Matt Ployhar of Intel has posted on their Software Blogs about how much money in royalties would be given to Microsoft, Sony, or Nintendo if Diablo 3 were published on a console platform. Activision-Blizzard along with a couple of other publishers recently pocket the difference — but unlike the consoles it is not an actual cost so the publishers can, and many do, lower their prices to the $50 point at launch. It really shows how expensive the seemingly cheaper console platforms really are.
So who would make a device for $805 to sell it for $499 after billions in research, development, and marketing?
Sony does and they get that money back from you in good time — subtly.
The perception of consoles being a cheaper gaming platform than the PC is just a perception. Over the lifespan of the platform you can pay less for a better experience with a somewhat larger upfront cost on the PC. You are paying a premium with the consoles to experience exclusive titles that are only exclusive because you allowed the platform to charge you to pay the publisher to make it exclusive. Imagine how that cost grows if you own multiple consoles?
But I find good value in paying extra so that others cannot play too.
Matt Ployhar of the Intel Software Blogs does a very rough calculation of how much Blizzard would have paid Microsoft, Sony, or Nintendo had their game been on a console platform. With 6.3 million units of Diablo 3 sold in the last two weeks and a typical royalty rate of $7-10 per game sale for console platforms the platform owner would take $44-63 million away from Blizzard.
This means that you would have been paying the platform owner $44-63 million to have Diablo 3 be placed on a platform which will be unsupported probably long before you finish with your game.
Blizzard has been selling Diablo 2 since the Nintendo 64 era. Consoles are paid to be disposable, the PC is not.