Nintendo tells us more about the 3DS battery life

Just how long will you be able to play your brand new Nintendo 3DS without plugging the thing into a wall? The official word from Nintendo is three to five hours, depending on how bright you need the screen to be. We knew that already, but the more in-depth details were revealed just recently.

In a “Iwata Asks” session, Nintendo president Satoru Iwata and 3DS designer Ryuji Umenzu explain how a power save device was implemented to help users save precious battery power without needing to utilize equally precious brain cells.

“When the screen as a whole is dark, the backlight itself gets darker, which saves power,” says Umenzu of the power save mode. The president and his henchman go on to say that playing on 100% brightness will only last three hours, but if you can get by on the darkest setting, the battery will yield 5 hours of play time. Using power save mode will get you about 10-20% more time (18-36 minutes) than when playing on full brightness.

Here’s hoping that 3D portable videogames are so awesome that our brains can only handle three hours at a time anyhow.