The Sun Hypes Up 3DS Issues

It seems like barely a week goes by without a UK tabloid attempt to create mass hysteria about our hobby. This time, it’s The Sun and the Nintendo 3DS.

In a brief article which could be used to teach prospective tabloid scribes how to make a sensationalist story out of barely any substance, The Sun has highlighted some problems for the Nintendo 3DS. Yes, it’s the headaches and dizziness thing again.


The tabloid alleges that there are record returns of the new handheld and that “thousands” have “been left with dizziness and headaches after just 24 hours.” They’ve even got a quote from one of the “thousands” who bought the console, seemingly without any research or testing in one of the many stores who have had demonstration models available. He says it made him ill after playing for three minutes.

[drop]That’s all well and good. We’ve also heard reports of people who are less able to cope with the 3D effect (which can be switched off entirely). We’re not sure we’d allege “thousands” without more tangible facts but the ethics put into practice at The Sun are their own business.

What is of more concern is that The Sun also seems to be alleging that GAME and HMV are offering partial refunds on returns. This is, of course, not the case. We assume that GAME and HMV are merely offering to buy back the consoles in order to sell them as pre-owned. This is because there are no grounds to return a product simply because you think it gave you a headache.

While it’s certainly possible that people might experience problems playing with Nintendo’s newest handheld, the product has been passed for sale within the EU. Presumably it has been tested and no ill side-effects have been discovered. The much publicised age rating applied to the device has even been touted as a measure to counteract the 3D effect on younger children (we assumed it was because the on-device game, Face Raiders, features very moderate violence, as the PEGI symbol suggests).

So it would seem that The Sun’s story is actually something more like this: New handheld console launches, with a month of easily accessible demos in store, a whirlwind of publicity (some in this same publication) about the 3D effect and how it might be a problem for some. Man ignores all of that and buys one for his “young son” anyway (under 7? There’s a story in that…). Man plays console for three minutes with his son. Man feels a bit ill. Man assumes it was the three minutes of looking at the screen and demands his money back on a used product. Store says no, but we’ll buy it from you second hand.

Of course, telling the facts of a story doesn’t give scope to insinuate that the problem is much bigger than the evidence suggests, much more dangerous or something your readers should be panicking about. And people who aren’t scared of anything might stop buying tabloids.

Update: MCV has been speaking with GAME, HMV and Nintendo about this. Here’s the quote from a Nintendo UK spokesperson:

The number of calls and emails with queries on Nintendo 3DS is in fact well below the rate experienced during past hardware launches and having spoken with our retail partners there are only a handful of people who have actually gone into stores to request a refund.

So, it seems like The Sun’s article was worked up from very little (or no) substance. Are you surprised?

Source: The Sun Thanks, hazelam



  1. Radio 1 seem to be making a story of this too today. Not good for Nintendo…

    • Radio One – WORST GAMING NEWS EVER!!!

  2. The 3D thing is all over the box and the manual, and the console itself. It can be switched off, and locked via the parental lock.

    Fuss over nothing, as usual.

    • Sensationalism to sell papers, its a media thing

    • Disagree. When your USP is 3D and you cant use it because it gives you a headache and you have to switch it off, it’s a bit of an fail is not?

      Note: I’m not saying it DOES give you a headache, but if it did, then the product is flawed and people have a right to complain.

      P.S. I like the Sun, specially the jubblies on page 3. Phwooar.

      • Rule no.1 of business, give the consumers what they want- hype and boobs, The Sun is a ‘successful’ newspaper

      • I think the error in that is that 3D is the lead gimmick but shouldn’t really be the USP. That console has much stronger features that Nintendo barely mentions.

        Switching it off is optional, it’s like the PS3 allowing you to switch off surround sound if you don’t like it (it gives my mother a headache, ironically). Although, you’re correct in that using it as the big selling point has given them a point to defend. Still, less of an issue than implied.

      • Erm no, it’s called the 3DS. The name includes “3D”, if the 3D doesn’t work for people, then the product has problems. The PS3 isnt called “PlayStation 3 7.1 Dolby Surround Sound”.

