Though Microsoft did net a ton of cash off of Xbox Live membership fees.
In a recent episode of Pach-Attack, Wedbush Securities analyst Michael Pachter stated that both Microsoft and Sony “probably barely made money” on sales for the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 respectively.
“I think Microsoft and Sony probably barely made money on their console sales at 75 million [units sold]. But Microsoft made a ton of money on software and a ton of money on Xbox Live.”
Considering that PlayStation Network was free for people to play multiplayer on (which will change on the PlayStation 4) and Xbox Live Gold charged users $59.99 a year for its services, we don’t dispute the second statement. The first statement could also be fairly accurate however – Sony didn’t break even on its PS3 console for a very long time and took several years to even get to the point where it could be called successful.
The Xbox 360, on the other hand, struggled with issues regarding the infamous “Red Ring of Death”, not to mention the abortive HD-DVD Player. But barely any profit at all? At least Pachter added “probably” so there’s always room for doubt.