Nintendo has issued a list of health-related safety warnings for its upcoming 3DS video game console, the world's first portable system with autostereoscopic 3D screen. The company claims that children under six should not use the console, whereas gamers, who wear glasses may not see stereo effect.
Nintendo advices all the users to make breaks every 30 minutes so to avoid eye fatigue while playing in stereo-3D (S3D) mode. The company also warns game developers about "extreme" eye fatigue during S3D game design process. The company claims that the eye fatigue is naturally lower when playing in 2D mode, but still advices its customers to make breaks every hour.
Vision of children under the age of six is in the developmental stage. Since stereo-3D effect is brought by showing different images for left and right eyes, it has a potential impact on the growth of children's eyes. Nintendo recommends to switch 3D effect off for young children and those, who wears glasses. Parents may even lock S3D effects by a special pin code. In fact, eyes are organs that develop for a very long time, up to the age of 25 in some cases. As a result, the S3D effects may be unsuitable even for adults, not only for children or teenagers.
"If your physical condition worsens or you become ill, please stop playing at once," stated Nintendo.
Nintendo 3DS features a 3.53” autostereoscopic 3D top screen with 800x240 resolution (400 pixels for each eye) and a 3.02” bottom touch screen with 320x240 resolution. It has three 0.3MP cameras – one inner and two outer – to deliver the stereo-3D effect and take stereo-3D pictures. It includes a motion sensor, a gyro sensor, Wi-Fi 802.11b/g/n controller, a Slide Pad that allows 360-degree analog input and so on. The device also has a special slider that can increase, decrease or disable stereoscopic 3D (S3D) effect. The 3DS comes in form-factor that is similar to the predecessors and is fully compatible with Nintendo DS titles. The console uses DMP Pica 200 graphics processor. As announced previously, it will have a slot for SD cards as well as support cartridges for previous-gen DS systems.
Nintendo will release 3DS first in Japan on the 26th of March, 2011, at the price of ¥25 000 ($299), which is higher than the price of Sony PlayStation Portable in the U.S. (PSP-3000 costs $169, PSPgo costs $249) as well as Nintendo DSi ($149).