Surprised no-one has mentioned the PS3 and PS4 when considering Sony's current situation.
I'm not a gamer, but from what I understand, Sony spent a *horrendous* amount of money developing the PS3 (and in particular the cell processor), then much more on top of that subsidising the early units to the tune of $3 billion
, which is quite something considering they were notoriously expensive to start off with.
Despite having caught up with the XBox 360 after a slow start, the PS3 having not been sold at a loss for some time and (IIRC) the PS3 division now being profitable, this story
confirms that Sony are unlikely to make back the massive amount of money sunk into the format over its lifetime.
So despite having sold (what is now) a massive-selling and popular console, they're still taking a loss on it. It's absolutely no surprise that the PS4 is based on relatively off-the-shelf hardware and not as revolutionary as its predecessor- they just couldn't afford to repeat that again. Particularly not in the current economy.
(Besides which, the hyped cell processor which might- on paper- have been a big deal apparently turned out to be a drawback, as everyone claimed it was hard to develop for).
Feel free to add more if you're a gamer, or there are any egregious mistakes in that lot.