Nintendo is going 3D, and this new technology may not work in its favor.Nintendo Japan released a cautionary note on its website Monday saying the new 3D handheld video game could affect vision development in kids age 6 and under.
The new Nintendo 3D game has raised eyebrows around the world.
This is one of the first 3D products in which people don't need those special glasses to see the 3D effects.
Some are skeptical about the new product, while others say just let the kids have a good time.
Play at your own risk: that's the type of warning Nintendo is plastering on its new 3D handheld video game.
"Nintendo said children under 6 shouldn't be playing the game," said pediatric ophthalmologist Mike Gerber.
With a March 2011 release date in the United States, this will be the first time Nintendo has indicated a specific age health warning on a product.
So what's really at stake for younger consumers?
Gerber says eye development peaks around age 6 and that might be a reason Nintendo issued this notice.
“My guess is age 6 and 7 is when they're figuring, well, the brains still developing, so we better be careful up until that point," Gerber said.
3D works because your two eyes are looking at an image from a different perspective.
This different angle allows your brain to process depth perception.
"The worst case is that your eyes begin to cross because you're doing so much up close and you don't have very good depth perception anymore and then you need different kinds of treatment," Gerber said.
Gerber says this is all theoretical. There is no proof the game effects children's eye development.
“Exactly; that’s the scary part,” said parent Stan Clifford. “There are no tests, so you don't know the long-term effects, but everything’s driving towards that."
So is Nintendo’s warning necessary?
“I can assure parents there’s no study that says using this video game is going to harm your children. You just have to use common sense and not have them use it for such extended periods of time," Gerber said.
“I don’t see no harm in them," said day care provider Theola Heggler. “If you want your child to play, then it's your choice, so I think it’s good to put the label on there."
Gerber says it's the very beginning of what could be a controversial product debate.
This new 3D game will have parental controls as a feature.
Parents can choose the 3D version of the game, or if their child is too young, Nintendo recommends they choose the 2D version.