Nintendo’s 3DS hasn’t even hit the shelves and it’s already causing quite a stir. Not only has it been highly criticised for the purported battery life which endures a paltry 2 hours (roughly, depending on usage), it’s also causing concern for over a third of adults, who remain skeptics of the 3D technology involved, and how damaging it could be to your health.
A recent survey by VoucherCodes.co.uk has revealed that 37% of Brits surveyed feel some degree of concern regarding the damage the glasses-free 3D display of the Nintendo 3DS can do to your eyes. Nintendo has issued a health warning sparking the debate, which advises children under seven not to play the 3DS with the 3D function turned on (it can be turned on and off via a sliding switch on the console), because the muscles around their eyes are too weak to handle the strain the 3D effects cause.
Duncan Jennings, VoucherCodes.co.uk co-founder, commented: “Nintendo has a strong tradition of producing addictive handheld consoles, from the original Gameboy to the most recent DS Lite, and there will be a huge appetite for this first foray into handheld 3D gaming. It’s clear, however, that the accompanying health warning will factor into people’s purchasing decisions, especially parents weighing up whether or not to buy a 3DS for their kids.”
It’s hardly surprising that there are those who have concerns, there always is when something innovative turns up on the scene, particularly when it’s something that will inevitably find its way into the hands of children. But does this mean that children under seven should not play on the device? Of course not. They will do, and certainly, should their concerned parents prevent them using the potentially damaging device, there will be tears, there will be tantrums, there will be slammed doors and the stomping upstairs.
Should parents let children under seven own the device, though, it’s also inevitable that the switch will at some point be turned on – it’s a simple sliding switch, it’s not like it’s a parental lock-style disabling feature. It’s like the age-old ‘wet paint’ cliché, which has caused so much drama, and so much hand soap to be used unnecessarily.
Either way, it’s not going to stand in the way of the 3DS being a worldwide success. In the same survey, 19% of people questioned indicated that the 3D camera incorporated into the device will be a huge attraction for them when considering whether to buy the 3DS or not.
Add to that the illustrious history that Nintendo has enjoyed with handheld consoles, going as far back as the original gameboy, which had me addicted throughout my early years. And even previous incarnations of the DS have been a massive hit with consumers, with over 144 million units shipped thus far. Pretty astonishing figures, and its testament as much to the addictive and fun nature of the games as it is to the hardware. I mean, when it comes down to it, the new Sony NGP handheld console will be technically better, as the PSP was in its day, but who can resist the urge of playing Mario, Pokémon, Donkey Kong or the likes every once in a while. You only properly get that classic gaming experience with Nintendo.
So, damaging or not, it will sell. Kids will play in 3D, adults too, they’ll be plenty of people out there to buy a Nintendo 3DS, will you? March 25th, mark it with an X on your calendar.