From its immediate release date the national paper of the UK the Sun seems to have something against Nintendo’s new handheld 3DS console. Their reports that ‘hundreds of furious users have slammed Nintendo’s new handheld 3DS device – for making them feel ill’, seem slightly dubious and without reliable source, with both the developer, GAME and HMV refuting claims of mass returns from irate customers, resulting in the Sun having to amend its stories. The speed at which information moves on the internet can often blow issues out of proportion and it seems this has been the case in this situation.
3D technology has been in the news since its introduction with many reports of headaches and dizziness when watching large 3D flat screen monitors and Nintendo have advised against children under 6 playing the device and for users to take regular breaks. Rob Saunders, the PR boss for the UK, acknowledges that some people may experience discomfort from any kind of 3D device and that the effects are not harmful and don’t last long.
New reports from the same paper claim many users are getting returns but are not being fully refunded which to me sounds a little odd and contradictory, especially since they mention GAME who have disputed such claims, and report literally a handful of complaints of this nature. HMV have also reported no refunds on the unit with Nintendo saying they have had fewer complaints than they experienced with other product launches. The 3D sliding scale built in to the machine allows users to adjust the level of 3D they experience and need to play with the settings for optimal use.
The Sun has conducted their own tests on the 3DS which are actually quite comical and nothing short of a joke. They tested its use across 4 different scenarios, sitting, standing, sitting in car and walking whilst playing, measuring a test subject (who looks like he eats fast food all day), blood pressure and pulse. Some people get sick merely being in or reading on a moving vehicle so that arguments null and void, and how many people honestly walk down a busy street fixated on a gaming console, not many.
Over the top, scandalous stories have always sold papers and I’m sure this is no different, it’s just a shame it came off the back of misguided and blatantly incorrect information. Maybe there’s more to it than it looks but I doubt it’s any more than over-sensationalised hype.
Screen Digest, a leading media and analysis firm have predicted sales of 11.6 million units by the end of the year with 70 million expected to be in households by 2015. In comparison the DS sold around 14 million units in its release year and roughly 140 million by the end of 2010. It must be noted that when the DS was launched there was much less competition, and the 3DS has to compete with such mighty foes as Iphones, Ipads, XPeria, PSP and a plethora of other game ready hand held devices which will affect its impact and sales figures.