        Look ar this way, it should do ‘exactly what it says on the tin’. If it doesnt, people can complain. The Sun may be exagerating the problem but if there is one, then I can see no reason why full refunds should not be given.

      • People get sick from wathing movies in IMAX theatres. Nothing flawed with that. Hell, if you watch a 3D movie and get a headache from it you probably won’t get your money back. You knew what you were getting into. The difference is that you can try out a 3DS at almost every store that sells these things. If you get a headache from playing on a 3DS you don’t have to buy it. The technology works for most of the polulation.

      • You said ‘Jubblies’. :-)

      • @colossalblue – Comparing it with the PS3, it would be more like turning off HD. That’s it’s main selling point.

      • i dunno…. i think the onus is on the buyer to properly investigate a product before they buy it.

        ferrari is not going to give you a refund on that nice new 599 you bought cos the exhaust is too loud and gives you a headache…

      • Agree with djhsecondnature on this one,it is much more like asking to turn off HD than it is 7.1,aren’t these things just flashy Ds’s without 3d?

      • Unfortunately, tough titty for the minority. Some people cannot play FPS’ due to motion sickness.

  3. I got sick on the merry-go-round at Thorpe Park when I was a kid and they wouldn’t give me my money back either. Bastards! If you actually buy The Sun and attempt to read it you are already suffering from some severe mental issues anyway. That goes for Radio 1 as well.

  4. It’s nothing but the genral, The sun and BBC Radio. I’m actually surprised the Daily Mail hasn’t jumped on the bandwagon yet. Anyway, its mainly a load of tosh, sure people are having problems with the 3D, but then, haven’t they always?

  5. To be fair i get a shitty headache after playing the 3d, ds games are fine, yes its overhyped but as it happens i know a few other people with 3ds also having headaches after use.

    This would probably be true of all handhelds but i literally have played straight for about half hour so its not caused from prolonged use and i have had all the handhelds and never suffered them before. But i’m not about to run to the papers nor to the retailer and complain about it.

    And is this really a story worthy of a national paper?

    • strangely, I often suffer headaches and quite bad eyestrain from staring at a computer screen all day, or playing console games on the big TV but I’ve been completely unaffected by the 3DS.

      • If I’ve been off work for a couple of weeks getting back into staring at a computer screen all day takes at least a week to get my eyeballs and head together.

    • Not sure if I had yet, since I also play the PSP and PS3… so a headache is always likely to happen to me if I’m playing in prolonged hours.

      • I must admit, I can’t watch 3D or play it without getting a headache, must be eye strain or something.

      • I cant do 3D either, i tried the 3ds for like 30mins got a splitting headache from it, but then my eyes are fooked anyway, so any 3d kills me.

        apart from the old red and blue glasses, as i could only ever see one coulor lol

  6. The Sun is just asking for a war, right men! grab your pens!

    • Misread that quite badly. Just add one letter in the right place …

      • Eh, that didn’t go well, damn tiredness

      • it’s that exclamation point at the end, it’s too easy to get that and the s mixed up when looking at it

    • I read “grab your pens” way too quickly. Ha!

      • Yeah, let’s blame our reading speed for our dirty thoughts! :P

      • You can let go now.

  7. Summarised nicely here:

  8. Its the Sun, anyone who reads and believes those stories needs a good shake to wake them up.

  9. I’m sure it’s all being blown out of proportion, especially as it’s The Sun that’s reporting it and not one of the more credible news sources.
    All the same, given how new the technology/experience is for consumers, and taking into account not every one has the same quality of vision – including those who wear glasses – there’s bound to be a number of people who will have an adverse affect from using the 3D, especially from extended use.

  10. I sufferred from an enormous headache last weekend and the bloody pub landlord wouldn’t give me a full refund on Sunday morning despite my giving my product to him by way of the porcelain recepticles in the back room more or less constantly over the few hours I spent in his premesis. I think I even gifted him some of his competitors products as well.

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