3DS sports 3- to 5-hour battery life for 3D games

Nintendo uses 2011 World Event to show off new portable and give specifications; system will last five to eight hours for DS games; all figures based on brightness of screen.

During this weekend's 2011 Nintendo World Event in Japan, the house of Mario publicly displayed the company's new portable, the 3DS. In addition to showing off the 3DS, Nintendo specified the Japanese software launch lineup and announced final system specifications, including battery life.

The 3DS battery will last about as long as Gone With the Wind.

According to Nintendo's 3DS product listing, when the system is playing 3D titles, the battery will provide gamers three to five hours of play on every charge. The play clock is upped to a range of five to eight hours for standard DS and DSi titles. According to Nintendo, those times are all dependent on screen brightness levels. Further, the 3DS will take approximately three and a half hours to charge, according to Nintendo.

The 3DS will be released in Japan on February 26 for a yen equivalent of roughly $300. Nintendo is holding an event in New York City on January 19, where it has promised to unveil new details surrounding the 3DS, possibly including a North American release date.

Nintendo first debuted the 3DS during its 2010 Electronic Entertainment Expo press conference, laying out a sizable number of first-party titles, including Kid Icarus: Uprising, Star Fox 64 3D, Paper Mario, Animal Crossing, Mario Kart, and The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time.

Later, the publisher also confirmed some third-party support for the 3DS, with titles like Metal Gear Solid: Snake Eater 3D - The Naked Sample, Dragon Quest, Final Fantasy, Pro Evolution Soccer, Dead or Alive 3D, Resident Evil Revelations, Ninja Gaiden, Pac-Man & Galaga, and Dragon Ball all getting the 3D treatment, as well as a spate of unnamed titles from such developers as Harmonix, Take-Two, Atlus, AQ Interactive, Disney Interactive Studios, Hudson Soft, Majesco, Marvelous Entertainment, and Sega. Electronic Arts' Madden NFL 11 will also debut on the portable around the time of its launch.

Written By

Eddie Makuch is a news editor at GameSpot, and would like to see the Whalers return to Hartford.

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Discussion

169 comments
F0ZZY
F0ZZY

ill wait for the 3DS Lite.

jlatu
jlatu

I'd wait for a revision or at least till enough gamers try it out in real life. 3-5 hours seems like a lot but the details that go into that calculation are unknown to us. For the DS models that's okay, but just from watching the video attached to this article I get the feeling they're moving the 3DS into an always on always connecting type of device. Smartphones are like that and if you weren't careful you got one that ran out of power just over the drive from home to work.

rey2
rey2

They'll eventually fix the battery life issue. That will be the time for me to get one. By that time there will be probably a good library of games to choose from. The $250 price is okay for a debut but it'll eventually come down at some point.

MasterJ633
MasterJ633

I agree with most people. Just it lasting 3 - 5 hours shouldn't make people think it sucks. Hell, My PSP, After Fully Charging gets about 4 Hours 30 Min. Give it time after the 3DS comes out and I'm sure they will make a longer lasting battery.

Barighm
Barighm

Unless you live out of a suitcase, that's plenty of time.

leeko_link
leeko_link

In this time and age, is the battery life of a handheld a problem anymore? Hardly no one plays a handheld for more than 3 hours anyways and nobody is wasting big bucks to buy expensive batteries either when there are battery chargers everywhere nowadays.

BigAl519
BigAl519

@IRoxxorUrSoxxor Whats wrong, cant afford to pay your hydro. Or your fat fingers cant quite get the plug into place? Did it take you long to come to the conclusion that its portable too?? Maybe you fail to comprehend that only a small % of the people who actually buy it are going to be away from an outlet for 3-5 hours at a time. If that. 3-5 hours isnt much shorter then any other product on the market, not to mention theres this new concept out there called, say it with me now 'recharging your battery'. Most means of transport have outlets of some sort. You can get an adapter for just about any power source, so unless your out in the middle of nowhere replaying Deliverance with Uncle Tom, then getting 5 hours of use on the minimum light settings is nothing to complain about one bit. Try sitting on your cellphone for 5 hours and see if its battery lasts, or your laptop or even and older ds or psp.

