3D Vision Blog

A normal user's look into the world of 3D Stereo Technologies

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Nintendo 3DS Hands On‬ With Interesting Details about the 3D Support

February 8th, 2011 · 5 Comments · Other S3D Tech

No, I haven’t been able to get my hands on the Nintendo 3DS portable console yet. This is an interesting find from the reader Rhialto, who send in the news about a hands-on video of the upcoming Nintendo 3DS console by a guy in Australia. In the video Blunty3000 gets to play with the built in software including the Mii maker, some Augmented reality gaming using an AR card, Face Raiders using the cameras and the motion sensors, and even popping a DS game into the 3DS, Pokemon to see how the backwards compatibility does. But the most interesting part in the video, in regards to 3D support, are the samples of photos taken with the 3DS’s 3D cameras (640×480 resolution) and the confirmation that the 3D images are being saved in the MPO format and that should ensure broader compatibility with other 3D-capable solutions. The image quality looks decent enough, but you should not expect too much from the built-in 3D camera solution in the 3DS anyway. The Nintendo 3DS consoles will be available in Europe on March 25th with a price of €249.99 (Euro) and on March 27th for $249.99 USD in North America, and in Japan the release date is a month earlier on February 26th with a price of ¥25,000 (Japanese Yens).

The Nintendo 3DS portable 3D-capable console is already available for pre-order…

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Nintendo 3DS Prices and Release Dates Are Now Officially Announced

January 20th, 2011 · 2 Comments · Other S3D Tech

Nintendo’s new portable gaming console 3DS that features an autostereoscopic 3D display, meaning that no glasses are needed to see the 3D effect, is going to be hitting the market at the end of March. Nintendo has just officially announced the release dates and pricing of the Nintendo 3DS consoles and according to the company it will be available in Europe on March 25th with a price of €249.99 (Euro) and on March 27th for $249.99 USD in North America and this comes a month after the Japanese release date of the 3D console that will happen on February 26th with a price of ¥25,000 (Japanese Yens).

Initially the Nintendo 3DS system will be available in either Cosmos Black or Aqua Blue color with more colors probably to come at a later time. The console uses two screens with the lower one being a touch sensitive one and the upper one being the autostereoscopic 3D one. The depth of the stereo 3D images being displayed on the screen while playing games in 3D mode can be adjusted with the help of a physical slider and you can even disable the 3D mode and getting the game “flattened” just like if you played it on a 2D screen (this is actually the 2D mode of the console). And besides a 3D-capable screen the 3DS console also comes with dual cameras allowing you to take photos in stereoscopic 3D format (there is also a third camera pointing at the user), but so far you will not be able to record videos in 3D with these two cameras (this functionality may come as a future update).

The Nintendo 3DS console will be able to take advantage of augmented reality technology and it comes with six augmented-reality cards, called AR Cards. When the two outer cameras are pointed at these cards, they can be recognized by the console and it can superimpose images and animations onto the scene. Developers will also be able to use this technology to add creative new experiences to their games.

The 3DS comes with built-in Parental Controls that can be used to limit Internet access or some of the wireless functions and by using a PIN code, parents also can turn off the 3D function altogether, or limit the ratings of the games that their kids can play. The parental control feature is important for concerned parents that want to limit the 3D functionality of the console so that too smaller children won’t be able to use it.

During the launch window (between the launch date and the E3 Expo in early June) more than 30 games will be available to Nintendo 3DS owners. These include Nintendo-created games like Pilotwings Resort, which has players soaring acrobatically over iconic Wuhu Island; nintendogs + cats, a new version of the Nintendo DS classic with a feline enhancement; Steel Diver, a side-scrolling submarine adventure that gives the illusion that the player is peering into an aquarium. Other Nintendo 3DS games in the works include The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time 3D, Star Fox 64 3D, Kid Icarus: Uprising and new installments in the Mario Kart, Animal Crossing and Paper Mario series.

More details are already available on Nintendo’s official website, so you can also check it out.

For the most eager Amazon is already taking pre-orders for the Nintendo 3DS console…

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A Bit More About Nintendo’s 3DS Health Warnings for Young Children

January 2nd, 2011 · 2 Comments · Other S3D Tech

Lately a lot of mainstream media has covered the health warning that Nintendo has issued for its upcoming 3DS console, looking for sensation, due to the fact that it features an autostereoscopic 3D display and can display games in stereo 3D mode. That health warning is recommending that children aged six and under should not play games in stereo 3D mode for long time in order to prevent possible damage to their vision. The problem is that general media is twisting a bit the story to make it sound like stereo 3D content will damage the eyes of young children should they watch any S3D content if they are 6 years old or younger. As Nintendo continues to explain, according to specialists watching whatever stereoscopic 3D content for long periods of time (not only on their upcoming console) can affect the development of young children’s vision. What they are missing however is the fact that the binocular vision is developed in children up to the age of three, again according to specialists, so after that watching stereo 3D content should not be affecting something that has already developed. On the other hand some people are saying that watching stereoscopic 3D content can even help resolve some eye disorders that small children may have such as a lazy eye (Amblyopia) and others that affect the normal binocular vision not only of children, but even some for adults as well. The problem is that since the stereo 3D technology has boomed quite fast in the last 2-3 years, there is still not a lot of research being done on the short and especially long terms effects on the normal vision – either positive or negative. So it is hard to say for sure if a 6 year old child, playing the Nintendo 3DS in 3D mode can get his vision damaged from that or not, although there shouldn’t be any permanent changes to the vision after it has been fully developed at around the age of 3. But just playing it safe Nintendo has issued this warning for an age of 6, and at the same time also allowing the parents to turn off the 3D functionality of the autostereoscopic 3D display and lock it using a PIN code thanks to the built in parental control function of the game.

I’m pretty sure that Nintendo just doesn’t want to be blamed and even sued by angry parents that may blame the console for any possible issues with the vision of their kids. The truth is that if you let your 3 year old kid play even non-stereo 3D game (there are a lot of games rated 3+) or for that matter watch TV for lets say 2-3 hours a day or even more, then the chances are that his or hers vision may also be negatively affected are quite high. So should you be getting a 3DS to your 6 years old or younger child is the question that parents should ask themselves, even before thinking about the 3D mode the console supports. Aside from vision that should be developed by the age of 3, there are a lot of other things that are still developing in your child up to the age of 6 and even after that, things like motor skills, sensory and thinking skills, social skills, language learning etc. Should you as a parent be sacrificing the development these important skills in your kids in order to get them a trendy gadget no matter if it is in 3D or not and letting them play for hours uncontrolled? Of course there are games that may help in the development of these important skills in your children, if you manage to get their attention kept long enough at them, instead of some other more interesting games. So next time, before blaming it all on the 3D, think again if you may doing anything wrong first and do take Nintendo’s advice about the 6 years not only for the development of your kids vision, but also for their general development. Also think again if you should be buying a Nintendo 3DS, because your kids may actually want one or because it is you who want to try out the stereo 3D effect in games that the 3DS will offer.

More information about the possible health risks associated with stereo 3D content…

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