3DS could damage children's eyes, warns Nintendo

Posted by Emma Woollacott

Nintendo is warning that children under six years old shouldn't use its upcoming 3DS in 3D mode.

In an advisory posted on its website, it says that because the system delivers different images to the left and right eyes, there's a danger that young children's eyesight could be affected. Their vision is still developing, it says.

The 3DS, due to launch in March, has a 3.53 inch autostereoscopic screen with 800 x 240 resolution to deliver the 3D effect. It does, though, have a special slider to decrease or disable 3D.

Nintendo says parents should monitor use and make sure that under-sixes use the device only in 2D mode - it reckons there's 'still enough to enjoy'.

But young children form a large part of the potential market for the device - and many already have a DS or DSi and therefore only want the 3DS for its 3D capabilities. Tthe warning could impact sales if parents take it seriously.

It's by no means the first warning about the possible health hazards of 3D. Experts have warned that it can cause vision fatigue, and Samsung has issued a similar warning about the possible health hazards of watching its own 3D televisions, which apparently incude epileptic seizures and strokes.

It, too, suggests that young children are particularly at risk.

Adults also need to be careful when playing the 3DS, says Nintendo. It says that people who wear glasses should also stick to the 2D mode, and recommends that all players should take a break every 30 minutes.