Xbox One Teardowns Are Complete, And The Results Aren’t Cheap


Just days ago All Things D reported on the PS4’s estimated worth, courtesy of info uncovered by the apparently quite destructive research firm IHS. This time around the expert dismantlers took a crack at the Xbox One, and though the results aren’t terribly shocking, IHS did mine some interesting tidbits about the cost of Microsoft’s newest box compared to Sony’s.

The long and short of it is that the Xbox One costs about $90 more to make than the PlayStation 4, with a total estimated cost of $471 on the part of Microsoft. As with Sony, this leaves little room if any for profit, and the likely scenario is that an Xbox One sale becomes profitable only after the successful vending of one or two games to go along with it. Also like the PS4, the most expensive component found within is the AMD microprocessor: an impressive all-in-one hybrid that squeezes a CPU and GPU on the face of a single chip. Though AMD’s contributions to each new box are very similar, IHS did note that the one housed inside the Xbox One is worth about $10 more. “They’re both very powerful chips,” said IHS analyst Andrew Rassweiler.

You can scour the original report yourself for the nitty gritty, but there are a few other standout points worth mentioning. The Kinect tacks on a hefty $75 to the in-the-box equation, and it remains to be seen whether that extra cost will prove a worthwhile risk for Microsoft. Sony’s own camera addon, the PlayStation Camera, is sold separately, and is presumably the reason the company was able to gain a price advantage over Microsoft in terms of MSRP. It’s also worth noting that while the PS4 uses high-end GDDR5 memory, the Xbox One contains slightly outdated DDR3. GDDR5 is an evolution of DDR3, not a new generation entirely, but it’s still better. Cynics will be quick to point out that both will soon be trumped by PCs again, anyway.

In terms of Microsoft’s long term chance at Xbox One profit, Rassweiler had the following to say.

Microsoft could eventually eke out a break-even scenario. But they’d probably use it as an opportunity to cut the retail price in hopes of selling more.

Sheesh. Gaming has to be the only market where massive companies willingly bleed money, knowing that they may never get it back. But hey, I’m not complaining.