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Nintendo: “Batteries Under 10 Hours = NG” (3DS = 3 Hours)


Nintendo’s CEO is being quoted as saying handhelds with a battery life of under 10 hours are “absolutely meaningless,” after his company just announced the 3DS only has a 3 hour battery life.

Nintendo CEO Iwata was previously quoted rubbishing the PSP for having a short battery life:

“For games, it is absolutely meaningless if your console doesn’t have a battery life of 10-20 hours.”

The 3DS has a battery life of “3-5 hours” in normal 3DS games, and a 3.5 hour charge time.

He is however true to his word in another 2004 interview:

“I actually don’t think you can’t use the DS for things other than gaming.

However, to make it do all kinds of things, and to give it all kinds of functionality, you end up pushing up the price, making it bigger, and reducing the battery life – this is a mistake, I think.”

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  • It wouldn’t be as much of a problem if the system used standard batteries. Except that too many people don’t know what NiMH batteries are. I guess it couldn’t keep time without constant power though.

    All the same, I’d LOVE something like an extended battery pack for my DS. Or even just a thing I can plug in that funnels power into it from some AA or AAA batteries.

  • CPU & GPU usage as well as large screens will eat into the battery. Hence… the DSi has a better battery life than the DSiXL. The 3D functionality requires a bit more power to work obviously.

    If someone wants a long battery life, the DS-Lite is the best way to go. But I like the DSi the most. 😉

  • As much as I like SC, the bias in the stories I read here is sometimes ridiculous. Every other gaming site reports it as 3-8 hours and of course it only takes a couple hours to charge fully. That’s the same charge the PSP has now and only a little less than the 5-10 the DS Lite gets.

  • Well here’s my thing: I have a DSlite for DS/GBA games. I got a DSi on launch for the camera and the DSiware games…that and the shoulder buttons on my lite were getting worn and i needed a new one for Metroid:Prime Hunters (Still hoping on a sequel or something-come on Nintendo!). I do like the battery life on the DS but the only time I find myself playing for 10+ hrs is like a RPG like Golden Sun. I plan on trading in my DSi for a 3DS cause of all the things it does like play movies and im looking forward to Resident Evil and Zelda:OoT3D. Those two games kinda sold it for me. I have a PSP but I use it mostly as a mp3 player these days.

  • i like pandas says:

    Quoting something from 7 years ago is retarded as fuck.

    Battery technology experienced little to no significant advancement since the Li-ion battery was commercialized in the early 2000s. Thus, developers face a huge issue as technology has doubled in power each year, yet batteries stay the same.

    Thus, this news shouldn’t be a surprise at all. These days, where everyone wants the most powerful of everything, Nintendo clearly weighed their options and made a logically sound decision. Imagine if they said: “Hey guys, we’re releasing a new generation DS! It has a Pentium 1 processor and a hamster with a calculator as its GPU. Did we mention its battery life is over 9000 hours? Please look forward to new games in a mind-numbing TEN SHADES OF GRAY!”

    From many of the comments above, it seems some kids are afflicted with retardation. “EWWW 3DS sucks, PSP2 will be way better.” So you’re you’re telling me that PSP2, which is likely going to sell itself on its amazing graphics, won’t have battery issues?

    In fact, look at it this way. Nintendo DS had 4 times the battery life of the PSP. So if the 3DS has 3 hours of battery life, PSP2 will be enjoying a whopping 45 minutes of battery life! AMAZING!

    In the end, I don’t really give a fuck. I play my handhelds at home anyways.

    • So true. It just proves again Nintendo main weakness is, most people are not intelligent enough to understand all the work they did on their systems.

      When I look at battery stats, it seems obvious there is a problem, especially the charge time. A lot of reliable sites (i am really disapointed by SC right now, honestly) are now trying to correct. It is probably just a mistake or a mistranslation. Or it is part of the usual anti-N lies we hear about each time a new Nintendo system is released…

      What I heard is:
      3DS games in 3D: 2 – 5h
      3DS games 3D turn off: 5 – 8h
      DS games and other features: much more!

