Nintendo dismisses 3DS headache concerns as 'minor discomfort,' recommends short breaks

One of the most common complaints about stereoscopic 3D is that headaches occur after an extended period of time. Nintendo's official response is that such discomfort is minor for most, and that there is no lasting effect.

"As with anything that requires focus, from reading to staring at a computer screen, taking frequent breaks is always recommended. When viewing any kind of 3D images (TV, movies etc.), some people might experience minor discomfort," said the head of Nintendo UK's communications department Robert Saunders.

"The effects are short term and have no lasting effect. In fact most players can continue after taking a short break."

Above: Does our article give you a headache?

Of the friends I've shown my 3DS to, all but one complained of a headache or feeling 'weirded out' after less than 20 minutes of play time. When they first start playing it, however, they all thought it was cool.

Saunders emphasized that 'wow' reaction, noting, "We have shown Nintendo 3DS at multiple events around the world to literally hundreds of thousands of people and have received very few negative comments."

He also reiterated that the 3D slider on the device allows players to tailor their experiences. Have you experienced headaches with the 3DS? Does a short break indeed help?

[Source: Max Console]

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Mar 28, 2011




  • DVTClark - March 31, 2011 8:58 p.m.

    uh oh.. could it be I'd like to call it "Virtual Boy syndrome". not that I have seen the actual screen myself, but I'd say these kind of stuff only happens to those who are very sensitive, like having epilapsy. I've heard some people were sick after watching Clover Field, I never understood that..
  • piplup8910 - March 31, 2011 3:08 p.m.

    I recently got my 3ds, about 2 days ago to be exact. When I first started playing my head hurt like heck and I couldnt understand why. I finally figured out that when my 3d is on the full depth it can go, I get huge headaches. Another thing I noticed is that I loose track of reality depth and the 3ds depth. I decided to set the depth on the lowest stander, so that I can keep up with real life and the 3d on the 3ds. I still get minor headaches, possibly cause my brain hasnt adapted to the new flow.I suggest that people set it to the lowest depth and then continue to the greatest depth day by day. Right now my head is still hurting but its not that bad. I am glad for my new 3ds and I cant believe how well Nintendo did. ~Piplup8910
  • ZenRobot - March 30, 2011 8:08 a.m.

    these things give me a headache. 3d movies at the theater are fine, and regular video games never affect me. But the Nintendo 3DS tweaks me out. i can't play the thing for 2 minutes without feeling a little nauseous. there's something wonky going on with it, and i really don't think it's good for people. and the thought of people initially getting headaches from the 3ds and then "getting used to it" makes me worry for the long term affects of getting used to something which gives you headaches. just saying.
  • DEsMONd - March 29, 2011 7:39 p.m.

    I've played my 3DS now for 22+ hours and I haven't experienced ANY headaches or related problems at all. It has been on 3D mode for always the whole time and the only problem I've had is that the 3D image blurs some times while playing PES (it only happens with this though!). So yeah, either I'm one of the lucky ones or their all just whining! Just saying!
  • ElwoodFiore - March 29, 2011 5:26 p.m.

    Yes, Yes your articles picture gives me a headache. 3d didn't make it long in the past i highly doubt it will make it now.
  • mike032592 - March 29, 2011 3:22 p.m.

    I had minor headaches to start out with, but after playing for about an hour or so I think my eyes have adjusted to the 3D or something. I can play for an hour or two without any problems whatsoever now.
  • Andyjoe - March 29, 2011 2:30 p.m.

    All Good here. I've been playing every chance I get since I picked up my preorder on sunday, and no headaches yet
  • SomeOddGuy - March 29, 2011 3:37 a.m.

    So far I've not had any issues with my 3DS, though I did try it out over at Best Buy first. The first time around I felt zoned out, though I've not had issues with the 3D, even after hours of continuous use. Guess it's just some people, that or I'm part of a strange minority.
  • Averagegamer18 - March 29, 2011 2:54 a.m.

    Played with my friends for over 6 hours after eating and I never once felt any kinda headache; but at some points it got blurry cause this was the first time i used a 3ds and had it pretty close but once i held it about 14 inches away *according to the ar game* it was a lot better and now I want one lol
  • claytonmiller - March 29, 2011 2:35 a.m.

    I have had the "weirded out" feeling a few times, but I don't constantly play with the 3D on. I enjoy Pilotwings as much in 3D as I do in 2D. I think the huge graphics jump from DS to 3DS is more than enough to keep me entertained. Well, that and the software, of course. I wouldn't care about the graphics if the software sucked.
  • AXELSTORM44 - March 29, 2011 1:07 a.m.

    i constantly have headaches to begin with, so i dont think the 3ds really caused anything. i do feel myself zoning out when i stare into the window for a while though.
  • CandiedJester - March 29, 2011 12:30 a.m.

    I haven't experienced ay sort of headaches or anything. I am essentially immune to motion sickness etc, though. I don't have a 3d game yet so that I cannot judge*launch titles MEH :P), but first day I played pretty extensively with what was on the system already, and no ill effects here! I am pretty confident that when I get a game I will not have any problems with it.
  • shawksta - March 29, 2011 12:05 a.m.

    When I first tried it,(which was 12:00 at the night) It felt awesome and I played for a while, I DID feel some eye strain but the next morning, I played ridge Racer on 3D for an hour straight and I didnt get anything at all, Never got a headache, my body mustve gotten used to it.
  • ALinkToTheZack - March 28, 2011 11:15 p.m.

    I had a headache after the first time I played one in Best Buy, but I was trying to play it while standing up so I was too far away from it to see the 3D properly. I came back to the store later and held the system at a proper distance and didn't get a headache at all.
  • losthero15 - March 28, 2011 10:58 p.m.

    I found my eyes hurt alittle if i looked at the 3d outside the sweet spot for too long but other than that ive been fine
  • sirdilznik - March 28, 2011 10:26 p.m.

    No headaches, dizziness, or any other issues for me even when playing Ghost Recon for hours with the 3D on full blast and looking back and forth between the 3D screen and touchscreen a bunch of times.
  • Burdmayn - March 28, 2011 10 p.m.

    The first 2 or 3 times I used the system I got a minor headache that went away after a short break. But I then realized that I didn't have the best viewing angle and the 3D turned all the way up. Haven't had a problem since.
  • Ded - March 28, 2011 9:59 p.m.

    I did when I first got it, but now I put the slider down a bit (was at full power to start with!) and all seems to be well.
  • NG14916 - March 28, 2011 9:55 p.m.

    I know plenty of people who get headaches just from playing normal video games for an hour or so. This probably isn't that big of a deal, though time will tell.
  • Tobio - March 28, 2011 9:47 p.m.

    I haven't had problems yet, but I also don't mindlessly put the 3D all the way up. And (just like you said) I didn't try to pull out the image.

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