December 30, 2010

Kids Under 6 Shouldn’t Play 3D Games, Warns Nintendo

Young children should not play 3D video games on the upcoming Nintendo 3DS portable entertainment system, the company's Japanese division announced Thursday.

The disclaimer was posted on Nintendo's Japanese-language website, where the company said that only those over the age of six would be allowed to try out the 3DS's three-dimensional content during its upcoming Nintendo World promotional event. Those under the age threshold will only be permitted to play featured games in standard two-dimensional mode.

"For children under the age of six, looking at 3-D images for a long time could possibly have a negative impact on the growth of their eyes," Nintendo said on its website, according to Daisuke Wakabayshi of the Wall Street Journal. Wakabayshi added that Nintendo is warning users that they should "take breaks every 30 minutes when playing games in 3-D and stop playing immediately if they feel ill."

"The warning is similar to those made by other makers of 3-D consumer electronics products. Samsung Electronics Co., Sony Corp. and Panasonic Corp. all provide warnings on their websites about the possible risks of viewing 3-D images for children younger than 6," the Wall Street Journal reporter added in a December 30 article.

The 3DS is the highly anticipated successor to the Nintendo DS, which has sold more than 130 million units worldwide, according to AFP statistics. In addition to the 3D effect, which can be turned off via a slider mechanism included on the hardware, it will feature the same dual-screen and touch controls that made its predecessor popular among gamers of all ages.

The device will go on sale in Japan on February 26 and will carry a price tag of approximately $300. Launches in Europe and North America will follow in March, though no official price point for those regions has been released by the company.


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