The PlayStation 4 Will Be Sold At A Loss
The plan for these consoles is and always has been to sell them at a loss. If your gaming unit has been losing money and your entire argument is you’ll make it up in software, your investors may not have the stomach for it, especially if the larger company is in trouble.
Well, Apple, Google, Linux, Vizio, OnLive, Steam, Origin, Ouya, but especially Apple.
Leaving aside the iOS problem, here’s a useful analogy. If the video game industry is Batman, Apple has the potential to be Bane, except instead of breaking the industry’s back and leaving it at that, Apple would also squash the head and burn the corpse before finding the Batcave, chucking Alfred down it, and filling the whole thing with cement. Which then explodes.
Laugh all you want: they’ve already done this. Twice. The music industry is broken to their will and currently American cell providers are breaking themselves to get at the iPhone… which is driving them out of business. Apple might actually own AT&T by the end of the decade.
The only thing saving the gaming industry right now is that Apple is a closed system and doesn’t care about gaming. There is no iOS Ouya in the works.
But the giant waking up is frankly only a matter of time. Apple can no more ignore the next wave of smart TVs and streaming boxes than Sony can. Streaming games is a key part of these boxes. And unlike Sony, Apple can rouse huge desire for its products and has way more money to throw at it.
Microsoft is used to fighting Apple and you’ll notice they’re bracing for it with SmartGlass and the Surface. Sony, though, has no weapons and now that it owns Gaikai, making a dedicated gaming machine may be less compelling if you can just work your gaming into your TVs as a feature. Why pick a fight with a company that outgrosses you when you can just quit while you’re ahead and stop eating those quarterly losses?
What do you think? Can the PlayStation survive?