IRoxxorUrSoxxor
IRoxxorUrSoxxor

@BigAl519 - It's a portable gaming system you numbnuts. 3-5 hours of battery life isn't a total deal breaker, but if you don't consider it a negative, you're a moron.

BigAl519
BigAl519

So its only 60 dollars more then the dsi xl, full 3d gaming without glasses which is still new tech, does everything the original ds does and just because its battery life is 3-5 hours its garbage to so many people. Is it really that hard for people to just plug it in.

NightRain
NightRain

Sure it's kinda short but you gotta keep in mind that this technology is powerful and will require a lot of "juice" to make it work!

darkjedilink
darkjedilink

@Dejanji - I didn't realize a 7-year-old PSP could do 3D without glasses. Apparently, the whole world missed that memo. Considering the tech, battery size and price, the battery life seems about right. A longer-life battery of that size would most likely set the 3DS into a price point that wouldn't be competitive, even with glasses-free 3D.

Dejanji
Dejanji

300 dollars for a handheld with the specs of a psp (7 years old) stop drinking the kool aid already...

lordqarlyn
lordqarlyn

I'd like to see a longer battery life, but this is still acceptable to me. On long airplane flights, I always fly a premium class anyway, and their seats have electrical outlets. Even on some airlines, some rows in coach are equipped with outlets too. If some 3rd party could make a USB charger, then almost any airline that has long-haul flights could be taken care of.

Blk_Mage_Ctype
Blk_Mage_Ctype

Just another reason to wait for the inevitable price drop/redesign...

MarioandWB
MarioandWB

This is why I refuse to buy the 3DS and stick with my DS Lite. 3 to 5 hours of battery life? No way. Nintendo shouldn't have rushed on this system. Besides, DS Lite is the best DS so far. Why are people still buying the DSi?

Vlado
Vlado

lol! Pathetic battery life. Maybe nintendo shouldn't rush this... Oh, who am I kidding, they'll release an "improved" version in a few months, that'll work like it should have worked from the very beginning, and the "intelligent" consumers will rush to buy that one, as well.

so_hai
so_hai

That's nowhere near long enough for OoT Water Temple virgins to figure out the dungeon - unless of course, like the PSP the 3DS will save your game state before switching itself off. This, I doubt though.

DarkFlamedSkull
DarkFlamedSkull

Well i have no interest in anything nintendo anymore except the WII. as a matter of fact a traded in my DS lite. so i dont see this in my future at all

FreakensteinAG
FreakensteinAG

I'm pretty sure Nintendo will complement some accessories along with the standard 3DS. For instance, a plug-in charger that can be removed and popped into the machine while the tired one charges. So for the gamers *looks into monitor* that can't play ONLY 3 hours of 3DS, you can remove the tired battery, place it inside the charger, and pop the good one inside and continue playing. If they are already doing this, then excuse me, I'm just running ideas through my head.

whatisurnameplz
whatisurnameplz

This won't affect me much since I'm not getting this until the first revision comes out.

archlvt
archlvt

The dsi lasts about this as well, no big surprise here. This is with brightness settings at max. Turn them down some, and you're likely to last closer to 15 hours.

NColdhardt
NColdhardt

Guess I'm buying another side battery to use when the first runs out...

Valtero
Valtero

A lot of you are failing to read this correctly and are optimistically assuming that the 3-5 hour estimate is ONLY at the highest brightness, blissfully thinking that surely it's longer if you simply turn down the brightness. Wrong. Read again: "According to Nintendo, those times are all dependent on screen brightness levels." It's stated clearly above that these times are dependent on screen brightness settings. So approximately 3 hours at the highest brightness, 5 at the lowest for 3DS games, 5 to 8 for DS games. Again: About 5 hours max for 3DS games with screen brightness set at the lowest.

