Iwata Says 3D Functions Optional On Nintendo 3DS

by Matt Helgeson on May 07, 2010 at 11:15 AM

In an interview with Forbes, Nintendo president Satoru Iwata revealed that gamers will be able to toggle the 3D effect of the company’s upcoming Nintendo 3DS handheld. Iwata cited concerns over the effect the unit’s 3D display might have on children’s eyesight as the reason for making it optional. He also confirmed that 3DS’s first public showing will occur at the annual E3 convention in June.

Iwata also stated that the 3DS would feature increased anti-piracy measures, though he declined to reveal what those measures would entail. Iwata expressed concerns about the public’s increasing acceptance of piracy, stating, “We fear a kind of thinking is become widespread that paying for software is meaningless. We have a strong sense of crisis about this problem.”

As usual, these statements from Iwata bring more questions than answers. While we’re always in favor of giving gamer more options, does the ability to turn off 3D undercut the 3DS’s most important feature? As we’ve seen with Wii Motion Plus, making a feature optional often means that third parties don’t utilize it. Or, does this concern over eyestrain mean the 3D display is causing headaches in test subjects like the notorious Virtual Boy?

It’s also hard to predict what precautions Nintendo might be taking to stop piracy. Is the unit a download only device like the PSP?

Either way, we’re extremely excited to get our hands on the Nintendo 3DS at E3.