf: Pretty much "things look prettier" is it.  Of course, I play exclusively on PCs, so meh.


Those won't be around much longer ...
 
2013-11-19 05:03:12 PM  

ManateeGag: they don't make shiat on consoles.  their money is in game sales.


Not sales per se ... they make money from the licensing of games that use their hardware. (Just making it clear that they make money from other companies developing games for the ps4, not just from selling the games that Sony themselves develop)

I don't even want to ask what a ps4 devkit costs, because I know I wouldn't be able to afford it.

Screw consoles, I'd rather develop for iPhones or Steam, the economics are way less brutal.
 
2013-11-19 05:05:34 PM  
This reminds me I'm getting a new console on Friday. It will be quite a feat if it manages disappoint me given that I'm damn near 50 and have never owned a console or a blu-ray player before. Bonus: I'll probably just use it to watch tv and I honestly don't give two shiats how much it cost. I mean of course I care about money but however much it is the amount will be insignificant compared to what a dual-income family blows on eating out in a year. Like most other kinds of hardware purchases it's the shiat you buy to go with it - games, periperals, and services - that makes up the real expenditure.
 
2013-11-19 05:05:42 PM  
ikanreed:I'm familiar with the fact that you get to pay more per month to play online games than you did last generation(and why were we doing that, again?) and some DRM changes.  What do you actually get?

The ability to run games designed and released on the PS4 label for the next decade?  Some of which will take advantage of/require the higher hardware specs, some of which won't, but none of which will run on the PS3 or PS2.

Better networking support.

A case that actually fits onto shelves and shiat that you don't have to build a farking custom cabinet for (farking PS3).
 
ZAZ [TotalFark]
2013-11-19 05:06:43 PM  
As IHS points out, the larger your chip is, the greater the chance that some part of it will have a defect on it somewhere, which drives yields down and pushes costs up. (Unlike standard CPUs and GPUs, it's not possible to recoup any of that cost by selling lower-performance versions of the chips with the defective sections disabled.)

If you aren't using leading edge technology, yield is very high. If you are using a leading edge process, yield depends on design. There are techniques to create redundancy.  That $100 figure is likely to be a very approximate guess.
 
2013-11-19 05:06:56 PM  

StopLurkListen: ManateeGag: they don't make shiat on consoles.  their money is in game sales.

Not sales per se ... they make money from the licensing of games that use their hardware. (Just making it clear that they make money from other companies developing games for the ps4, not just from selling the games that Sony themselves develop)

I don't even want to ask what a ps4 devkit costs, because I know I wouldn't be able to afford it.

Screw consoles, I'd rather develop for iPhones or Steam, the economics are way less brutal.


Apparently you can pretty much get them for free:   http://www.vg247.com/2013/07/26/ps4-dev-kits-pricey-but-sony-handing- t hem-out-like-candy-rumour/
 
2013-11-19 05:07:10 PM  
What's the license on the games? $10 or $15? I know that console games regularly sell for $20 more than PC games around launch date.
 
2013-11-19 05:10:36 PM  

Elegy: Yeah, no. Component cost =/= total costs.

And I'm pretty sure that the retailers are making more than $18 a console.


Actually probably not. Games and consoles are low-margin.  That's why Gamestop really pushes used hard; it's the only way they make any money.
 
2013-11-19 05:31:34 PM  

ikanreed: What does this generation of consoles actually offer compared to last?  I mean better hardware provides a little better graphics, but was that really a stopping point for games last generation?

I'm familiar with the fact that you get to pay more per month to play online games than you did last generation(and why were we doing that, again?) and some DRM changes.  What do you actually get?


It's kind of hard to answer that question when you're so dismissive of the primary thing you get:  Better hardware.

Christ the PS3 and 360 are like 7 & 8 years old respectively.  It's not like they're doing incremental annual updates like you see with phones and tablets.  The hardware difference being bridged with this next generation is something that offers a lot more than a 'little better' graphics.

If that's not to you're liking, what is the minimum length of time and/or degree of hardware improvement necessary to justify new consoles?
 
2013-11-19 05:35:51 PM  
Seems like I see an xbone ad every commercial break and I'm not noticing the ps4 ads.
 
2013-11-19 05:39:57 PM  
After years of developement and such, there is no such thing as making $ per console.  If you're not figuring that as part of the cost you're doing it wrong.  Until you make all that money back + hardware costs, there is no such thing as profit.

/dnrtfa
 
2013-11-19 05:43:06 PM  

Nina_Hartley's_Ass: Seems like I see an xbone ad every commercial break and I'm not noticing the ps4 ads.


Because Xbox desperately wants you to buy their piece of shiat, while PS4 isn't too worried about them being successful.
 
