I'm not going to provide any commentary here. I'm just going to quote a few snippets from this presentation about the Xbox One console:
"The game console is probably the most physically attacked device in human history."
"Even though every one of those systems was built to be resilient against physical attacks, every one got broken."
"The two main business goals [of Xbox are]:
- Prevent Piracy of games/apps
- Prevent cheating on Xbox LIVE"
"We have to do this against the Xbox owner, wanting to attack his own box."
"Turns out, the problem is quite different. The PC owner is a good guy. He's working with us to prevent his PC from being attacked. [...] Microsoft [...] is working with the PC owner to fight the bad guys.
On the Xbox, the owner is the attacker. The customer who goes to the store to buy the Xbox."
Some Commentary (I lied):
Tony Chen suggests the Sega Dreamcast was a business failure due to piracy. This is the first I'm hearing of it. The Darknet Diaries episode linked below discusses why this is unlikely to be the case.
Here's what Peter Moore, ex-head of the US branch of America, who was at the helm of the Dreamcast, had to say about its decline:
"We had a tremendous 18 months. Dreamcast was on fire – we really thought that we could do it."
"We were selling 50,000 units a day, then 60,000, then 100,000, but it was just not going to be enough to get the critical mass to take on the launch of PS2. It was a big stakes game."
You would think that, if Peter Moore believed piracy was the main cause of the Dreamcast's failure, he would talk about it, not draw comparisons to the PS2's unit sales. It's possible game sales were lower due to the redistribution of games, and that this contributed to the Dreamcast's decline, but you still needed a Dreamcast to play these games. The Dreamcast failed due to low unit sales, not game sales.
Even if you had the game files, you needed a Dreamcast emulator to play them on if you didn't own a Dreamcast. The oldest Dreamcast emulator I could find was Chankast, and the alpha 0.1 release was first distributed on May 29th, 2004, long after Sega pulled out of the Dreamcast. It was also apparently "the first Dreamcast emulator ever to play commercial games at a decent speed."
Do you know what was available at the time? The Bleem! emulator, which allowed you to play Playstation discs on your Dreamcast console. Sounds like that could have eaten into Playstation's market share. You wouldn't even need to buy two consoles; just the Dreamcast.