We talk a bit about how both the 360 and PS3 reduce their manufacturing costs by introducing new technology. But what about the Wii? Well, of course, the Wii does the same thing.
It's just been less of an issue, that's all. People follow that kind of stuff with the 360 and especially the PS3 because they want those machines to be cheaper, while the Wii, well, it's been pretty cheap since it launched.
But in the years since then, as happens with every piece of consumer electronics, the cost to Nintendo to actually make the things has gone down. And if Credit Suisse analyst Koya Tabata is to be believed, it's gone down by around 45%.
Meaning that, if Tabata's numbers/sources are to be believed, it costs nearly half the price in 2009 that it did in 2006 to manufacture a Wii. Which, yes, nearly doubles the profits they make on every console sold (as shipping costs, etc remain the same). So even with a topsy-turvy Yen and declining sales in Japan, don't cry for Nintendo. They're still doing OK.
PS3 outstrips Wii in Japanese sales [Financial Times, thanks Jimmy!]