2013-11-19 05:43:57 PM  

Nina_Hartley's_Ass: Seems like I see an xbone ad every commercial break and I'm not noticing the ps4 ads.


Yea I noticed that too. And it kinda sucks because I've always been an Xbox person, but I've always thought that Playstation kicked the crap outta them when it came to commercials and advertising. I still think their "To Michael" commercial is one of the best gaming ones ever.
 
2013-11-19 05:44:40 PM  
I'm still so torn...I'm no fanboi of either console and just not sure which one to get.

I have kids and they are just old enough this year that I thought some of the kinect games would help instigate some activity through the long winter months.  (I won't even let them see any controller games).

That being said, I'm a hypocrite.  I personally want to play the shiat out of some of those games and my heart of heart know the PS4 is the better system.   Unfortunately, the MOVE and EYE farking suck.  I seriously have no chance of making this purchase fly with my wife unless the kids are the primary focus.

/first world problems!!!!
 
2013-11-19 05:45:09 PM  

ManateeGag: they don't make shiat on consoles.  their money is in game sales.


Generally MS and Sony take a loss on the consoles initially. If they're anywhere close to breaking even on a PS4 console right now they're well ahead of where they were with the PS3... when that thing launched they lost quite a bit more. Eventually they make money on the consoles (over time they're cheaper to make), but yes, they intend to make $ off games and accessories more so than anything else.

Nintendo does generally try to make a profit on their consoles from the get-go... the Wii was much better for them in that respect than the 360 and PS3 were at launch.

Shrugging Atlas: It's kind of hard to answer that question when you're so dismissive of the primary thing you get:  Better hardware.

Christ the PS3 and 360 are like 7 & 8 years old respectively.  It's not like they're doing incremental annual updates like you see with phones and tablets.  The hardware difference being bridged with this next generation is something that offers a lot more than a 'little better' graphics.

If that's not to you're liking, what is the minimum length of time and/or degree of hardware improvement necessary to justify new consoles?


Yeah, the hardware is better, but so what? With the 360 and PS3, HDTVs were rolling out so the new hardware was used to put up HD resolutions. There's no such shift this time. They don't need to drive new pixels on the screen (and up until the Xbox and PS2, pretty much every console generation was getting better at using the resolution of a 480i SDTV).

So we aren't talking finer resolution. We might be talking better shaders and textures, but I'm waiting to see what that actually looks like. It won't be as big a jump as we saw when the current outgoing consoles appeared.

So it's a valid question. So the hardware is better. So what? What will that enable with the games?

As near as I can tell, more/faster memory can increase the amount of things put on screen at once and maybe make games more immersive with greater real-world feel. That might be good, but I want to see what it looks like in practice before paying $400-500 just for that benefit. Even if it looks quite a bit better it may be a while before people like me feel like buying one of the new consoles... until I see games that I am not only compelled to play but they are also not available on my Xbox 360 my wallet will be staying in my pocket. I just feel no need to lay down five Franklins just to have better hardware right now.
 
2013-11-19 05:48:29 PM  

Prevailing Wind: I seriously have no chance of making this purchase fly with my wife unless the kids are the primary focus.


Why on Earth is it automatically assumed that a console won't appeal to kids unless it has some craptastic motion-sensing gizmo, again?

I feel like I should start shuffling people off my lawn already.
 
2013-11-19 05:54:12 PM  

un4gvn666: Prevailing Wind: I seriously have no chance of making this purchase fly with my wife unless the kids are the primary focus.

Why on Earth is it automatically assumed that a console won't appeal to kids unless it has some craptastic motion-sensing gizmo, again?

I feel like I should start shuffling people off my lawn already.


Oh...I'm quite sure controller based games would appeal to them.  I just don't want my kids glued to the couch whilst playing those games.   Some of the kinect sports games are a pretty amusing way to excessive and my kids would just now be old enough to join in and play some.  In the summer, the thing wont ever be used.  Were outside an awful lot.  In the winter though...not so much.  Its hard finding fun things to do for kids stuck indoors.

I don't have an xbox now, but we've played over at our friends and enjoyed it enough for the idea to take seed.
 
2013-11-19 06:01:47 PM  

Shrugging Atlas: ikanreed: What does this generation of consoles actually offer compared to last?  I mean better hardware provides a little better graphics, but was that really a stopping point for games last generation?

I'm familiar with the fact that you get to pay more per month to play online games than you did last generation(and why were we doing that, again?) and some DRM changes.  What do you actually get?

It's kind of hard to answer that question when you're so dismissive of the primary thing you get:  Better hardware.

Christ the PS3 and 360 are like 7 & 8 years old respectively.  It's not like they're doing incremental annual updates like you see with phones and tablets.  The hardware difference being bridged with this next generation is something that offers a lot more than a 'little better' graphics.

