We know that the PS3 is an expensive system to make. Sony lost hundreds of dollars on each system sold, as the technology offered in Sony's home console is far more expensive than what it sells for in retail stores. Even now, over a year after the launch of PS3, Sony continues to lose money on each system. While Sony internal data suggests that the loss is $130 per system, a closer look by The Guardian shows that it may be much more.
"On Sony's own figures, the games division made a loss of $130 for each PlayStation 3 shipped. Let's assume that it's making pots of money on the PSP and the PlayStation 2: the PS2 is now hugely profitable and still sells more games than anything else. These two platforms could easily have made a profit of $1.2bn in the year. In that case, the total PS3 loss would have been $2.4bn shared between 9.24m PS3 consoles, or $260 per PS3 -- including any attached Sony games."
While this is deduced from anecdotal evidence, it's clear that Sony is still losing quite a bit of money on each system sold. Perhaps it really is wise to forgo getting a large install base for now ... until Sony can reduce the costs of manufacturing even further.