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3DS Has Power Saving Mode for Dark Pixels

by Karlie Yeung - January 26, 2011, 9:17 pm EST
Total comments: 13 Source: http://www.nintendo.co.jp/3ds/interview/hardware/v..., (Iwata Asks)

Even on full brightness, battery life can be extended by 10 to 20 percent. 

In the latest edition of Iwata Asks, our omnipresent Nintendo President tells about the power-saving mode for the Nintendo 3DS. It uses less power for the backlight when the pixels themselves are darker shades.

Internal testing with the mode off gave the three-hour battery life figure we have all come to know, but when this power-save mode was enabled, the team got 10 to 20 percent more battery life when the backlight was on the brightest setting. With the lowest brightness, the battery lasted five hours, and turning this power-save mode on or off did not make much of a difference.

Another test, with the brightness turned all the way up, showed that turning off 3D could make the battery last 25 percent longer. This would increase the battery life to 3.75 hours on the brightest setting.

Ryuji Umezu from the Research and Engineering Department, one of Iwata's interviewees, also told us that WiFi communications do not have a big impact since they are intermittent, but local multiplayer can decrease playtime by around 10% when the system is on full brightness.

Technical specifications on Nintendo's website previously revealed the 3DS battery life to be between three to five hours.

Translation provided by our Japan Correspondent.


ShyGuyJanuary 27, 2011

Jinx! You owe me two Cokes.

It sounds like all this is is dynamic contrast, which is what computer and TV LCD screens have been using for years to fake a larger range of colors.  It's actually a step backward from mobile phones, which have light sensors to detect when they can reduce brightness.  I'm still really surprised at how poor the battery life is on this thing, given how much more space there should be for a battery compared to more powerful cell phones that have at least that much life... I wonder if it was because of the choice to use that unconventional 3D chip.

BlackNMild2k1January 27, 2011

No Power Saving Mode on Brightest Setting = 3hrs = 180 minutes
Power Saving Mode on Brightest Setting = +10%-20% = + 18-36minutes

Power Saving Mode on Brightest Setting = 3:18min - 3:36minutes

I guess when you only have so few minutes, those extra 20-30 minutes is HUGE in the grand scheme of things.

So on the Brightest Setting with Power Saving mode could net you and extra 1 or so bring total battery life to maybe around 4:20minutes.

UncleBobRichard Cook, Guest ContributorJanuary 27, 2011

::gets all giddy and can't wait for the announcement::

CalibanJanuary 27, 2011

Quote from: UncleBob

::gets all giddy and can't wait for the announcement::

UncleBob knows something we don't know yet...

BlackNMild2k1January 27, 2011

Quote from: Caliban

Quote from: UncleBob

::gets all giddy and can't wait for the announcement::

UncleBob knows something we don't know yet...

...that Walmart is gonna be selling Battery Booster Packs and his employee discount gets him a 35% discount on accessories which he can also use with his numerous Walmart Giftcards that he has accumulated through years of hardwork and Employee of the Month rewards.

Ian SaneJanuary 27, 2011

Wow, 3.75 hours with the 3D off.  The extra 45 minutes makes all the difference.

The battery life estimates that have been revealed are all pretty inexcusably low and yet Nintendo feels the need to draw attention to this with an Iwata Asks feature that promotes this power saving feature that does not sound very impressive at all and just further emphasizes how shitty the battery life for this thing is (36 more minutes!  Holy shit!)  How do these guys sell so many systems with such oblivious PR skills?

If it my system and it had such lousy battery life I would make all effort to avoid bringing it up.  I also would not publicly announce to my customers that I had no intention of lowering prices so I don't really ride the same carpet as Nintendo.

BlackNMild2k1January 27, 2011

From the leaked pics I think it showed that the 3DS only had an 1800mAh battery in it. & while that is a step up from what is supposedly in the DSi/XL (1300MAh?), Nintendo could have stepped up their power to a 2300mAh, likely increasing the battery life ~25-30% and still made a nice profit.

that Baby guyJanuary 27, 2011

I could have sworn the leaked pics had a 1300MAh battery.  Nintendo could have stepped up the battery a bit.  It doesn't mean that I'm not going to find ways to work around battery issues.

Edit: Just checked, it is 1300MAh.  Apparently the DSLite has a 1000MAh, and the DSi has an 840MAh.  Nintendo is seriously skimping on paying for batteries!

BlackNMild2k1January 27, 2011

That's even worse. A 2300mAh battery will solve all our battery issues.

ReinanigansJanuary 28, 2011

I do almost all of my gaming at home, handheld or not, so battery life isn't an extreme concern of mine. But say I wanted to purchase a replacement battery for my 3DS with more battery life. Is that going to be a problem? Is Nintendo using some weird shape for their battery slot that wont allow upgrades to fit?

I ask because tomorrow is my last day working at Best Buy and I want to know if I can put that employee discount to use one more time

As has been true since the first DS, it will have a custom battery.

If you'd settle for an external battery pack, it's been confirmed that the 3DS uses the same charge port as the DSi and DSi XL, so any battery pack designed for those should work for the 3DS as well.

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