      And no battery has a charge time that long! I believe 3.5h is the time you need to charge the battery while the 3DS is working.

      It seems much more understandable when you look at it this way, doesn’t it?

  • I find this bad news for gamers, period. I myself don’t own a DS but a gameboy was my first handheld (I’m pretty sure most of everyone here’s first handheld was a gameboy). I now own two PSP’s and I love them. I mean MGS Peace Walker is the most stunning game on it and 3de Birthday is pretty sweet too. MH is awesome and I play it all the time. It’s not a question of the DS being superior to the PSP, but the games. Right now, the PSP is the best handheld when it comes to Hardcore games IMO. The DS is the best in innovation and the 3DS is gonna blow the PSP out of the water with it’s 3D tech. I think both PSP and DS are awesome and the only loser here is M$. When the PSP2 comes out, I would say it’s gonna be a great year for gamers as it’s gonna be this year with the release of the 3DS.

  • jamesownsall says:

    I guess we won’t know for sure until a consumer with disposable time measures the battery life with the dimmest light, lowest audible volume, and with 3D and WiFi off.

    Sadly for me, I might still get this shit, because Resident Evil series is making a grand return to survival horror with Revelations, SO FAR A 3DS EXCLUSIVE, SHIIIIIIIIIIIIT!!!!!!

  • honestly, if im to spend $300 bucks on a new “console” I’d rather just pick up another ps3 or xbox… I cant see myself spending that type of money for something based off gimmicky technology (im quite sure the games will still be nintendo quality, you know a handful of gems but mostly kiddy styled sh*t…)marketed as a portable with so little battery life…

    honestly, I’ll stick with my dsi until they come up with a killer 3d library, and hopefully resolve these battery life issues.. thats just me though

    • “honestly, if im to spend $300 bucks on a new “console” I’d rather just pick up another ps3 or xbox”

      Amen to that. PSP graphics and 3d gimmick aren’t worthy. And the games… ok, they have a great history in gaming but, come on, another mario game? Zelda… again? I’m kind of tired to play the same story and see the same characters over and over again, but that’s just my opinion.

  • I’m a Nintendo fanboy and I’m not going to believe any of the shit you guys are making up. Wait for the release and the reviews and don’t start bitching about something that doesn’t even exist yet.

  • come on, sony have all the resources to make good things, still without understand why they copy nintendo, i mean, if you know a little of the world, you`ll know nintendo`s the king of gaming.
    and for battery life, in my country you cant go out with a super machine like that, you will get raped.
    and im always and home, so i dont care, 3 hours on 3ds, other 3 hours on pc during charging, etc

  • WTF? 3 hours holy shit! I have to buy extra 2 battery to play additional 6 hour during traveling on a bus(traffic here is worst) or a train. Why don’t Nintendo invent something like a portable Generator that is light and small?

  • Iwata’s self-contradiction is a bit embarrassing…

    3 hours of battery life seems totally fine to me though. I can’t imagine having it on for more than 3 hours when I take it with me somewhere. When I’m at home, I’ll just play it with the charger plugged in.

    • 3 hours is short, and well, if yer traveling for a couple of hours, you will start cursing and swearing when your 3DS ran out of battery and there’s no place to charge it. Unless of course if yer planning to bring along spare batteries or better yet, a few other consoles like your PSP and DS along with you in your extremely heavy luggage

        • Well maybe but in the end when you are home you have big consoles, PC, TV and basically a dozen things to do. Do you really need a handheld console too?
          People are too greedy. Most of them buy them just to have everything instead of what they need. More than half the buyers of hand-held consoles probably use them 99% of the time at home. So basically they never really needed one.
          It’s not like we ever run out of games to play on the big systems. So much games are released every month that is impossible to play or buy them. So in the end hand-held consoles are nothing but a narcotic making gamers buy them because gamers just can’t resist a nice looking console.

