Though the Wii U is technically a loss-making console for Nintendo, it appears that the margins are incredibly tight.
Speaking to Mercury News, Nintendo Of America boss Reggie Fils-Aime stated that a single software purchase is enough to push loss into profit.
“As soon as we get the consumer to buy one piece of software, then that entire transaction becomes profit positive," he said. “In the end, the business model is still to drive the install base of hardware, and then to drive a strong tie ratio with all of the other software and experiences for the consumer. And if we’re able to do that, then we will create significant profit for the company.”
High manufacturing costs associated with the complex peripheral lead to Nintendo making their first ever loss leader, but considering the relatively high price of games, it's likely that they'll recoup fairly quickly.
The Wii U releases in Europe on November 30th.