When the initial list of health warnings came out for the 3DS, it may have put a small kibosh on the number of units sold at launch. Nintendo has had a history of providing health and safety warnings with each one of their games and the 3DS is no different, so much so that Satoru Iwata, Nintendo's CEO and President, has come to the defense of his company's latest portable offering in an interview with the Wall Street Journal.
"We are being proactive about informing our customer, even though it may not necessarily be positive for our sales. Some people are extra-cautious because this is something new, but once parents get used to it, I think they will start letting their kids play with 3-D too. I've heard about the safety concerns but I wonder if there's any clear scientific basis for it, right now, I'm not so worried about it."
Iwata being unclear on the "clear scientific basis" of the 3DS' effect on younger children's eyesight isn't necessarily a position that's misinformed. With glasses-free 3D technology still relatively new, it may be some time before all the evidence is in. Still, it's nice to see the company taking a responsible stance, especially considering that Nintendo's last 3D effort was the Virtual Boy (which hurt everyone's eyes, no matter how old they were).
Another item of note is the 3DS' purported 3-5 hour battery life, which, while not a surefire way to have people put down the device if they're charging it, is one way to monitor responsible use of the device.
Most importantly, if parents are purchasing the $300 portable gaming device for their children, it should be their responsibility to at least somewhat monitor the use, especially if the 3D effects aren't good for developing eyes. Take it from someone with glasses, they're not fun to wear.
Ranters, what do you think about the health and safety warnings Nintendo has issued for the 3DS? Those of you with children, will you allow your kids to play with the 3DS while the 3D is enabled?
The Nintendo 3Ds will be launching in North America in March 2011.
Source: Wall Street Journal