Nintendo President Satoru Iwata has revealed that the 3D function on the upcoming Nintendo 3DS handheld will be easy to turn off.

The revelation, which came via a Forbes interview with Iwata (thanks GoNintendo), was offered in response to concerns that 3D games might have possible health effects on children's eyesight, Iwata said.

Nintendo has had direct experience with the potential health effects of 3D gaming - the company's 3D Virtual Boy was reported to cause headaches for many players after prolonged play.

The announcement of the 3D off switch gives some credence to rumours that the 3DS will utilise Sharp's parallax barrier technology to achieve its glasses-free 3D effect. That technology allows for quick switching from 2D to 3D display via a simple cutoff to the electrical current going to the parallax barrier above the LCD screen.