Originally Posted by extralife
they are not "somewhat similar." they are the exact same.
as for the "tradition" of selling at a loss, it's a fairly new tradition. Nintendo has never sold at a loss, for instance. I have read well founded speculation that neither Sony nor MS plan on selling at a loss this go round, but I'd have to go find links to back it up. the parts they are using are all essentially off the shelf. given bulk manufacturing discounts and all that, it is not hard to imagine a scenario in which a $400-$500 Xbone makes MS money. they lost an extraordinary amount of money brute forcing their way into the console business with the original Xbox. everyone involved in that original effort has either been fired or moved on. I don't think they are interesting in maintaining that kind of effort, especially now that they are hedging their bet with a TV wonderbox.
Okay. You win, clearly 6 years of the most intelligent engineers in the world working away on details should be attributed to "the exact same" because they had a similar starting point and budget.
And on the note of selling at a loss, you're flat out wrong, the math is simple: target price point is still similar to last gen and yet the power consumption has gone up. In CE products this indicates an increase in the ambitiousness of the underlying technology relative to the time.