On its Japanese website, Nintendo has issued a warning for children about the upcoming 3DS handheld.
"Vision of children under the age of six has been said [to be in the] developmental stage," Nintendo posted on its site. According to the company, the 3DS "delivers 3D images with different left and right images, [which] has a potential impact on the growth of children's eyes."
Nintendo recommends younger kids turn off the 3D effect, and that everyone take a break every half hour when using the device.
The 3DS doesn't even go on sale until February in Japan, so this is a bit of a preemptive strike, but you have to wonder if it indicates an actual problem with eyestrain and using a 3DS, or whether it's a bit of prevention aimed at staving off later criticism of the device. I don't think anyone can really tell the effect (if any!) the 3DS will have on kids' eyesight, so I'd imagine Nintendo is just being overly cautious. I suppose we'll find out when the device is widely available. Although, I still remember the horrible, piercing headache I suffered from the first time I used a Nintendo Virtual Boy, so I'm a little scared of the 3DS.