Everyone knows that since its inception, Microsoft's Xbox has been a money-loser. The argument always was that sales of the box would drive sales of Microsoft's own game titles as well as hefty licensing fees from third-party publishers.
Forbes says that the Xbox division has lost $4 billion since 2001. Four. Billion. Dollars.
That's a lot of money, even for Microsoft, which Forbes also says has a war chest of $40 billion in cash.
Just before Thanksgiving, Microsoft will launch its next-generation console, the Xbox 360. The early word is that the 360 will also start its life as a loss leader, though Redmond insists the new box will soon be a moneymaker.
Either way, it's got a long way to go to get back to even, and though Microsoft is a rich company, it surely doesn't want the Xbox 360 known as an albatross around its dividend-paying neck.