Reports: Nintendo warns of 3DS risk for kids

Company reportedly issues warning that its glasses-free 3D portable gaming device shouldn't be used by kids under 6 when the gadget is in 3D-viewing mode.

Nintendo has reportedly issued a warning that the 3DS, its eagerly awaited glasses-free 3D gaming device, should not be used by children under 6 when the gadget is in 3D-viewing mode.

According to PC World and other media outlets, an advisory posted on Nintendo's Japanese-language Web site notes that the eyes of children under 6 have not yet fully developed and that 3D viewing on the 3DS could disrupt that development. The company recommends that adults protect young players by way of parental controls on the 3DS that allow for the blocking of the 3D function while leaving 2D play accessible. (Here is the site in English via Google Translate.)

The advisory reportedly also suggests that older players take a break after 30 minutes of 3D viewing on the device--as opposed to a break after an hour of 2D play--and says players should discontinue 3D viewing if they begin to feel ill.

In May, Nintendo CEO Satoru Iwata told the Associated Press that health concerns related to "children's eyesight" were a key factor in the decision to make a 2D mode available on the 3DS.

Nintendo first announced the portable gadget in March. It later said the 3DS would be made available in the U.S. and Europe in March 2011. The GameStop chain of stores announced yesterday that it is taking preorders on the potentially revolutionary device, which will be made available for scrutiny by the general public for the first time in January, at Nintendo World 2011 in Japan. PC World reports that children under 6 will not be allowed to use the device at that event.