Doctor slams ill-advised 3DS tabloid reports

Nintendo responds to tabloid scare over 3DS headache problems
Nintendo responds to tabloid scare over 3DS headache problems

A Cambridge University graphics and imaging expert has slammed tabloid reports that Nintendo's new 3DS is causing lots of users to suffer eye-strain, following its recent launch.

Dr. Neil A Dodgson told CVG this week that any user who is suffering initial feelings of dizziness on first using the new Nintendo 3DS is very unlikely to suffer any longer term health problems connected with using the new handheld.

This is in response to stories in the UK tabloid press this week claiming that the 3DS is "the most returned games console ever" following "thousands" of headache sufferers in Britain.

Sensitive minority suffer headaches

"All current commercial 3D technologies (3DS, 3DTV, 3D movies) require a disconnect between accommodation and vergence," Dr. Dodgson told CVG.

"There are two sets of muscles in the eyes, one of which focuses the eyes on the thing you are looking at (accommodation), the other of which converges the eyes at the position you are looking (vergence).

"In the real world, the two sets of muscles work together. With the commercial 3D technologies, you need to focus on the screen but converge on the virtual objects - which means that the two sets of muscles are no longer working together.

"This can cause problems for anyone if the virtual objects are too far in front or too far behind the screen; content providers know this and make sure that they keep objects near the screen most of the time.

"Unfortunately, there are some people who are very sensitive to the situation where those two muscle systems are not working together. The effect, for them, will be a feeling of sore eyes or a headache, which will cause no permanent damage but will mean that they cannot use the 3D device."

Nintendo responds to tabloid scare

The good doctor added that there are some new tech developments addressing this small minority of people that currently feel such headaches, which we should hopefully bring you further news about very soon.

Nintendo has issued the following statement, following this week's tabloid outcry over 3DS:

"Recent reports are incorrect. The number of calls and emails with queries on Nintendo 3DS is in fact well below the rate experienced during past hardware launches and having spoken with our retail partners there are only a handful of people who have actually gone into stores to request a refund.

"Nintendo 3DS was designed with a 3D depth slider that lets users adjust the 3D effect so that everyone can still enjoy this product. When viewing any kind of 3D images, including movies and on TV, some people might experience minor discomfort. The effects are short term and have no lasting effect; most people can continue after taking a break."


Adam Hartley