If your complex systems were made in the same quantities as XBOX's or PS's, you'd be spending a whole lot more. The economies of failure when distributing massive amount of product dictate it.
To me, $100M is a pittance compared to what MS makes with these toys. MS has a money making machine in XBOX Live, which fleeces us parents at the touch of a button for $10-$60 a shot for new games. These toys are also movie players, and you can find the latest out on video for a dollar or so less than competitive services, so both parents and kids are dropping from $5 to $15 a weekend for movies. There are more services also, such as recorded TV shows and music.
I agree with you Cadman-LT, I think the new systems are geared not only for adults but for college students as well, considering you can stream almost every TV/movie app known, it's great for dorm life.
@Nancy- Point well taken and food for thought. Here's a few comments and "thought exercises" for you:
You mention Bill Gates' philanthropy...where did his money come from? Although his upbringing was pretty fortunate, he wasn't born with billion$. Earlier Xbox platforms, games, and subscriptions helped contribute to it.
$100 million is expected box office on a reasonably successful movie. We have the individual choice to see a movie or donate the money to charity instead...perhaps you've made that very choice (truly good if you have), but if you've gone to the theter it seems to conflict with your "incomprehensible" comment.
I'm too lazy to research Xbox sales volumes. Assuming sales volume of 20 million units (probably a low estimate), that's $5 per unit for total development costs. Not a huge number in that context. $100 million just for DVT and testing alone might be a good investment given the warranty costs and bad publicity that earlier generation Xbox failures caused Microsoft.
My son's summer intern project involved interfacing a Kinect (gesture input camera for Xbox) with a Roomba vacuum base. The project is a rescue robot that will autonomously go into disaster scenes and map out the wreckage and locate possible survivors. Entertainment devices and household appliances can lead to social benefits not envisioned by the developers.
@cadman, I am certain that the new XBOX does indeed provide all of those functions, which are all personal entertainment related, with none of them being vital or even that important. So while I am not deriding the product, it is still a toy. Remember that old ditty from quite a few years back? " The primary difference between men and boys is most easily seen in the price of their toys"? A whole lot of things fit into the toy catagory, and a lot of manufacturers have figured that out. So toys represent a larger portion of our expenditures, and may even be a more recession resistant market sector.
This might be out there, but I am not sure that they even design for kids anymore. IMO they are designing for us 30-40 yr olds who grew up gaming and still do and can afford to buy something worthwhile. We rent netflix, hulu, all that, so they build that in, we have HD tvs, we buy rokus, apple tv, stream everything...it's for us that do that. I doubt they build it with kids in mind so much anymore. Just my opinion. It's something the entire family can enjoy, not just a toy for kids.
William K, I don't classify these new systems as toys. Sure back in the day PS1 N64, those were toys. These new consoles are far beyond "toys". They are sophisticated media centers for most households. Not toys anymore!
It does provide more than games for sure. Selling XBOX live subscriptions alone will make a lot of money, and this thing is built around that. You're supposed to use Netflix thru it and everything else, so it turns any tv into a smart tv really. That is a selling point as well I think. No need for an add-on tv box, this will do the same.
While this is an expensive toy it is also likely that they will make money on it one way or another. ms is always making certain that they will make money on their products, even the ones full of bugs. And it is undoubtedly an incredibly powerful system optimized for some gaming functions. Not being a gamer I am not cerain just what matters the most, but I am certain that the video is impressive by any standard, and quite likely the communications speeds as well. And like a lot of their products, we will undoubtedly learn that there are some hidden features and functions that will be revealed at a later time.
Thanks for showing us what is inside, otherwise it would have been quite a while before I got to open up a nonfunctional unit.
Focus on Fundamentals consists of 45-minute on-line classes that cover a host of technologies. You learn without leaving the comfort of your desk. All classes are taught by subject-matter experts and all are archived. So if you can't attend live, attend at your convenience.