Nintendo Says Children Shouldn't Use 3DS Console
Just days after making the Nintendo 3DS handheld console official at the E3 gaming conference, Nintendo has revealed they aren't sure of just how safe it is for young children.
The Nintendo 3DS is the first handheld gaming console to include a 3-D screen , and one of very few devices, prototype or otherwise, that doesn't require glasses to view content in 3-D. It has the same two-screen form factor of previous Nintendo DS handhelds, but the top screen is larger (3.5 inches) and displays 3D content to the naked eye.
It was easily one of the biggest attractions at E3 , with hours-long lines to use the device every day of the conference.
Now gaming site Kotaku is reporting that Nintendo of America president Reggie Fils-Aime is warning against some players using the device.
Fils-Aime said there were "no health issues," but the company advises against young children using the device.
"We are working with the experts in the field. We've done extensive testing. We have a legacy of bringing only the best and finest products to the marketplace," Fils-Aime told Kotaku.
The comments came up in response to questions about 3-D content causing headaches for some users. While Nintendo has not made any official statements warning away young users, the company is still looking into the matter further.
"We will recommend that very young children not look at 3-D images ," Fils-Aime said. "That's because, [in] young children, the muscles for the eyes are not fully formed ... This is the same messaging that the industry is putting out with 3-D movies, so it is a standard protocol. We have the same type of messaging for the [1990s Nintendo virtual reality machine] Virtual Boy, as an example."
Fils-Aime clarified that age seven was the approximate cut-off date for this warning.
This is certainly an interesting problem for a device that appeals to such a wide age group. There are many games specifically aimed at ages 5-10, and some children younger than that enjoy the device.
The 3DS will still be playable for any age thanks to the 3-D slider switch on the right side of the device. It allows players to adjust the depth of 3-D content however they choose, and sliding the switch all the way down turns the content into standard 2-D. Parents with young children should be sure to keep the 3-D slider set to 2-D.