Seca_Verins
Seca_Verins

Hmmm, I don't really foresee any situation where I'll be playing my 3DS for more than 3 hours without access to an outlet....maybe a really long car trip, if I don't have any sort of adapter...actually, why don't they make a car charger for DS systems?

zzamaro
zzamaro

@mariokart64fan "5to 8 hours is good compared to psp which lol averages 3 hours max , gameplay remember thats on its brightest settings and with 3d on" That was on launch, PSP now lasts more, 5 to 6 I believe, Nintendo can also improve this but it can;t be done much due to 3d tech...Anyway, it's NOT the brightest setting and it isn't with the 3d on. Where did you get that idea? It IS 3 to 5 hours[it says on the headline] and with the soft[medium] bright setting.

user_93475765
user_93475765

I had a Game Gear. What was it, like 6 AA batteries for 2hrs of gameplay? Something like that. And it weighed 10lbs. So yeah, this isn't so bad.

grove12345
grove12345

considering the warnings playing a 3ds for hours produces, anything over 1 1/2 hours is enough.

lukeprism
lukeprism

Remember, guys, 3-5 hours on the brightest setting with 3D on. I normally use the lowest brightness just because I'm a battery-life whore myself. And without 3D... anywhere from 6-8 1/2 hours, I'd say. So calm down.

im-a-roustabout
im-a-roustabout

Oh and by then it will have a better line up of games too.

im-a-roustabout
im-a-roustabout

You people forget just how little you really do take car trips. That's not that bad. Though admittedly I am going to wait for the inevitable LITE version or whatever they decide to call it a year from launch, cuz you know it's coming people.

TETSUOdaIRONMAN
TETSUOdaIRONMAN

I'm going to totally replace the power supply and soup up this beetch.

LBoksha
LBoksha

Hopefully there'll be a 3DS-Lite with better battery life in a year or so. I wasn't planning on getting the 3DS on release day anyway.

xgalacticax
xgalacticax

Those will be 3-5 of your best gaming hours. Please make Ninja Gaiden on the 3DS. I wanna see blood fly out the screen

mariokart64fan
mariokart64fan

5to 8 hours is good compared to psp which lol averages 3 hours max , gameplay remember thats on its brightest settings and with 3d on

Demi-San
Demi-San

The battery life really isn't that bad. Most likely at highest brightness. Plus, why are you going to be playing it for 3-5 hours straight out of your home? I'm just worried about the battery life for when it's closed, I hate it when my DS dies because I left it on paused, and closed.

dawnofhero
dawnofhero

Well, considering how many times people actually play out in public versus indoors where outlets are, I say why not? You've got two screens, a 3D effect, and a high quality screen, so of course it will use up fuel in a few hours.

eal-zubieri
eal-zubieri

the battery life is just terrible, they might be chinese batteries lol.

kbaily
kbaily

As someone who owned Sega's AA battery chomping Game Gear, I just say thank God for rechargable batteries at least.

sagameister3
sagameister3

Well my psp 3001 currently lasts about 3-4 hours so this won't be a big deal imo.

blackace
blackace

The battery life is a bit short, but I'll most likely still get the system if the price is less them $300. I've sure there will be other battery option and as long as it has an adapter so I can play at home without draining the battery, I'm fine with that.

Flint247
Flint247

Although that's pretty short, I am still getting the 3DS. :D This is a handheld, after all. 3D effects on a handheld will definitely consume a lot of power. Doesn't matter, we can change the settings around to make the battery last longer. Can't wait until more news on the 3DS!

BubbenMan
BubbenMan

@mario-nin-freak Because even if you don't play more then 3-4 hours on the go you might very well end up having the game paused for much longer.

BubbenMan
BubbenMan

@mario-nin-freak I mean when you close the lid with the game still running.

BubbenMan
BubbenMan

I'd say the battery life when in sleep (or whatever) mode is a bigger question.