Feeds

Xbox 360 costs third more to make than it sells for

And that's just the price of the parts

The Essential Guide to IT Transformation

It's widely believed that games console makers sell their hardware at a loss in order to get the retail price down to a level they believe consumers will be willing to pay, but any doubters must surely be convinced by market watcher iSuppli's attempt to strip down the Xbox 360 to find out how much its components cost.

According to the company's report, the top-of-the-range, hard drive-equipped Xbox 360 costs Microsoft at least $525 in parts alone. That's already $126 more than the retail price before the cost of assembly, packaging, distribution and marketing are added to the box-cost, and the retailers' cut is deducted from the price tag.

The big winners are IBM and ATI, whose products together account for 47.1 per cent of the Xbox 360's bill of materials (BOM), iSuppli estimates. IBM is supplying the console's 3.2GHz three-core PowerPC processor, which iSuppli claims costs Microsoft $106 a pop - 20.2 per cent of the cost of the console's complement of components. ATI's share is higher - 26.9 per cent - which it gains from its $141 R500 GPU, though it has to pay NEC some of that for the embedded DRAM it uses.

The next largest cost is the 512MB of Samsung DDR SDRAM ($65, or 12.4 per cent of the BOM), followed by the 20GB hard disk (10.4 per cent). You can see the full breakdown here.

iSuppli estimates that rising yields of the various chips used in the Xbox 360 will drive down costs going forward. But even if they don't, Microsoft almost certainly doesn't expect to make money on the console, passing lower costs on to the consumer by reducing the price of the console. Instead, it will be looking to recoup its hardware losses through software licensing royalties and the sale of its own Xbox 360 games. ®

Build a business case: developing custom apps

More from The Register

next story
4K video on terrestrial TV? Not if the WRC shares frequencies to mobiles
Have your say with Ofcom now, before Freeview becomes Feeview
iPad? More like iFAD: We reveal why Apple fell into IBM's arms
But never fear fanbois, you're still lapping up iPhones, Macs
Sonos AXES support for Apple's iOS4 and 5
Want to use your iThing? You can't - it's too old
You didn't get the MeMO? Asus Pad 7 Android tab is ... not bad
Really, er, stands out among cheapie 7-inchers
Apple winks at parents: C'mon, get your kid a tweaked Macbook Pro
Cheapest models given new processors, more RAM
Leaked Windows Phone 8.1 Update specs tease details of Nokia's next mobes
New screen sizes, dual SIMs, voice over LTE, and more
YES, iPhones ARE getting slower with each new release of iOS
Old hardware doesn't get any faster with new software
prev story

Whitepapers

Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Boost IT visibility and business value
How building a great service catalog relieves pressure points and demonstrates the value of IT service management.
Why and how to choose the right cloud vendor
The benefits of cloud-based storage in your processes. Eliminate onsite, disk-based backup and archiving in favor of cloud-based data protection.
The Essential Guide to IT Transformation
ServiceNow discusses three IT transformations that can help CIO's automate IT services to transform IT and the enterprise.
Maximize storage efficiency across the enterprise
The HP StoreOnce backup solution offers highly flexible, centrally managed, and highly efficient data protection for any enterprise.