It's an increasingly familiar story for new gaming hardware: Nintendo's Wii U will be sold at a loss in order to offer consumers a "reasonable" price for the console. Company president and CEO Satoru Iwata confirmed the news himself during the company's latest investor briefing (via Joystiq).
Nintendo learned its lesson following the 3DS launch earlier this year and then the subsequent price drop that saw the handheld selling below cost as well. The 3DS is now selling at a profit once again, though between the handheld's price drop and the positioning of the Wii U as a loss-leader, Nintendo was forced to reduce its profit forecast for the current fiscal year.
Iwata expects that the company's financial situation will be "revitalized" to show more "'Nintendo-like' profits" down the road, but it's going to take some time (and some amount of success with the Wii U, presumably).