Only 3 to 5 hours for 3DS titles
One of the biggest questions that we have been getting about the upcoming Nintendo 3DS is what kind of battery life it will have due to its 3DS support, higher performance hardware and bigger screen. Actually, we have finally been able to work our sources to get some real answers on this one.
Our sources are telling us that battery life on the 3DS is a tricky question, because so much depends on which mode the unit is running in and what it is actually doing. Assuming the worst case, if you are playing a 3DS title you end up with battery life of about 3 hours, but with some 3DS titles that could increase to as much as 5 hours, but not much more than that. According to whispers we are hearing, the average battery life for most 3DS titles will average about 4 hours of play time.
Battery life on the 3DS is at its worst when you are powering all three displays, and if you are rendering in full 3D it sucks the battery life; and if your wireless happens to be on, as well, you can start to see how all of this power demand adds up so quickly.
The better news might be that if you are using old DS titles you will get about 5 to 8 hours of battery life, but of course, that also depends on the game and other factors. This might not be the kind of battery life you were hoping for, but we suspected trouble when we found out that the 3DS would include a charging dock as part of the package. Recharge time from a full battery drain is said to take about 3 ½ hours.
While we hear that Nintendo is working on additional battery optimizations and will be working with software developers to provide better battery optimization within their software titles, we suspect that at least the first generation battery life of about 3 to 4 hours will be pretty much standard if you are playing 3DS titles. At least we know that the focus on the second generation model will be the battery life and form factor, and this gives us something to look forward to.