It is a well-known fact that to keep the prices of consoles competitive companies will sell them at a loss and make up the difference using other alternatives, usually through software. And it normally takes time before companies start seeing a profit. Sony believes it will make up the losses at the launch of the PS4 as the average customer will buy a PlayStation Plus subscription and a game.
Sony Japan executive Masayasu Ito spoke to Eurogamer with the news. It is believed that the PS4 has a $60 loss built in – a lot lower than the sale loss of the PS3 at launch – though he this denied specifically because they think most gamers will also get a PlayStation Plus subscription and a launch title. A launch title would have been given in previous generations, but with consoles now being media centers as well, it is not a guarantee though likely. And of course to play multiplayer games one would need a PlayStation Plus subscription giving added incentive to sign up.
Ito would not comment on whether they would need to sell more than one launch game in order to make a profit. But even if players only buy the console it is easy to see that Sony will make up the difference much faster than they did with the PS3.