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Wii U profitable with just one game sale, Nintendo reveals

Suggests loss per console little more than a tenner.

Nintendo will make money on your Wii U purchase as soon as a you buy your first game, the company has revealed.

"As soon as we get the consumer to buy one piece of software, then that entire transaction becomes profit positive," Nintendo of America boss Reggie Fils-Aime told Mercury News.

Nintendo usually prices its consoles to make a profit on the hardware itself. The Wii U has bucked that trend and will be sold at a loss, although some informed estimates suggest not by much.

Platform holders such as Nintendo do not disclose how much money they make on third-party game sales, although royalties are usually between 20 and 30 per cent.

That means Nintendo would take up to £12 (30 per cent) of a £40 game sale, suggesting the Wii U is losing less money than this per console sold.

It's a safe bet that most customers will buy a retail game with their console (this includes those who buy their console in a more expensive Premium pack containing Nintendo Land or ZombiU). This means that the Wii U is, in the vast majority of purchases, profitable at launch.

"In the end, the business model is still to drive the install base of hardware," Fils-Aime concluded. "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."

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