          Personally i am still playing with my PS2. Yes i had bought so much nice games that i never found time to play them all even 4 years after the replacement came out in the market.
          Hell now GT5 is out and there are still a few things i want to win in GT4.

          I will probably buy PS3 in a few months along with GT5 and then i will be buying some games on that and my PC for at least the next 6-7 years.
          In the end when you realize you don’t have time for everything you try to stop throwing away money just to feel you have everything.

    • #1 handheld =/= bomb. I agree that if Sony plays their cards right and make a decent PSP2 to combat it, Sony will pretty much roll over it, but it’s likely to go the same route as the Wii–they’ll sell way more than they could ever need to early, take their money and laugh to the bank.

      • PSP2… killer features… it’s already said that the PSP2’s ganna have 1gb of ram and a processor half as powerful as the PS3 so it’s a monster already speed wise. The Graphics are going to compare to early PS3 title games too… so we know it’s ganna have mind blowing graphics… what I wanna know now is how is the battery ganna be, weather they’re going the route of the PSP Go for design, and weather or not it’s ganna have physical games… or if they’re ganna fuck us over again with UMD’s.

        • All that about hardware features is good and all, but the most important thing as always is how many games it’s gonna have and if they’re gonna be any fun.

          While I love my PSP1000 because I could do a bunch of stuff besides playing games, I haven’t got a wide variety of games I liked to play in it. I think I liked less than 10 games, and four were Patapon 1 and 2 and Locoroco 1 and 2. I haven’t played a PSP game in a long time, meanwhile I just finished playing 999 for the NDS (killer game, especially for those who loved Ever17 and F/SN)

          Then again it’s probably because I’m not that partial to the kind of games released for the PSP.

        • Yeah. The N64 was better than the PS but still they lost like some shitheads. Don’t speak of the PS2. The Wii and the DS are still far away from the almighty PS2. But well, nintendo has a big player base, being the only system that is developed for kids under the age of 12.

  • Its not like it matters. How many people are going to be playing it for more than a couple hours away from a source of electricity anyway? Still, our battery technology is getting pretty laughably archaic in light of all these fancy new portable gadgets we’re drooling over year after year.

  • Rather than a trollish rave, I’ll say this; Here’s how they can do some good…

    Offer a $3 million dollar (+.001% sales) reward for anyone who can make a battery for the device that will fit in it and which will last 10 hours+. A few basic conditions, like it has to be manufacturable at about the same, 25% higher price, etc…

    I’m sure they’ll get TONS of dis-gruntled, laid off Scientists, Engineers, even Grad Students who can, they just are sick of someone else being rich for their efforts and laying them off or otherwise cheating them out of reward for their work.

    IMO, they’ll get a bunch of apps within 3 months, have a working device shortly after, then about a year later they’ll be ordered. About when the 3DS users would be tossing their old batteries anyways and need to buy others, so ta-dah, they get to earn that reward back and many times over selling the technology to other makers (like Laptop manufacturers) or just making their own batteries or letting the company that makes it for them make other models and pay them some.

    The logic of that is, one way or another, they will be innovators and some scientist will get a deserved comfortable retirement. Hopefully he’ll be an American one who’ll go out to an Asian retirement castle of his own design firing fiery hate the USA articles over how he’s been cheated all his life, sparking a wave of isolationist hate:-)

  • No, bad Nintendo! Hasn’t the PSP taught you anything about how vital a good battery life is?! In fact, I think the 3DS has a WORSE battery life than the PSP. Oh God, this can’t turn out good…

  • So. Yet another blog post about the 3DS battery, and still none about the ps3 being opened to homebrew.
    Let me guess, you don’t promote piracy. So make a blog post about sony saying they will do something about it (even though they can’t do anything about it).

    Oh wait. You just want to badmouth nintendo and praise sony as always. My bad.

  • I’d have to charge it for 3.5 hours for only 3-5 hours of gameplay? WTF. Doesn’t the DS last way longer than 5 hours. Why would they make a handheld that is a regression from what they have done in the past?

