Scytale wrote:This is true. I remember reading that console makers made a loss on consoles in order to make it up on games, which I think is a really good idea. Don't know how up to date that info is though. Apple at least doesn't have that luxury.
Generally for the first year or so console makers will sell the machines at a loss to encourage growth of the install base. It's hard to convince EA, Ubisoft, Activistion, etc, to invest millions upon millions of dollars in creating a a game that will run on new hardware, that very few people are likely to have. So they cut the price, to encourage people to buy the system, so that developers are encouraged to provide games, so that more people want to buy the new system, so that there are more people to buy the games... and the cycle continues. Generally, when the "slim" consoles, or even before that when the second set of SCU's come out (the bigger hard drive models or the bundles with the second batch of exclusive games), the manufacturing costs are much lower, economies of scale continue to kick in as manufacturing ramps up to meet increasing demand, and consoles are able to be sold for a profit. But typically, even when the consoles aren't being sold for a loss, most of Sony, Nintendo, and Microsoft's profit comes from peripherals, software, and (the true goldmine of the most recent batch of consoles) premium network services.
now, re: the rest of the thread...
All that said, I love both console gaming, and PC gaming, for VERY different reasons. For one, as a life long console gamer, there is something about sitting with friends on the couch and playing games. I also like not having to fidget with the system. It just works for the most part. I don't need to worry about the graphics card not being good enough to run the newest and best games out there. If the game is on the system, it will run. But I do love RTS and turn-based strategy games which are really only available on PC, and the general flexibility that a PC offers. My PC has fallen by the wayside over the past couple years, but when I get a cash influx, building a new rig will be at the top of my to-do list. In the meantime, console gaming is a low-cost way to stay in gaming that offers very good quality for a very low price compared to the minimum entry fee for PC gaming.
I think the take-away from this whole thread is that it's a moot point trying to compare a PS4 and a relatively cheap PC. The actual argument in the thread wasn't "you actually CAN get a cheap PC that will compete with a PS4
" but rather "I'd rather have a PC than a PS4
" which is really neither here nor there. If you want a PC, get a PC. Console gaming is it's own thing.