The Vita has been getting a good reception at E3, but could face an uphill battle in the fight to win over consumers. Like the Nintendo 3DS, it's a dedicated gaming system, a field that has been particularly affected by the success of the Apple iPhone.
While the system hardware is comparably priced, games for the Vita are expected to fall in the industry range of $30-$40, significantly higher than the $5 and less most apps cost.
Nintendo president Satoru Iwata lashed out at the model earlier this year, saying "Until now, there has always been the ability to make a living (making games). Will that still be the case moving forward?"
Tretton says he's not quite as concerned about the situation – noting that quality typically wins out, even when it costs more.
"If I open a movie theater next door [to a theater] and start charging 50 cents per ticket, but I'm showing you things I filmed with my camcorder, I don't think it's a threat to the theater charging $13 per ticket," he says. "It's about people having reasonable expectations. I don't think we're training people to pay $5 for games. … The cream always rises to the top."
As for competition from Apple (as well as free social network games), Tretton says he believes the debate over their impact on the gaming audience has been focused on the wrong issues.
"For every consumer you lose to a table or smart phone, there are three consumers that became interested in gaming in a simple form," he says. "And those people might be able to be migrated into a sophisticated gamer. … We look at that as being the opposite of a threat, but an opportunity."