Microsoft's Xbox Hole Just Got $1 Billion Deeper

from the any-day-now dept

Microsoft’s Xbox unit has yet to turn a profit, but the company keeps insisting that profitability is just around the corner. That goal may have to wait a little bit longer, as the company has announced that it will take a $1.05-$1.15 Billion charge to cover certain manufacturing defects and the cost of giving consumers an extended warranty. The company is, of course, used to fixing products after they’ve been released, but repairing a manufacturing defect isn’t quite as easy as pushing out a patch to cover a software bug. The company still claims that it the Xbox unit will hit its goal of achieving profitability by 2008, although it’s hard to put much faith in that promise. Manufacturing issues notwithstanding, the broader industry picture is probably not how Microsoft imagined it when it first threw its hat into the ring. Far from achieving a comfortable duopoly with Sony, the two companies have badly bloodied themselves, while an unexpectedly resurgent Nintendo not only grabs significant market share, but makes money while doing it.


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Comments on “Microsoft's Xbox Hole Just Got $1 Billion Deeper”

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26 Comments
Sohrab says:

I myself am 3 Xbox 360’s into this thing and I know almost all of my friends are in their second unit. Makes me think of an earlier report that almost 30%, if not higher of the 360’s have been returned and this makes me think, if their goal is 12 million by 2007? Isnt atleast 3 million of those units for people who had to buy them all over?

Jobeesh says:

Not the whole story

While nobody will argue that the PS3 will be profitable for at least a few years, the 360 and Wii profitability comparison goes much deeper than the sales of a console. Console profitability is about revenue attach rate which means, while the console may lose money, the games and accessories are all revenue and how much revenue, on average, each console makes is the revenue attach rate. This makes comparing the Wii and 360’s “money making” much more difficult to judge. Between controllers, xbox live subscriptions, downloadable games and videos, and other content, both the 360 and the Wii are making money in many different places.

Vernon Jettlund says:

Re: Not the whole story

While true, you cannot discount Nintendo’s “attach revenue” because the system makes money on ALL sales – consoles, games, controllers, all of it. It also has a subscription service, and the popular card – it is “the thing”, and is not haunted by the same issues its competion can’t seem to shake off.

I have sony stock and i can't go to sleep says:

Re: Not the whole story

Wait are you saying that PS3 doesn’t have any complimentary products? what are you talking about? All consoles are sold at a loss. well okay, i’m not 100% sure about the Wii but then again, they practiced the destruction model to blow the other competition out of the water and they’ve succeeded. Now its all about sustaining the console with quality games. Nintendo, Sony and windows are looking to make up the loss of selling each console with the sales of accessories, games and licensing. get your facts straight.

Anonymous Coward says:

that is why i like the pc game market. no console wars no vendor lockin. just what company can publish the best softare(games) to win over my intrest. yeah i know pc games hardware isn’t as complex as consoles because you have to run an OS on top of it rather than the striped down OS of game consoles but still I would much prefer them expand into this market way more. mainly cause i can play them on my laptop virtually anywhere anytime not restricted to being in front of my tv. just my two cents.

Christina says:

Re: Anonymous Coward

“no console wars”: PC with Windows versus PC with Linux versus Mac, and all the accompanying legal battles and FUD, sound familiar?

“no vendor lockin”: So if I buy a Mac or install Linux I can still totally run all the new games, right?

Also, PC hardware is more, not less, complex to write for, because it’s less predictable: There are dozens (at least!) of different graphics card/sound card/processor/memory combinations that any given PC gamer might be running, and that’s just hardware compatibility.

ehrichweiss says:

Re: Re: Anonymous Coward

“Also, PC hardware is more, not less, complex to write for, because it’s less predictable: There are dozens (at least!) of different graphics card/sound card/processor/memory combinations that any given PC gamer might be running, and that’s just hardware compatibility.”

So I guess all that OpenGL and DirectX stuff is useless then, huh? You’re talking about drivers, not game programming. There’s this thing, in almost every operating system, called hardware abstraction. It makes it so that we don’t have to program the interrupts, etc. when writing to a hard drive, or reading the keyboard/mouse.

Shalkar says:

The Breakdown

The PS3 console in all forms is a lose when they sell it. They have to make up the money on sells of everything else for it. The Xbox 360 and the Wii consoels both make profit when the sell. The Xbox 360 console makes a minimal profit of about $36. Nothing really big considering the overall cost. The Wii console makes a bit more money off of sells.

Overall though, the big money for them is in things like accessories and games. Without those two, there wouldn’t really be any money. Until this current generation, no console was sold for a profit. Even now though, it’s really just a minimal profit.

As for, “Does this mean I get another year on my warranty?”: Yes. From the date of purchase you have three years. Albight, to be honest I’m not sure if it’s three years from the date of purchase or the date of manufacture. Probably the latter. Just to be safe. ;P

Anonymous Coward says:

So if I buy a Mac or install Linux I can still totally run all the new games, right?

Sure, just reboot into Windows.

There are dozens (at least!) of different graphics card/sound card/processor/memory combinations that any given PC gamer might be running, and that’s just hardware compatibility.

Game programmers haven’t had to code for specific hardware since the days of DOS. Modern Windows systems have what is called a hardware abstraction layer that programmers code to. Look up Direct X.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re:

>>Game programmers haven’t had to code for specific hardware since the days of DOS. Modern Windows systems have what is called a hardware abstraction layer that programmers code to. Look up Direct X.

Yea, look up video card compatibilities for new games. the list doesn’t exist for no reason.

Doug Robb (profile) says:

Xbox is a strategic market play not a Games Conso

I think to look at the Xbox as a games console alone is a mistake. Microsoft – like Apple – can leverage their existing enterprises onto the emerging media/Internet/Phone/Video/Advertising convergence. The Xbox as a wireles media centre and hub for various on-line services is a model that may position them to far greater riches than worrying about recovering the cost of a box!

Just think of the identity management side alone and see the leverage there. Because it’s already connected to your home theatre or whatever this is a far better fit to the consumer market than any PC alternative. A door to every lounge room – you don’t have to think too hard about what this will be worth to any company!

Like the phone company’s give away the hardware and make money from the services.

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