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12/29/2010
12:20 PM
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Nintendo Warns Children Should Skip 3DS

Because their eyes are still developing, kids under the age of 6 shouldn't use the handheld gaming device's 3D functions, said the company.

Nintendo 3DS
(click image for larger view)
Nintendo 3DS
On the cusp of launching its 3DS handheld device in Japan, video-game company Nintendo has issued a warning to parents that children under the age of six should not use the device's 3D functions.

Vision in children under six is still in a developmental stage and the delivery of 3D images "has a potential impact on the growth of children's eyes," Nintendo said in a statement.

Players of all ages should take breaks from using 3D every 30 minutes, or stop right away if they feel sick, Nintendo recommends. Previously, Nintendo has advised taking breaks after an hour of play on the older 2D version, but 3D software causes quicker eye fatigue than other types of software, the company said.

The 3DS does not require special glasses to view three-dimensional images. The top screen has a 3.53-inch widescreen LCD display and an 800 x 240 pixel resolution (400 pixels are allocated for each eye to enable 3D viewing). The touchscreen has a 3.02-inch LCD display with 320 x 240 pixel resolution. There is one inner camera and two outer cameras. At launch there will be a 2 GB game card. The device also features an embedded microphone, a slide pad that allows 360-degree analog input, a motion sensor, and a gyro sensor, in addition to the typical DS buttons.

The 3DS will shown off publicly for the first time at Nintendo World 2011 in Japan on Jan. 8-10. Children under six will not be allowed to use 3D at the event, according to reports. The console will launch in Japan on Feb. 26 for around $300. Nintendo has not announced a release date or pricing information for the United States, although earlier this week, GameStop said is now accepting preorders for the device.

In other Nintendo news, the Electric Power Research Institute (EPRI) has issued a finding that the Nintendo Wii system uses six times less power than a Sony PlayStation 3 or Microsoft Xbox 360 when in active mode. Each system was tested for one hour of play by the EPRI, which found the Nintendo Wii used an average of 13.7 watts, while the Sony PlayStation 3 used an average of 84.8 watts and the Microsoft Xbox 360 used an average of 87.9 watts.

"Consumers have become increasingly aware of how much electricity their household electronics consume, whether in active use or when the hardware is in standby mode,'' said Mark McGranaghan, VP of power delivery & utilization for EPRI, in a statement. "While the overall trend is toward more efficient electronics, these tests clearly show that if you're a power-conscious consumer you may want to ask questions or check more closely."

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