3DS: intense eye strain – glasses-free 3D gaming is impractical

February 27, 2011

Nintendo 3DS: intense eye strain - glasses-free 3D is impractical The Nintendo 3DS recently launched over in Japan and gamers are clamoring for the glasses-free handheld device. However, there are reports that the 3DS may cause intense eye strain for some players.

According to Sankaku Complex, consumers are reporting that the 3DS is causing eye strain with some in less than five minutes of play time. It is not clear as to what percent of the population is experiencing this issue.

Several months back, Nintendo issued a warning against prolonged playing on the 3DS without a 10 to 15 minute break in-between 30 minute sessions.

Many retailers over in Japan are already reporting that they are sold out of the 3DS. The device is the first of its kind to sport a small screen capable of creating a 3D image without the use of glasses. This effect is achieved by a technique similar to a lenticular or hologram effect, where the screen has slits where two images are pointed in different directions.

As I analyzed in my in-depth write-up as to why glasses-free 3D is not practical, the parallax barrier screen requires users’ eyes to be at a certain distance from the screen to be in the “sweet spot” for 3D to work perfectly. Moving your head in and out of this “sweet spot” causes image blurring and eye strain, which is why 3D tech that requires glasses are far more practical.

However, I did point out in my analysis that handheld devices may be the exception as gamers will position the device in-front of them using their arms unlike TVs.

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