If that's not to you're liking, what is the minimum length of time and/or degree of hardware improvement necessary to justify new consoles?


This, to get some specifics in while I'm eating dinner...

I don't know about ps3, but 360 many games were in 720, which gets really noticable if you see the game on pc running at 1080.  All fine and well if  you're on a 720 tv, but highly bothersome on 1080.

In many games, even "up to date" games, there is a really hard limit and many AAA titles push it very very hard and still step over it, making the game perform in a stuttery fashion.  This is a drop in FPS(frames per second) when there's simply too much going on.

yeah, just "prettier", but when it actually impedes gameplay, it's not just about pleasantries of scenery.

Better performance loosens up those former bottlenecks.  Also allows for things like better AI should the game dev's use it in their games, different but more resource hungry game engine mechanics.

It's like moving out of a cramped apartment into a luxurious loft where you can really spread out.

To keep with that analogy, say you had bad water in that apartment, rattling pipes so you get under the skink and tie rags around them, and an air conditioner that you had to kick to make it run right.

towards the end of a lifespan of a console, dev's have to do similar tricks to circumvent some of the limitations, compression of files, parts of the games on the cutting room floor, uber efficient coding, etc etc.

That's why the games appear to get better over the life of a console. Dev's learn all those tricks and shortcuts,(though some glaring flaws just have to be dealt with, it's not magic after all, and iirc, PS3 had some of that, good resources but difficult if not impossible to access correctly)

The new systems stand the possibility of being faster(accessing menus and shifting from one task to another, similar to computers "speed"  it amounts to less time for you sitting there waiting for it to do what you tell it).  The 360, after years and years of (needless)dashboard updates ran like old people fark.  The new consoles may not be lightning fast, especially right off, but it is usually an improvemen.  Last gen had the problem of adding in things like netflix and internet surfing and other plugin programs where the hardware wasn't really designed with them in mind, this hardware was.

So speed and stability, after the turbulent first few weeks of bug ironing, should be stellar.

If you're one of those people who doesn't feel a big difference between waiting on the microwave VS the stove, and didn't see much of a difference in HDTV's or even old tube sets, you probably don't need a new console, games will come out for current(old) gen for quite a while by all reports.

Me, I'm not getting one, I just sunk a bunch of money into a new PC.  Maybe in 6 months to a year when they're ironed out and in fine shape.
 
2013-11-19 06:05:04 PM  

Elegy: And I'm pretty sure that the retailers are making more than $18 a console.


Worked in retail back around the N64's launch, our profit was $7 for the list-price $200 console.  Margins are *tight* for the hardware, retailers push the stuff to make money on the games and especially accessories.
 
2013-11-19 06:19:26 PM  

GreenAdder: They're not making any money from me.

Because I'm broke. Damn it.


This and this again.

Couldn't afford a new generation console if I wanted one.
Not really interested in expensive upgrades.
Will stick with my new to me Xbox 360.
Got it on sale at a hock shop. (50$)
Used games in the 8$ to 15$ range.
Sometimes New games can be had at used game prices.
Depends on number in stock, how long it has been out, and whether the shop considers some profit better than no profit.
 
2013-11-19 06:20:48 PM  
southparkstudios.mtvnimages.com

They shouldn't have opted for a Brack Friday Bunduru!
 
2013-11-19 06:22:57 PM  
I think I will buy a PS4 when the next Naughty Dog game comes out.
 
2013-11-19 06:35:27 PM  
Where can I get a $28 blu-ray drive? I've had no real interest in blu-Ray, partly because of the cost but $28 is really cheap. Don't mention Newegg, I already looked there.
 
2013-11-19 06:35:46 PM  

un4gvn666: Nina_Hartley's_Ass: Seems like I see an xbone ad every commercial break and I'm not noticing the ps4 ads.

Because Xbox desperately wants you to buy their piece of shiat, while PS4 isn't too worried about them being successful.


People are so tribal about their consumer goods they actually believe this shiat?
 
ZAZ [TotalFark]
2013-11-19 06:39:10 PM  
Tobin_Lam

The part costs they are listing are probably bulk part costs to Sony.

Rule of thumb in manufacturing used to be a dollar worth of parts meant about five dollars retail price. Your distribution chain got half the list price. Your internal costs ate up half the rest.
 
2013-11-19 06:50:58 PM  
I don't understand how any console maker can be taking a loss. Why is their hardware so expensive? And making the case for the hardware costs a lot to mass produce? Just blows my mind that Sony and MS has to take a loss on every console sold.
 
2013-11-19 06:54:46 PM  

scottydoesntknow: Nina_Hartley's_Ass: Seems like I see an xbone ad every commercial break and I'm not noticing the ps4 ads.

