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Although the 3DS costs about 40 percent less than the Vita in Japan, House contends that the Sony device offers a “truly unique gaming experience” that will lure hardcore gamers as well as new gamers.

Both Sony and Nintendo are being challenged by the rise of smartphones and tablets, through which casual gamers can play inexpensive and simple games like the mega-hit “Angry Birds.”

House, however, said people will pay if it’s worth it.

“Clearly, if the experience merits it, I don’t think price is necessarily the barrier to entry,” he said, citing the $1 billion in sales racked up by the latest “Call of Duty” game by Activision Blizzard in just over two weeks. “The point is being able to give people a sense of value for money.”

House, a U.K. national, took over as president and CEO of Sony Computer Entertainment in September. He has worked at Sony Corp. for more than two decades.

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Follow Tomoko A. Hosaka at http://twitter.com/tomokohosaka