Sony will initially lose around 5,000 yen (£39.90) on every PS Vita unit sold.
That's according to estimates by SMBC Nikko Securities analyst Kazuharu Miura, who told Bloomberg (via Andriasang) that the figure is likely to fall to 2,500 yen per system in the fiscal year ending March 2013.
Miura expects Sony to sell 2.5 million PS Vita hardware units and seven million Vita games by the end of the current fiscal year in March 2012, and 8.5 million hardware units and 28 million software units the following year.
PlayStation boss and Sony second in command Kaz Hirai said in June the company expects Vita to turn a profit in under three years.
Sony said earlier this month that Vita will launch in Japan this year and in US and Europe in 2012. When it does launch in the UK, Vita will set you back £229 for the Wi-Fi model and £279 for the 3G version.