Yea I noticed that too. And it kinda sucks because I've always been an Xbox person, but I've always thought that Playstation kicked the crap outta them when it came to commercials and advertising. I still think their "To Michael" commercial is one of the best gaming ones ever.


There's been plenty of ads, they're just not on TV right now.  They're mostly on the internet.

You have the For The Players Since 1995 ad.

You have the Perfect Day ad.

Then you have their Official Unboxing Video, which is a complete riff on the Daft Punk RAM album reveal, including using the exact same set.

Granted there's no new official commercials for a few weeks, but they sold a million consoles in 24 hours.  I have a feeling they have a few ready to go, and are just waiting for their sales to slow, or perhaps to steal a little of Microsoft's thunder in a few days.
 
2013-11-19 06:58:12 PM  

StopLurkListen: ManateeGag: they don't make shiat on consoles.  their money is in game sales.

Not sales per se ... they make money from the licensing of games that use their hardware. (Just making it clear that they make money from other companies developing games for the ps4, not just from selling the games that Sony themselves develop)

I don't even want to ask what a ps4 devkit costs, because I know I wouldn't be able to afford it.

Screw consoles, I'd rather develop for iPhones or Steam, the economics are way less brutal.


For indie developers

PS4 - $2,500
XBox One - free (two licenses)
iOE - $299 / yr and you have to develop on a Mac
 
2013-11-19 06:59:09 PM  

Nina_Hartley's_Ass: Seems like I see an xbone ad every commercial break and I'm not noticing the ps4 ads.


Guess where they saved $18/unit...
 
2013-11-19 07:05:26 PM  

InmanRoshi: un4gvn666: Nina_Hartley's_Ass: Seems like I see an xbone ad every commercial break and I'm not noticing the ps4 ads.

Because Xbox desperately wants you to buy their piece of shiat, while PS4 isn't too worried about them being successful.

People are so tribal about their consumer goods they actually believe this shiat?


It's not about being tribal, it's about the absolute PR ass kicking Microsoft took from the XB1 announcement onwards.  To their credit they dumped pretty much everything that was wrong with it(always on, used games, DRM, Kinect) but they took a LOT of damage in that time span.  After E3 Sony was outpacing MS on preorders by 2:1(at one point reported to be near 3:1), so a blitz of advertising is to be expected.
 
2013-11-19 07:05:38 PM  
I'm planning my next gaming PC right now (gotta be ready for Star Citizen), and some people are about to make a LOT more than $18 from me.

/whimper
//still worth it
 
2013-11-19 07:11:28 PM  
component cost  != system cost (component cost is factored into so many other budgets, it might as well be ignored)
system cost != revenue (if sold through retail)

as others have said, these companies make money off of software... they wouldn't be splooging on graphics if it didn't = people's wallets vomiting cash
 
2013-11-19 07:18:14 PM  

meanmutton: StopLurkListen: ManateeGag: they don't make shiat on consoles.  their money is in game sales.

Not sales per se ... they make money from the licensing of games that use their hardware. (Just making it clear that they make money from other companies developing games for the ps4, not just from selling the games that Sony themselves develop)

I don't even want to ask what a ps4 devkit costs, because I know I wouldn't be able to afford it.

Screw consoles, I'd rather develop for iPhones or Steam, the economics are way less brutal.

For indie developers

PS4 - $2,500
XBox One - free (two licenses)
iOE - $299 / yr and you have to develop on a Mac


The price you list is "list", but in reality you can get one free on loan assuming you can prove you are a legitimate game developer.  I'm not unsure of other qualifications that may be required.

http://www.gamespot.com/articles/sony-loaning-out-ps4-dev-kits-to-de ve lopers-free-of-charge-for-a-year/1100-6412084/
 
2013-11-19 07:21:21 PM  

Prevailing Wind: I seriously have no chance of making this purchase fly with my wife unless the kids are the primary focus.


And that right there is why I married a gamer.

Just this week we dropped $168 on Flying Frog's latest boardgame, on Kickstarter.
 
2013-11-19 07:21:31 PM  

ikanreed: What does this generation of consoles actually offer compared to last?  I mean better hardware provides a little better graphics, but was that really a stopping point for games last generation?

I'm familiar with the fact that you get to pay more per month to play online games than you did last generation(and why were we doing that, again?) and some DRM changes.  What do you actually get?


The big thing for me is integration with social networking and mobile devices.  It's still in its infancy, but as development improves, I expect you'll start seeing some pretty innovative games.  Imagine a Star Trek game where your phone is a tricorder, your tablet accesses the ship's computer, and motion sensing allows you to punch a Gorn.
 
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