Nintendo Co. will bar children ages 6 and younger from using the 3-D functions of its new handheld game machine at an introductory event for the device.
“Looking at 3-D images for a long time may harm the growth of children’s eyes,’’ Nintendo said in a note to visitors coming to the event next month, posted on its website. The company’s new 3DS players will be promoted at the three-day event in Chiba prefecture, near Tokyo.
The handheld, which can show 3-D images without using special glasses, is Nintendo’s biggest portable product debut since the 2004 release of the touch-screen DS player, which sold more than 132 million units worldwide. The world’s largest maker of video game players will start selling the product in Japan from Feb. 26 and in the United States and Europe the following month.
Nintendo, based in Kyoto, also said users should take a break every 30 minutes when playing games in 3-D format and stop playing immediately if they feel ill.
The company’s Wii console faces intensifying competition from Sony Corp.’s PlayStation 3 and Microsoft Corp.’s Xbox 360. Both video game consoles have introduced motion-sensing controllers. Also, Apple Inc.’s iPhone, iPod, and iPad devices are increasingly being used for handheld gaming.