28% of 3DS players say 3D detracts from gameplay

Interpret survey finds only 22% of gamers believe handheld's multidimensional effect improves gameplay, just 7% consider a handheld the ideal way to game in 3D.

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LOS ANGELES--One of Nintendo's biggest selling points for the 3DS is its glasses-free 3D effect, but a new survey from research firm Interpret LLC shows more than a quarter of players think it actually makes the games worse. Speaking at the 3D Gaming Summit today, Interpret senior vice president of strategy and analysis Dan Casey revealed findings from the company's latest annual survey into 3D entertainment.

28% of 3DS users think the 3D effect makes games worse.
28% of 3DS users think the 3D effect makes games worse.

Casey set aside a portion of his talk specifically to discuss the 3DS, which is facing a number of challenges. Awareness of the device was up significantly over the previous year's 3D survey, surpassing 60 percent. However, there still isn't quite enough awareness of the machine's features, as only 28 percent of those aware of the 3DS knew that the handheld didn't require 3D glasses.

As for those who have already played the system, reactions were mixed. While 22 percent of respondents thought the 3D effect of the 3DS improved gameplay, they were outnumbered by the 28 percent who said it actually detracted from the experience. Of all the 3DS players, 13 percent preferred playing with the 3D effect turned completely off.

And even though having to wear glasses continues to be cited as a frequent complaint with 3D among consumers, the glasses-free option offered by the 3DS goes only so far to compensate. Of the respondents, 56 percent of them described their ideal 3D gaming experience as playing on a 3D-capable console connected to a TV, while just 7 percent said a 3D handheld would be their platform of choice.

The big-picture takeaway of Casey's talk was that awareness of and personal experience with 3D is key to driving the technology. Satisfaction is generally high among those who have firsthand experience with 3D, but the lessons from research continue to point in the same direction.

"A theme you'll see over and over again is just the need to educate people," Casey said.

Other interesting findings include an uptick in the number of users who reported dizziness or nausea due to watching 3D entertainment (37 percent this year, up from 30 percent the year before). On top of that, Interpret found that 23 percent of people were interested in 3D gaming because they believed it might give them a competitive edge in multiplayer matches.

Interpret conducted its survey in mid-May with more than 1,600 adult respondents.

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