Nightly News Roundup: 2011.01.05

3DS safe for everyone, NYC secretly a video game, Sunsoft retracts JPN-only exclusive, and Sakaguchi discusses the finality of The Last Story.

By Andrew Hsieh. Posted 01/05/2011 20:00 Comment on this     ShareThis

Nightly News Roundup

Ophthalmologists declare 3DS safe for younger eyes

Though Nintendo has warned of their 3DS system causing eye problems in younger children, ophthalmologists from the Internet (i.e. Ars Technica and Wired) and from universities in St. Louis and San Diego have refuted this statement. According to the New York Times, Dr. Tychsen of Washington University in St. Louis has performed experiments on baby Rhesus monkeys, having them wear 3-D glasses and watch a screen each day for three months. Dr. Tychsen has since concluded that 3-D glasses have “no deleterious impact whatsoever” and that, even with 3-D glasses on, vision for monkeys at least develops “no differently than for those not wearing the devices.”

Meanwhile, Dr. David Hunter from Harvard University and ophthalmologist-in-chief at Children’s Hospital Boston mentions that though 3-D images probably do not hurt eye development, because “three-dimensional projections approximate the way the human eyes construct 3-D images,” other ill-effects might include brain fatigue from trying to process too much information, especially in a child’s more fragile eyes.

Finally, Dr. David Granet, a pediatric ophthalmologist from the University of California, San Diego, waved away the whole warning, instead focusing on a different subject:

“There were a flurry of e-mails saying, ‘Does any one know the reason for this or where it came from?’ ” Dr. Granet said. He added: “I don’t think that parents need to worry about kids playing video games, 3-D or otherwise, from a vision perspective. The bigger question for parents is: Do you really want your 3-year-old playing a video game?” — New York Times

Source: New York Times

Blaster Master developer holds back on releasing Japanese exclusive on VC

Though Sunsoft, famed developer of such classics as the NES’s Blaster Master and the arcade/Sega Master System’s Fantasy Zone, was part of Nintendo’s list of company partners to release games for the Virtual Console as early as September 2006, Sunsoft has yet to release much of its touted game catalogue on the retro service. In 2009, Sunsoft announced that Blaster Master would come to VC, and even acquired TurboGrafx star Telenet Japan’s entire game library. However, Sunsoft has mostly remained invisible on the Virtual Console, and only continues to be invisible, citing “no plans” to release Japanese-exclusive fighter Waku Waku 7 for the Virtual Console, despite a GoNintendo story stating otherwise earlier.

Waku Waku 7 is a 1996 game for the NEO-GEO arcade system with nine total playable characters, each parodying famous fighters from other arcade games. It was published by SNK, and included in the Playstation 2 Japanese-exclusive release Sunsoft Collection. Though released in America briefly on the arcade, it has seen no other release outside Japan.

Source: GoNintendo

Hironobu Sakaguchi discusses life after The Last Story

The Last Story, currently being jointly developed by Mistwalker and AQ Interactive and published by Nintendo, is already hotly anticipated as a Final Fantasy-esque role-playing game to be released on Wii, especially due to its impressive pedigree. Director Hironobu Sakaguchi, known for creating the Final Fantasy series, talked with about The Last Story, its influences and catalysts, and what happens after. Notably, Sakaguchi, known as a stickler to more traditional-type role-playing games, mentions what he learned from the Xbox 360 games Blue Dragon and Lost Odyssey, also once-hotly anticipated Mistwalker-developed games:

Like I said, that was one of the regrets we had with Blue Dragon and Lost Odyssey. Gamers see [command-based battles] as old-fashioned, as too slow-paced, as unexciting. It just felt like that had to change. The way people enjoy games has changed, and I felt like if this didn’t change as well, then it’ll put a stop to the evolution of RPGs. I realized all too well that simply going through the motions again would be pointless.

The Last Story was announced in June 2009 as a mysterious new game being developed by Sakaguchi, and has since then been touted as a collaboration between Mistwalker and Nintendo. Famed composer Nobuo Uematsu created the score for the game, and Kimihiko Fujisaka of PS2’s Drakengard fame worked as concept/character artist. It is planned for release in Japan on January 27, 2011.


New York City haven for pixellated water

Photographer Benjamin Norman captured a few shots of what appears to be a district in New York City that blends reality with Videogameland, featured on Called “Pixel Pour”, the art installation mimics another one spotted somewhere on New York City’s Lower East Side back in 2008, apparently installed to promote water conservation for Earth Day:

Source: Makezine

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