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Nintendo 3DS Battery Life: Awful considering ‘on-the-go’

Oh dear… Nintendo’s best-case scenario for their upcoming 3DS is a playtime of 3-8 hours for every time it’s fully charged, and that takes up to 3.5 hours. Fully charged, the device allows 3-5 hours of 3DS games or 5-8 hours of normal DS games.

This seems awful considering that the whole point of handheld gaming is to be able to play on-the-go, and this is obviously not going to be effectively possible for any length of time. With this new Nintendo handheld having such a short battery life the all-afternoon plays without charges will most certainly become a thing of the past. It gets worse when you make comparisons to the DS Lite and the DSi XL. The former offers 15 to 19 hrs on a low light setting, and the latter a full 13 to 17 hrs on a similar setting.

Add to this, another negative revelation, that unless you are able to hold the 3DS really still, the 3D effect will be lost, and you may well decide that this device is truly on shaky ground (pardon the pun!). How the human eyes interpret things, is dependent on how the light and image messages enter the eye. The glasses–free technology used in the 3DS, relies on sending two images to each eye, in a steady, uninterrupted pathway. Shaky hands would therefore result on a loss of the full 3D effect.

So what do you think? Is it right to market the Nintendo 3DS as a handheld portable, when it doesn’t step up to the mark as far as gaming on the go is concerned? Or are you happy to accept just a few hours portable gaming in return for the enhanced features of ‘glasses free’ 3 dimensional gaming that the Nintendo 3D promises to bring? Perhaps you feel the 3DS is embarking on shaky ground!

You can see the official Nintendo 3DS specs list here. Please share your frustrations or elation’s in the comments box below!


  • Robert

    I wouldn't pay too much attention to the battery life reports just yet. The game sites who translate from japanese text often completely mistranslate what is being said….so I'd wait for the English version of the specs.

    Worth mentioning that it comes with a charging stand as standard to use as a home for the 3DS when not in use. So unless you play for hours and hours a day.. it really shouldn't be a problem. You just need to get into the habit of putting the 3DS into its home at the end of the day.

    As far as people with shaking hands…well the 3D effect can be turned off if it's that much of a problem..but if you rest your hands on a table or flat surface while playing it shouldn't be a problem.

    For the person suggesting a frame/stand for the 3DS to keep it still…you can buy a tabletop stand for a normal DS now for around $10-$15 …so i'm sure one will be released for the 3DS (the normal DS one may work as it is).

  • Guest

    Obviously everyone will have their own opinion on this, which is perfectly fine as everyone is different! In our case though, our 11yo son has been saving up to buy the 3DS since he first heard about it…However, after reading the reports on it, I really think he should give this one a miss as it really doesn't sound like it's the one for him. He is disabled and has weak hands, so wouldn't be able to hold it still, which if I understand correctly, would affect the 3D effect. He would also get annoyed with the shorter battery life as we spend a lot of time going to and fro from hospital, with the usual waiting around when there – the DS keeps him from getting bored and 'climbing the walls'. Good concept though

    • guest

      You;re right to be cautious with this one. However, I can't help thinking that it should be possible for someone out there with a little know how, to construct some kind of a holding frame for this device so that it could be accessed by your son and hundreds if not thousands of youngsters whose gross and fine motor skills would otherwise prevent them from enjoying such technology. Have you thought of approaching the makers? your viewpoint has made me think. Wouldn't it be great if the makers thought more about enabling their games to be accessed by youngsters who, like your son, has an avid interest in gaming, but with pyssical restraints? Good luck with it if you do decide to prick the conciences of the makers!

  • Keaton

    i think it's fine. Get a life.


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