And don’t go pointing fingers at 3D--the parallax barrier technology utilized in the 3DS doesn’t render two images like other 3D formats. Contrary to what you may have heard, turning off 3D won’t halve the work the 3DS has to do. 3D isn’t the battery-draining gremlin in this scenario.
StreetPass, which will stay connected to Wi-Fi even when the system is in sleep mode. Inspired by the Tag Mode in Dragon Quest IX, StreetPass will allow your 3DS to download data from other nearby systems whether it’s awake or asleep. Instead of being a game-specific feature, StreetPass is built right into the system. This always-on wireless attitude could definitely impact the system’s battery life.
Assuming Nintendo’s 3DS battery measurements are done with the Wi-Fi turned on, this is good news! There’s a Wi-Fi toggle right on the side of the system, so you can always turn wireless off and reap the benefits. Nintendo also has a reputation for low-balling its battery life estimates. With the early data we have--and no explicit mention of brightness or wireless settings--the 3DS battery may not be quite as terrible as it sounds.
|Platform||Battery capacity||Claimed battery life||Charge time|
|Nintendo 3DS||1300 mAh||3DS games: 3-5 hours. DS games: 5-8 hours||3.5 hours|
|Nintendo DSi XL||1050 mAh||4-5 hours (highest), 9-11 hours (medium), 13-17 hours (lowest)||2-3 hours|
|Nintendo DSi||840 mAh||3-4 hours (highest), 6-9 hours (medium), 9-14 hours (lowest)||2-3 hours|
|Nintendo DS Lite||1000 mAh||5-8 hours (high brightness), 15-19 hours (low brightness)||3 hours|
|Nintendo DS Fat||850 mAh||10 hours||4 hours|
|Game Boy Advance SP||700 mAh||7-10 hours (high brightness)||3 hours|
|PSP Go||930 mAh||3-6 hours||2-3 hours|
|PSP 3000||1200 mAh||4-6 hours||3 hours|
|iPhone 4||1420 mAh||10 hours video time. Less for Infinity Blade.||2-3 hours|
Even if we remain cautiously optimistic, there’s no denying that battery life is going to come in lower than the lofty numbers above for the DS Lite. The 3DS is a more powerful system, and Nintendo President Satoru Iwata himself admitted that they expect the 3DS to be charged more often than its previous systems. That’s why Nintendo is including a dock for the system. Once the system has launched in Japan, we’ll know exactly how long the system lasts on its 1300 mAh battery. And if we’re lucky, Nintendo will clarify the handheld’s specs before February 26.