March 27, the Nintendo 3DS launched nationwide, and with it the next generation of hand-held video game consoles. Although it’s bound to sell incredibly well, the system ups the ante on isolating a particular customer base.
The Nintendo 3DS utilizes stereoscopic imaging technology to capture and project three-dimensional images, but the slightest ocular imperfection could render the three-dimensional images invisible for many video game players.
For the three-dimensional technology to properly render a person’s vision must be perfectly aligned, said Optometrist Dr. Aleta Gong.
Gong said that even something simple as poor-vision quality — or if the brain can’t focus the eyes in synchronicity — can impede the user from comprehending the stereoscopic three-dimensional images used in the Nintendo 3DS. For visually challenged gamers, Nintendo’s new product ushers in a forecast of future negligence. Because of Nintendo’s innovative products, the company’s newly launched systems are habitually well received by consumers and the company has a long-standing reputation for setting the newest gaming trends.
In consequence of Nintendo’s generational popularity, the new console will open the floodgates for the next age bracket of consumers who will become accustomed to three-dimensional video games.
With consumers demanding three-dimensional video games, upcoming blockbuster titles will also be developed to be presented in 3D. This change is already noticeable with the upcoming “Uncharted 3” or the recently released “Crysis 2.”
Although these games, and the ones designed for the 3DS, are certainly playable without being able to visualize three-dimensional images, a particular design element will be lost on visually impaired gamers.
However, vision loss isn’t the only form of ocular impairment facing many gamers worldwide.
A largely discarded problem many developers fail to address is the colorblind population.
While most colorblind individuals are able to see three-dimensional projections, Gong said, video games that rely heavily upon team colors place these consumers at a direct disadvantage.
Gong said the most common colors that are associated with color blindness are brown, red and green.
Coincidently, these are frequently used colors during in-game puzzles and combative multiplayer.
Developers will most likely always cater to the majority consumer base for the video game industry is a multi-billion-dollar business. Hopefully, the three-dimensional phenomenon is a fad and will soon phase out, allowing all gamers to enjoy the experience. Alas, since Nintendo has officially thrown its hat into the ring, the wait may be quite long.
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