Short Battery Life for Nintendo 3DS Means Game Over Comes Quickly

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News Posted: Tue, Jan 11 2011 11:31 AM
At the end of February, Nintendo will finally launch its 3DS handheld console in Japan, followed by a worldwide release in March. As those release dates near, Nintendo has begun serving up additional details about its 3D-capable gaming device, including battery life.

According to Nintendo's recently updated product page, you can expect just 3 hours and 30 minutes of run time in 3D mode. If you're playing regular DS titles in 2D mode, things are a little better with 5 to 8 hours of rated run time, but both of these figures are approximate values and will vary "depending on the brightness of the screen," Nintendo says.


We don't want to make a mountain out of a mole hill, but we can't help but be a little bit disappointed with these numbers, especially if they turn out to be high estimates based on unrealistic gaming conditions (ultra low brightness while playing less demanding games, for example). For comparison, the DSi XL is rated at 13 to 17 hours of run time (lowest brightness setting), while the regular DSi claims 9 to 14 hours.
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3vi1 replied on Tue, Jan 11 2011 2:43 PM

It uses multiple CPUs, each twice as powerful as the old system's, an entirely different (much more powerful) GPU, and the screen resolution is several times higher (plus, the 3D mode is really double the number of screens), so I don't this was unexpected.

Compare the battery life to something more relative in power, like a smartphone (even without 3D), and it doesn't seem so bad. I probably would have endorsed enough weight to get 5 hours though.

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