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I'm confident that Nintendo thinks it's losing money on the Mini Consoles or else they would not make them in such a limited run.
The Club Nintendo Snes controller never sold below $30 a piece and they sold the SNES games for $8 on the Wii U Virtual Console. The SNES Mini has 21 games and two controllers, so that's a value of $230 without the console itself. Yet Nintendo sells the Mini for $80.

So there needs to be more to it than meets the eye here.
In my opinion the Mini consoles serve both as a marketing stunt and a test drive. They use the same family of CPU(ARMv7) as the Switch(ARMv8) so porting the emulators proven to be working on the Mini consoles to the Switch will be easy. Also with all the hype around them it is guaranteed that this will boost Virtual Console sales once it becomes available on the Switch. If everyone could get a Mini console no-one would need to buy Virtual Console games.

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Kickstarter: Next Gen N64 Controller · Gaming & General Nintendo 64 Discussion