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3DS Battery Life Fully Detailed By Nintendo

Aug 6, 2006
13,049
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www.blackfalcongames.net
Real battery life details.

Umezu: As mentioned earlier, what uses the most power in a handheld gaming device is the LCD backlight, and making one screen 3D presented the problem of even more power used by the backlight. The power save mode uses a technology called active backlight. It precisely controls the brightness of the backlight according to the brightness of the screen being displayed. When the screen as a whole is dark, the backlight itself gets darker, which saves power.

Iwata: In principle, it may not be much use in a game with lots of bright screens, but if you set the backlight to bright, the more darker screens there are in a game, the greater the effect of the power save mode.

Umezu: Right. But you can't say exactly how much of an effect the power save mode is having on game processing because of the various factors that influence power use, such as how constantly the SoC is running, whether you're using the camera or wireless, and how loud the volume is set.

Iwata: Maybe you can't be exact, but how about an approximation?

Umezu: We announced the other day that the battery duration for playing Nintendo 3DS games on it is about three to five hours. When I measured it by playing several Nintendo games, with the backlight set to the brightest level and the power save mode turned off, battery duration was about three hours. But if you use the power save mode under the same conditions, it gets about 10-20% longer. And if you set the backlight to the darkest setting, the battery lasts five hours, but the power save mode makes less of a difference then.

Iwata: In other words, the brightness of the backlight has the greatest effect on battery duration.

Umezu: Right. What's more, with the backlight set as high as it will go, battery life changes about 25% according to whether you're playing in 2D or 3D.

Iwata: Yes, 3D is a battle against power use. How about wireless use? Some players may be worried about that.

Umezu: In StreetPass mode, the system isn't always communicating, so there isn't much of a drain on the battery, but games that communicate a lot through local play and online play—with the backlight set to high—have an over 10% effect on the battery.

Iwata: So it will be necessary for this system to be charged more often than for the previous systems. For that reason, we include a special charging cradle. We recommend that when players get home, they put their system there.
Source: http://iwataasks.nintendo.com/interview.html#/how-nintendo-3ds-made/1/0

Meaning, probably:
Nuclear Muffin said:
Reposted from the Iwata Asks thread:

So, we know how power save works now (it's basically the same as dynamic contrast on LCD TVs) and Streetpass isn't constantly communicating. We can roughly guess the battery life.

3D: 3-5 hours (4.2 hours with WiFi on constantly) (Highest Brightness is 4 hours with power save on)

2D: 8 hours (6.5 hours with WiFi on constantly)

Not as good as I was hoping for to be honest. I weep for the PSP 2!
3D games are awesome, so it'll probably be worth the big battery life hit adding 3D to this system caused, but it's definitely sad to see Nintendo abandon good battery life in handhelds like this. 3-5 hours isn't much... we need battery technology advances, badly. :)
 

Freezie KO

Banned
Jul 9, 2007
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if you set the backlight to the darkest setting, the battery lasts five hours
Yuck. I'd rather have brightness than 3D. Looks like I'll need one of those attachable corded battery extenders for flights. Lame.
 

ZealousD

Makes world leading predictions like "The sun will rise tomorrow"
Apr 17, 2007
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Did the battery of the DS Lite improve when compared to the original DS? Or for the DSi from the Lite?

I guess I wouldn't mind one more reason to hold off on buying this thing.
 

Haunted

Member
Nov 16, 2006
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steamcommunity.com
Way too low, imo.


I'll probably wait for the first revision.


ZealousD said:
Did the battery of the DS Lite improve when compared to the original DS? Or for the DSi from the Lite?

I guess I wouldn't mind one more reason to hold off on buying this thing.
DSL was a big improvement from the original. DSi battery is actually a bit worse than DSL's because its backlight is brighter.
 

antonz

Member
May 12, 2010
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Eteric Rice said:
I'm willing to bet that thing won't be much better, if any.
Battery life for PSP2 is identical based on reports now. Of course the PSP2 battery is probably nearly the size of the 3DS
 

spons

Member
May 25, 2009
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Is this excusable? Especially with the PSP2 bomb that just got dropped, in terms of hardware.
 