    Honestly, I feel like the 3DS is meaningless. I haven’t seen a single reason to shell out my hard earned money for it.

    • Because it isn’t a regression on all fronts. The 3D is awesome, and the graphics are better. $300 better? Not in my opinion, but I know many people who’re going to buy the thing the very instant it appears on the shelves.
      Also, while the battery life sucks, it will be more than adequate for most people.

    • Stop hyping the 3DS like it’s anything other then a PSP (look at the specs) with gimmicky 3D that is more akin to a magic eye picture (once again, read the explanation of how it works, and why you don’t need anything like glasses for it), and a camera.

      You can turn on the nintendo fanboy mode all you want, but the information is widely available and true..

      Throw in the absurd price tag, the ridiculous release titles, and realize it’s only consumer base really will be pokemon fans…

      • i like pandas says:

        Unfortunately, I’m not playing the specs; I’m playing the games. I don’t give ten fucks if PSP2 had a Core i7 with a Tegra2, I’m getting the system with motherfucking PHOENIX WRIGHT VS. LAYTON on it. The 3D effect is more like a cherry on top of an already delicious cake.

        Also, you do realize that every negative point the 3DS has, will only be worse for PSP2?

        Even worse battery life, higher price leading to less developers (as usual), and maybe only a handful of decent games (as usual).

        Don’t get me wrong thou. If Sony manages to prove me wrong on those points, I’d get a PSP2 in a heartbeat.

        • we also have to consider that once the 3ds is release there will also be the third party developers coming up with good and silly ideas to improve gaming experience such as a more powerful battery -_- and the silly gimmicky once which for now will still have to hold, im still looking at you inflatable wii go-kart

    • “Why would they make a handheld that is a regression from what they have done in the past?”

      They know a lot of people will still buy the 3DS when it comes out, regardless of how short it’s battery life is. Giving it such a small battery life leaves a lot of room for an upgraded 3DS in a year or two that those same people will buy as well.

    • He is however true to his word in another [b]2004 interview:[/b]

      “I actually don’t think you can’t use the DS for things other than gaming.

      However, to make it do all kinds of things, and to give it all kinds of functionality, [b]you end up pushing up the price, making it bigger, and reducing the battery life – this is a mistake,[/b] I think.”

      and yet they went ahead with it anyway………
      someone facepalm on my behalf because I’ve lost all will to do so myself now….

      • *anon facepalms*

        But the real problem with his statement is he used a double negative. He could also be quoted as saying, “I actually [do] think you [can] use the DS for things other than gaming.”

    • >Why would they make a handheld that is a regression from what they have done in the past?

      3D tech takes up too much power?

      I wonder if they’re letting themselves get flabby and lazy since they don’t have any real competitors in the hand-held market.

        • You can’t turn off the 3D, it is still rendering the double frames for the effect, the 3D slider only turns the effect off on the eyes. It won’t extend battery life. To extend battery life, you have to use the dimmest backlight or turn it off (if that is possible).

        • Ha ha ha no.

          Turns off the 3D effect on the eyes? What the hell nonsense is that?

          When the slider is at minimum it renders zero 3D. Which means it’s not rendering TWO frames any more for the STEREOscopic effect. It’s rendering ONE, like virtually every other screen conceived.

          In theory, this is half the rendering work, and could increase battery life by as much as 80%. A full 100% isn’t possible because the system must perform the same amount of physics, AI, and other assorted calculations. It simply just needs to render half as much.

          I don’t believe the system will render “HD” like another anon said, however, because the games simply aren’t likely to just upscale everything on the fly. Even if it were simply rendering HD, battery life would not improve significantly over rendering the 3D effect as it would have the same amount of pixels to push, simply in a different manner.

        • Erm…the battery life extends if you turn of the 3D. Also, graphics of a PSP? The thing can play games in freaking HD when it’s not using 3D. Also, try actually looking at the list of games already confirmed for 3DS.

        • Instead of boasting about hardware, how about considering how many actual fun games each console has? Seriously what’s the point of a handheld console if it doesn’t have any fun games?

