Nintendo warns parents of 3DS dangers

Nintendo's upcoming 3DS three-dimensional hand-held console might not be for everyone, with the company posting a warning on its website advising children to use the console's 2D mode to avoid damage to their eyes.

The warning, which has been posted to the company's Japanese-language website where the 3DS console will first launch, explains: " The Nintendo 3DS, as well as other 3D technologies including 3D movies and television, delivers 3D images with different left and right eye images, which has a potential impact on the growth of children's eyes."

"To avoid the impact of 3D visual images on children," the company further explains, "the Nintendo 3DS includes a 2D mode, allowing everyone to enjoy the console."

The company has also revealed that the 3DS will ship with an in-built parental control system, allowing parents of younger children to lock the console into 2D mode until a PIN is entered - preventing them from switching on the exciting 3D display mode when their parents' backs are turned.

However, the main selling point of the 3DS, as the name suggests, is its 3D visuals - and it remains to be seen how popular the device will be if it spends much of its time locked in 2D mode.

Nintendo's admission that the current technology used to fool the brain into seeing depth where none exists is far from ideal is refreshingly frank, but hardly the first such note of concern. Back in July, the Eyecare Trust released the results of a study which concluded that around 12 per cent of the UK's population is completely unable to perceive 3D films and games due to issues with binocular vision, leading to headaches, migraines, and aches behind the eyes.

With Nintendo already able to lay claim to one failed attempt at a 3D console - the Nintendo VirtualBoy, launched in 1995 to critical disdain - it'll be interesting to see if it can replicate the staggering success of the DS with its 3D successor.