Nintendo 3DS could be hazardous for children under 6, company says

McClatchy-Tribune News Service

3DS video game system might be hazardous to the health of children
younger than 6, according to a warning posted Wednesday on the Japanese
video game company’s website.

“Vision of children under the age of 6 (is in) the developmental stage,” Nintendo’s warning said, according to a Google translation of the website. “Nintendo
3DS, 3-D, including 3-D movies and television, delivers 3-D images with
different left and right eye images,” which “has a potential impact on
the growth of children’s eyes.”

The 3DS is the gaming giant’s latest version of its
DS line of handheld video game consoles. The feature of the 3DS that
separates it from Nintendo’s
other DS systems: It can handle 3-D gaming and movies, displaying the
depth-adding effect without requiring users to wear 3-D glasses.

Although Nintendo
is advising that only the preschool crowd refrain from using the new
system’s 3-D feature, it also recommends in its note that all players —
children and adults — should take breaks from its glasses-free 3-D
gaming every 30 minutes, or whenever a user feels sick.

The 3DS will also have a “3-D volume” sliding button
that will let users tone down the level of depth of 3-D images, the
notice said.

It also said the 3DS would have a parental control
feature that could restrict the console’s screens to traditional 2-D
images. Games, movies and other media displayed in 2-D will be safe for
gamers younger than 6, the Nintendo warning said.

There is “enough for everyone to enjoy,” it said.

Nintendo is set to release the 3DS in Japan on Feb. 26 for about $300. The 3DS is to arrive in U.S. stores in March, the company has said; a price hasn’t yet been announced.

The 3DS isn’t Nintendo’s
first try at 3-D video games. In 1995 the company released the Virtual
Boy, which had two LED screens that displayed black and red 3-D effects
in a viewfinder-like device.

The Virtual Boy didn’t catch on. It was discontinued in 1996 and is one of Nintendo’s few console failures.


(c) 2010, Los Angeles Times.

Visit the Los Angeles Times on the Internet at

Distributed by McClatchy-Tribune Information Services.