I was under the impression that all the games consoles were sold at a loss just as most printers are sold at a loss and mobile phones are given away for free.
While this is true of some consoles in their early days (especially ones based on state-of-the-art technology that companies know will come down in price when enough have been sold), it's nowhere near as universal as many people think.
Generally, such consoles move towards profitability- in their own right- later on. And some companies- like Nintendo- have had a reputation for selling at a profit from day one, which makes their planned loss on early Wii U consoles
all the more unusual.
Of course, I assume that licensing costs from console games are also taken into account when calculating the total profit associated with the project.