Nintendo: 3D may be harmful to children's vision

Nintendo logoIn what may be an attempt to fend off any potential lawsuits, Nintendo on Wednesday took the unusual step of actually recommending parents to not buy its upcoming 3DS handheld system for their children if they are under the age of six.

The game manufacturer's reason was that children at this age are still in the "developmental stage" and exposure to 3D imagery may damage their vision. It also recommended that gamers of all ages take more frequent breaks when playing 3D games.

Nintendo had previously recommended players of its 2D system take breaks from gameplay every hour. Due to the fact that 3D imagery is more strenuous on the eye, Nintendo says gamers of any age should be taking breaks every half an hour to prevent eye strain.

No 3D glasses will be required in order to use the portable console, which uses an 800x240 specially formatted LCD screen to create the effect. The device will debut at Nintendo World 2011, taking place in Japan from January 8-10. Earlier statements from the company indicate the 3DS would launch in Japan in late February and internationally the following month.

Nintendo is not the first to warn about viewing 3D imagery for too long: Sony has also advised its customers against playing such games for extended periods of time and to take frequent breaks.

On its website, Sony warns that users may experience "discomfort" when watching 3D images, including nausea, headaches, and fatigue.

Some optometrists seem to question whether 3D imagery really may be damaging to children's vision, however. Dr. Michael Ehrenhaus of New York Cornea Consultants told that Nintendo and Sony's warnings may be a bit premature.

"It's hard to say that it'll ruin development," Ehrenhaus said. "I don't foresee it as a major issue."

Source: Betanews

Tags: 3D, Nintendo, Nintendo 3DS

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