^I suspect that the console manufactures expect to make a lose on the console itself, and make a profit from the games. The trick is to minimise that lose.
Is there also areas which favour one console over another as a proportion of overall sales.
Selling consoles at a loss, if it is done at all, is generally only expected for the first year or two of the console's lifespan. Beyond that, they do expect there to be a profit on each unit, as the manufacturing becomes more streamlined and components become cheaper.
The PS3 itself
began making a profit after 4 years--a bit longer than usual. But I think you can primarily blame that on the initial sluggish sales, and the extra expenses of the proprietary architecture and BR player.