Linked by Thom Holwerda on Sat 6th Jul 2013 11:52 UTC
Games "People who don't play video games would be forgiven if they turned on an Xbox 360 and didn't realize it was a device used to primarily play games. The first screen you see on the Xbox 360 Dashboard is often a mixture of ads for all sorts of goods and services, and many times games are in the minority of ad slots. The latest redesign increased the ad space that can be sold to advertisers, and that in turn increased this problem. Let's be clear, it is a problem. Game discovery is terrible in the current design of Xbox Live, and the usability of a system that used to be about games is suffering in order for Microsoft to make money on ads." Written a year ago by Ben Kuchera for Penny Arcade. In light of increased advertising efforts in Windows 8.1, this has become relevant once more. In a nutshell, do not count on Microsoft being able to strike a proper balance (thanks, Soulbender!).
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Selling consoles at a loss wasn't at all typical until the X-Box came out. Sony also dropped the price of the PS2 and started taking a loss to compete with the X-Box, but it was profitable before that.

Prior to the X-Box, The PS2 was sold at a profit, as was the PSX, and Nintendo has always and continues to sell their systems profitably. Sega, too, at least before the final days of the Dreamcast, when they dropped the price to $99 in a last-ditch effort to move some consoles.

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