Nintendo’s much anticipated 3DS has been launched, but the reception is proving mixed – a great many users are reporting using the 3D mode for any length of time hurts their eyes, whilst Nintendo has issued an unprecedented advisory to “take a 15 minute break every 30 minutes of 3D play.”
Some 3DS players report eye strain in as little as 5 minutes of play, and there are a great many such reports. Just what size proportion of players is actually experiencing problems is as yet not clear, however. Nintendo fans will doubtless be hoping this is just a very vocal minority, as well it could be.
This is rather at odds with Nintendo’s official health advisory though – Nintendo urges a 10-15 minute break every hour for normal non-3D play, and an unheard of 10-15 minute break every 30 minutes for those using the 3D mode.
Whether sales will be as high as anticipated is also now a matter of some doubt – far from shops being left short on stock as with some other hit Nintendo hardware, Japanese buyers are reporting no difficulty acquiring the 3DS at all. Whether this is merely a commendable supply situation or an actual lack of interest amongst buyers remains to be seen.
[Update: some stores in central Tokyo locations eventually did report running out of stock, although it appears the 3DS is still well stocked in most other locations - in the absence of statistical data it is hard to draw valid conclusions, although it is apparently by no means a bad launch...]
Having invested so much in its 3D display only to find the feature is painful and potentially harmful to a seemingly significant portion of its customers may yet prove to be Nintendo’s undoing, although reports from those not experiencing actual pain are otherwise positive – not that the launch line-up is proving terribly tempting.