Jun 4, 2009
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I don't know, 3DS is looking less and less appealing to me, especially with Sony's earlier announcements. I'll have one, of course, by the time Paper Mario or Mario Kart drops, but I think Sony has my attention for now.
 

dimb

Bjergsen is the greatest midlane in the world
Dec 22, 2007
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Hmm. Hopefully the PSP2 does well, it seems like Nintendo thinks they can do whatever they want without any serious competition.
 

Medalion

Banned
Dec 12, 2008
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up my ass
Atomski said:
In most cases I can't see actually playin games in 3D on the go anyways. If you are moving around at all it will bug your eyes.
Yeah but that's not the reason why the battery drains so quickly... it's mainly the screen brightness
 

ASIS

Member
Apr 7, 2008
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So I went from "screw this" to "Okay it's not so bad". Now I'm back to "Screw this."

Seriously, WTF Nintendo?!
 

Eteric Rice

Member
Jan 13, 2007
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1,205
antonz said:
Battery life for PSP2 is identical based on reports now. Of course the PSP2 battery is probably nearly the size of the 3DS
So we have two portables that guzzle up large amounts of juice.

Weeeee...
 

Azure J

Member
Jun 12, 2008
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How did we go from Game Boy's "OMG too long" battery times on goddamned AA batteries (in comparison) to two portable consoles that could wind up with 5 - 6 hours tops? *Sigh*

Cheeky I know, but seriously. :|
 
Sep 13, 2009
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wtf :/ bummer, i was never gonna take it outside my home lol but terrible news, is it possible to take out the battery and put a 3rd party battery in?
hmmmmmmmmmmm
 

Foffy

Banned
May 14, 2009
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Haunted said:
DSL was a big improvement from the original. DSi battery is actually a bit worse than DSL's because its backlight is brighter.
Wasn't the major bonus for the DSL that it actually showcased the real colors of the games? The original model showed off faded colors due to the backlight.
 

MGrant

Member
May 6, 2006
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I don't find myself playing my DS away from its charger for more than 3-5 hours very often. I guess if you're a frequent flyer or something you'll have to buy a USB charger or an extra battery or something, but this doesn't seem like a dealbreaker for your average play-portables-on-public-transit guy.
 
Sep 30, 2009
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AzureJericho said:
How did we go from Game Boy's "OMG too long" battery times on goddamned AA batteries (in comparison) to two portable consoles that could wind up with 5 - 6 hours tops? *Sigh*

Cheeky I know, but seriously. :|
Lots of advancements of science in one field versus minimal advancements of science in another.
 

antonz

Member
May 12, 2010
22,354
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friskykillface said:
wtf :/ bummer, i was never gonna take it outside my home lol but terrible news, is it possible to take out the battery and put a 3rd party battery in?
hmmmmmmmmmmm
It should be possible when a good 3rd party battery alternative is out
 

Ysiadmihi

Banned
Sep 14, 2007
10,846
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Disappointing but I'm not sure exactly how much battery life people are expecting out of a system like the 3DS (or the PSP2 for that matter).
 

Kodiak

Not an asshole.
Sep 30, 2006
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I'm already trying to justify this in my head. God I'm such a Nintendo bitch.

"The shorter time will force me to take more breaks and do other things, so its positive!"

"The reality is, if the battery gets low I can just pull out my iphone and dink around"

"If I play 3 hours of 3DS before being near a charger, that's my own damn fault!"

really though... the battery of the DSL is sublime and this is a definite disappointment.
 

Freezie KO

Banned
Jul 9, 2007
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So assuming no advancement in battery technology, if they release a 3DS XL and use all the extra space for a larger physical battery, what could we get for battery life?