Nintendo President Satoru Iwata has explained why Nintendo 3DS will only have a 3-5 hour battery life when the 3D is activated. Iwata, along with the designers of 3DS, chose the latest Iwata Asks 3DS discussion to defend the battery life of the console.
3DS system designer Ryuji Umeza kicked things off by explaining how he measured the battery life. "When I measured it by playing several Nintendo games with the backlight set to the brightest level and the power save mode turned off, battery duration was about three hours. But if you use the power save mode under the same conditions, it gets about 10-20% longer.
"And if you set the backlight to the darkest setting, the battery lasts five hours, but the power save mode makes less of a difference then."
Iwata stepped in: "In other words, the brightness of the backlight has the greatest effect on battery duration."
Umezu added: "Right. What's more, with the backlight set as high as it will go, battery life changes about 25% according to whether you're playing in 2D or 3D."
But what happens when you're using StreetPass mode? "In StreetPass mode, the system isn't always communicating, so there isn't much of a drain on the battery, but games that communicate a lot through local play and online play - with the backlight set to high - have an over 10% effect on the battery," said Umezu.
Iwata said that Nintendo has included the cradle because the 3DS has a relatively low battery life. "It will be necessary for this system to be charged more often than for the previous systems," said Iwata. "For that reason, we include a special charging cradle. We recommend that when players get home, they put their system there."