          I’m getting the 3DS, although not at launch. That’d be insane expense that I don’t have.

        • Graphics don’t automatically make things next gen as we’ve seen with nintendo’s trolling but the Graphics are better than the psp as we have seen through various sources of gameplay, there just not up to console level i.e. ps3/360. Also to the guy that can play his psp for 12 hours, good for you, shows how much time you have to waste on a dying console.

        • Lets be honest when 3DS releases it’s gonna destroy the market like Nintendo usually does, the same happened with the wii (on release) but then thats all that mattered, after such profound sales it’s so infamous it still sells reasonably. Nintendo are clever because they know how to market well, and that is all what it comes down to.

        • 3. “Next Gen? The 3DS doesn’t has better graphics as the PSP, they are just 3D.. so sony isn’t really that pressed. ”

          Herp derp herpity derpity derp. Derp.

          Okay, you stupid, misinformed ‘tard, the PSP does not support modern day effects like normal mapping, bump mapping, per pixel lighting, HDR rendering (though, one or two games try to EMULATE it), gamma correction like the 3DS does. That already makes the 3DS leagues ahead of the PSP in terms of visuals, and if you you’re going to pull the “PSP HAZ HIGHER RESOLUTION LULZ” card, then take into account the aspect ratio of the 3DS’s screen and its pixel density: 3DS games will come out looking just as crisp and sharp if not more so than the PSP and doesn’t suffer from dithering like it does.

          4. “My PSP lasts for 12 hours gaming time. Thank god for replacement battery packs that can hold more power than the regular PSP battery. SUCK ON THAT DS FAGS.”


          The 3DS is using a 1300mAh battery, and anyone that is familiar with battery tech. would be able to tell you that battery is better than anything used in any of the DS iterations. The 3DS’s CPU and GPU are most likely killing the battery, though…

          Aaaaand that’s it. 🙂

        • Is this troll Nintendo day, or something? 😀

          Some of this is just too stupid to even work as trolling, though…

          Iwata is a great guy, a much better CEO than Yamauchi ever was, but looking at what Iwata said then, and looking at the 3DS now (not that I don’t like it, I’m foaming at the mouth for one), it IS, undeniably, facepalm-worthy.

          Anyhow, time to debunk the idiot trolls… or are they just the usual Sonytards being, well, Sonytards?

          1. The PSP is selling great, I mean, they actually weren’t booted off the market like every other handheld that went against Nintendo’s. But competition? That’s not even remotely true. The DS is outselling the PSP by a 3 to 1 ratio. That’s not competition no matter how you look at it.

          2. The smart phones ARE not Nintendo’s enemy. That was just some idiot reporter misquoting Iwata. See for yourself:

          And you don’t even need a quote from the execs to figure out that much. It’s obvious the smart phone has expanded the market (people that want to play games 10-15 minutes at a time and not invest huge amounts of time like one would do for ACTUAL games like Phantasy Star Portable 2 and such) and not taken it over.


        • Next Gen? The 3DS doesn’t has better graphics as the PSP, they are just 3D.. so sony isn’t really that pressed. Besides, for what? Why does everyone develop for the PSP right now? Big Playerbase and low Production Costs. If they shell out a PSP2 with far better graphic they just destroy themselves.

        • The Android and iOS devices are the 3DS’s competition, the latter specifically stated as so by Nintendo.

          So far Apple’s proving to be the current threat since it’s hardware is capable of high detail shaders and is developing a large library casual and hardcore games (Like a really nice portable version of Battlefield Bad Company 2).

          Haters going to hate, but that’s just how it is right now.

          As for the PSP2, well it’s going to be a powerhouse hardware wise and it does have a Ready By Dawn “Uncharted” title as one launch title, so wouldn’t count it out (but not much more than that).

        • What makes you say that? Nobody considered original Xbox competition to PS2 afterall, you know. Things can change. When a system makes many significant problems with a new system, then it opens up the possibility for competitors to take the crown.