Here's an interesting bit of trivia to toss out at your next social function: According to industry veteran Dave Perry, Sony has lost more money selling the PlayStation 3 than it made selling the PlayStation 2.
Perry, best known as the founder of Shiny Entertainment, made the statement at the Games Convention Developers Conference today, citing statistics gathered by DFC Intelligence. According to those numbers, Sony has blown more cash selling the PlayStation 3 at a loss than it made during the five peak years of PlayStation 2 sales, a figure some estimates put as high as $3 billion.
It's a staggering amount in some respects, but Perry pointed out that it represents a tremendous level of investment in the system that could extend the console's lifespan beyond even that of the still-kicking PlayStation 2. While DFC has predicted the Wii will be the "winner" of the current console wars, due largely to the fact that Nintendo has been able to sell the unit at a profit since it launched, the long-term potential of the PlayStation 3 could prove even more lucrative. If Sony is able to live up to its claims of a ten-year lifespan for the unit, it could very well end up recovering those losses, and maybe even make a few bucks on the thing before it's all over.
Perry didn't quote specific figures for the Xbox 360, but according to 1Up, the number is likely to be at least as great and quite possibly even higher, given that Microsoft had to eat $1 billion as a result of the Red Ring of Death fiasco. Making matters worse, the company had already choked down $4 billion on the original Xbox, and even with a war chest the size of Microsoft's, one $4 billion loss after another has to hurt.