Does the Nintendo 3DS make you feel sick?

You may have read earlier in the week on Pocket-lint about Japanese gamers complaining that they felt sick or dizzy after a session on the Nintendo 3DS, following a launch event over in Tokyo.

So, at the European launch event yesterday we wanted to find out if this was a common complaint, or whether the Japanese tabloid story was mere sensationalism.

Firstly, we quizzed a Nintendo bod - UK marketing boss James Honeywell - to see what he had to say on the matter.

"Actually all 3D technology has the potential [to cause sickness and/or dizziness] for certain people", he said.

"We are following the same guidelines that you'll get with any other piece of 3D technology - that people under the age of six shouldn't use 3D - but it's actually completely safe for anybody above that age".

Honeywell pointed out that 3DS users have the option on the console to adjust the 3D's strength using the depth-slider and advised gamers to find a "comfortable medium".

We then asked a few  respected tech-hacks for their views on this issue after they had taken several games for a spin, and whether they had experienced any 3D-sickness symptoms. David Hutchinson, who writes about games for The Times said:

"It doesn't make me feel sick or dizzy, but it does feel like my head has been jolted sideways. It's a slightly odd feeling much like going to see a 3D film at the cinema. You feel slightly odd, it's not quite the same as playing normal games".

Jane Douglas, section editor of Gamespot UK said "I've used the 3DS a few times now, and it hasn't made me feel sick or given me a headache.

"All the opportunities to use the 3DS have meant playing for short periods, though - it's possible playing for hours with the 3D effect turned all the way up might be a different matter. We'll find out once we have the hardware for ourselves."

Nigel Kendall, who has written about tech for anybody who's anybody (including Pocket-lint, of course) answered:

"Not sick as such, but I definitely get a feeling of eye-strain in my left eye and a noticeable feeling of a lack of co-ordination just after I finish playing - for about 2 or 3 minutes afterwards".

Kendall also questioned the need for 3D on the system at all. "It's difficult to know at the moment what exactly it's going to bring to games", he said.

"A lot of the games we've seen before and they've just been jazzed up a bit with 3D. It's hard to say whether it's just unnecessary complication and to know what developers are going to make of it once they take it and run".

We'll give the final word to ourselves on this one (it's our site and we'll do what we bloomin' well like).

We don't think the Nintendo 3DS makes you feel sick or dizzy, in any more an extreme way than any other 3D tech that we've come across. That's not to say that there aren't individuals out there that might feel nauseous after a 3DS sesh, but there are also people who struggle with 3D cinema and 3D gaming on big screen TVs so it's nothing new, and certainly not unique for the 3DS.

3D isn't for everyone, that's for sure, but it's unlikely that anyone who is bothered by the extra dimension is going to jump on board Nintendo's 3D gaming revolution anyway.

We certainly felt okay playing on the 3DS for a few hours at the launch event on Wednesday. It has to be stated though that you need to hold the console in the exact desired position to avoid blurring. 

The only sickness that we felt afterwards was sick with jealously when we heard a rumour about how much Jonathan Ross had been paid for his presenting skills. And he couldn't even translate the Japanese speakers...

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