US news agency Forbes has revealed that the 3D elements of Nintendo’s upcoming handheld the 3DS can be switched off.
The admission comes amidst concerns relating to the possible health effects for children who play 3D titles for a prolonged period of time.
However, the claims point to a far bigger worry. If the 3DS allows users to play games in both 2D and 3D, what does that mean for developers who’d hoped to make innovative use of Nintendo’s 3D tech in their upcoming titles? Will they be forced to make all games both 2D and 3D compatible?
Furthermore, the news is a direct contradiction of claims made previously by Nintendo’s American boss Reggie Fils-Aime. The outspoken exec has consistently rejected talk of a Wii HD, claiming that HD visuals alone do not warrant a console upgrade.
Specifically, Reggie stated: In the end, the technology has to enable a new, unique experience. So when people talk about high definition for the Wii console, our feedback is that that by itself will not create a brand new experience. Technology has to enable it, not to be a means all by itself.”
But if 3DS games can also be played in 2D it’s hard to see how the technology can be used to employ a ‘brand new experience’.
Hopefully we’ll get some more answers at E3.