April 6, 2011 at 6:58 PM ET
Will playing Nintendo's new 3DS game machine make you turn three different shades of green? Is the gadget — which lets people see video games in 3-D without having to wear funky glasses — making people barf? Or are the reports of game-related gacking greatly exaggerated?
It all depends on who you want to believe.
You could believe the truth-tellers over at The Sun — a British tabloid that insists the new gadget is making droves of gamers in the UK sick and that those droves of gamers are returning the device in, well, droves.
You could believe Nintendo and the retailers who deny that people are returning the device in droves and, instead, insist it's being snatched up in record-setting, uh, droves.
You could believe In-Game editor Todd Kenreck and, well, me. I'd tell you that the device, on occasion, makes me feel a bit dizzy depending on the game I'm playing, but has never made me anywhere near ready to yark.
Meanwhile, Todd would tell you that playing the 3DS doesn't make him even the slightest hint of woozy — even after playing it for hours on end. (Of course, he would also tell you that he can leap tall buildings in a single bound ... but that's a whole different story.)
Either way, if you want a quick summary of the row that's been brewing between Nintendo and The Sun, you can check out the following video from the jokesters at New Media Animation in Taiwan.
These are the same folks who provided us with animated videos explaining the Charlie Sheen scandal, the scary Mark Zuckerberg stalker and who told us all about Steve Job's love of child-preying apps. And as anyone call tell you, news ain't news until New Media Animation has mocked it.
All joking aside, certainly The Sun has been stirring up quite a bit of attention across the pond (er...I think that's what you Brits like to call the Atlantic, though it is awfully big for a "pond.") The tabloid posted a story Tuesday announcing that the 3DS had "left thousands with dizziness and headaches" (this despite the fact it appeared to have interviewed only one gamer).
Then, to back up its claims, it posted a story Wednesday with the following headline: "Nintendo 3DS is game for a barf" — this after having one dude play the device while walking andriding in a car. The dude said that made him feel "very nauseated." To which I say ... well dur.
Most people on this planet (Todd Kenreck probably excepted) get nauseated after reading a book and riding in a car. What would one expect from playing a 3-D game gadget while on the roll? Meanwhile, who on earth would play a 3DS while walking down the sidewalk?
Needless to say, Nintendo told Eurogamer: "Recent reports are incorrect. The number of calls and emails with queries on Nintendo 3DS is in fact well below the rate experienced during past hardware launches."
And, according to The Escapist, game retailers are backing them up, saying there have been only a handful of returns.
Of course Nintendo has good reason to downplay any reports of nausea. After all, their last venture into 3-D gaming — the Virtual Boy — ended in failure after players reported feeling, well, dizzy and nauseated. But the Virtual Boy was, indeed, quite a different contraption
Of course, only time and official Nintendo sales numbers are going to reveal whether the 3DS is, in fact, making an unusual number of people uncomfortable or ill (not to mention whether people really want to spend $250 for 3-D gaming on the go). But if today's 3-D movies are any indication, most people are probably going to enjoy the 3DS' 3-D effects quite comfortably while a smaller number of people ... not so much.
Indeed, if you check out the many reviews on Amazon.com, you'll find that the majority of owners are giving the Nintendo 3DS positive marks. But, yes, there are some owners who've said they returned the gadget.
For example, as this gamer reported:
"It is the first time that I have ever returned a Nintendo product for any reason ... First off, for many people (myself included) the 3D effect can be headache inducing. There are times when I could play for 30 minutes at a time with little problems, and other times when five minutes was more than I could handle."
And then there's this reviewer, who said it set off a migraine and totally made him barf ... but that he thinks the 3DS "sure is fun" anyway.
So here's a question for all of you new 3DS owners out there: Has playing the 3DS made you feel like doing the technicolor yawn? We'd love to hear all about your game-related gastrointestinal distress ... or the lack thereof.
For more 3DS news, check out: