One trend among console manufacturers the past few years has been that upon release of the console, significant losses affect the company producing them, since the cost of the console far outweighs the cost it is sold for. This was true for the Xbox, PS2, Xbox360 and others, and will be true for the PS3. Nintendo, however, is singing a bit of a different tune. They are saying that even if there is a loss when selling the Wii, it will be minimal at worst. That leaves potential for the Wii to engage in price wars better in the future, and leaves Nintendo with more revenue ultimately to support game development of the console. Unlike Sony, who is expected to have nearly $900 Million lost to the PS3, Nintendo is confident in the cost of the Wii:
"It is a strange notion that a game console always leads to mounting losses in the beginning," Nintendo President Satoru Iwata told a news conference. "We can't promise we won't even have a one yen loss, but we are not expecting an enormous loss."
While the relevance of of the Wii not costing as much as other consoles is debatable when it comes to users actually playing games, this is a good thing for consumers as ultimately it means should Nintendo reach their expected sales goals, we're left with a company in strong standing to produce good things to use on the Wii.