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Thread: Battery Life: 3DS Vs. Game Gear

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    Raging in the Streets KnightWarrior's Avatar
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    Does it matter what kind of battery is in the Game Gear??

    I use only Enegizer....

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    A Light In The Building. Master of Shinobi
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    Quote Originally Posted by kool kitty89 View Post
    I wonder if that's a Majesco GG.
    No, it was stated in the video that the unit was purchased in '95. It still definitely has a later motherboard revision than most Game Gear owners have.

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    Quote Originally Posted by KnightWarrior View Post
    Does it matter what kind of battery is in the Game Gear??

    I use only Enegizer....
    OI!!!


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    ESWAT Veteran Da_Shocker's Avatar
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    The Nomad was the worst offender. I remember when I bought mine back in 98 and i'm leaving TRU and on the bus damn the thing dies in less than an hour. But it had a great LCD screen back then.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Da_Shocker View Post
    The Nomad was the worst offender. I remember when I bought mine back in 98 and i'm leaving TRU and on the bus damn the thing dies in less than an hour. But it had a great LCD screen back then.
    I still plan to do the mod where you replace the screen with the modern one that can last up to 8 hours.
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    Master of Shinobi JCU's Avatar
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    I fail to see the significance in this comparison except for the fact that a low tech handheld outlasts (power wise) a new system with more processes, amenities, etc.., that require a larger demand on the power supply. What next, comparing a 64 Plymouth with a 2010 BMW?

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    Quote Originally Posted by chessage View Post
    Composite output is a more preferred & universal choice, though.
    sounds good to me. Do you have a modded one?

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    Raging in the Streets A Black Falcon's Avatar
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    Wow, almost 7 1/2 hours on the GG with continuous play (not intermittent play -so no rest for the batteries) . . . I wonder if that's a Majesco GG. (even so, those are quoted at ~6 hours max)
    Quote Originally Posted by Da Shocker
    The Nomad was the worst offender. I remember when I bought mine back in 98 and i'm leaving TRU and on the bus damn the thing dies in less than an hour. But it had a great LCD screen back then.
    Yeah, Nomad battery life estimates are about 2-3 hours, which is lower than any other old handheld I know of... though the TurboExpress, at 3 hours, is just about on par with it.

    As for the GG, apparently earlier models did get like 4-6 hours (maybe on the lower end of that scale?), but yes, later on they improved it. I have the manual with my Majesco GG, which says that you should get 7 hours of battery life. In comparison, my Game Boy's manual, which is from 1993 (though I don't know of any model changes for the GB between its launch and replacement), says to expect 35 hours. From my experience I would say that is accurate. The Lynx is estimated at 4-5 hours for a model 1, 5-6 I think for model 2. The Virtual Boy's manual says seven hours. All of those except for the GB, of course, used six AAs. Replacing six AAs every couple of hours would get very expensive...

    Oh, the Game Boy Color only gets 10-12 hours, and the Game Boy Advance is about the same. The GB Pocket only got ~10 hours, but it uses AAAs instead of AAs like the rest of these systems. These three also use only two batteries instead of four. Still, the GBC or GBA are a good step down in battery life from the original GB, even considering the number of batteries. It's a more powerful system with a better screen, so it gets worse battery life... and now that problem, that the batteries aren't able to hold enough power to get decent battery life in consoles, has returned with a vengeance with the PSP, 3DS, and Vita, all of which get awful battery lives. Of course the 3DS does get a better battery life than three hours when you turn down the brightness, turn off the wi-fi, and turn down or off the 3D, but really, given how much batteries can hold, there isn't much they could do there, and the same is true for Sony. Battery technology simply doesn't increase at anywhere near the same rate that computer technology does.

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    The reason it beat the 3ds is because battery technology has improved vastly in almost 20 years.

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    The Best Genesis Master of Shinobi GohanX's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by kool kitty89 View Post
    Standard, good quality alkaline AAs shouldn't have changed much since then . . . neither have NiCd rechargeables or cheap-o dry cells (zinc-carbon batteries).

    I wonder how many of those old battery life accounts were done with crappy dry cells. (would be less than 1/2 the duration of Alkalines,
    Fair enough. Batteries seem to last longer these days, but admittedly I am more prone to be using either good quality alkalines or NiMH rechargeables now. Back in the day I'd use whatever I could dig up in around the house or what I could convince my mom to buy. Mostly I used the AC adapter.
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    Hero of Algol kool kitty89's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by A Black Falcon View Post
    As for the GG, apparently earlier models did get like 4-6 hours (maybe on the lower end of that scale?), but yes, later on they improved it. I have the manual with my Majesco GG, which says that you should get 7 hours of battery life. In comparison, my Game Boy's manual, which is from 1993 (though I don't know of any model changes for the GB between its launch and replacement), says to expect 35 hours. From my experience I would say that is accurate. The Lynx is estimated at 4-5 hours for a model 1, 5-6 I think for model 2. The Virtual Boy's manual says seven hours. All of those except for the GB, of course, used six AAs. Replacing six AAs every couple of hours would get very expensive...
    Again, I also wonder what sorts of batteries were used in those tests . . . as well as in anecdotal accounts and complaints.

    The GB Pocket only got ~10 hours, but it uses AAAs instead of AAs like the rest of these systems.
    I remember the GBP getting much less life than the GBC (maybe GBA) and obviously even more distant compared with the brick GB (at least the units we have). That's all with similar brand/types of batteries used.

    How did you come up with your numbers for these? Did you test any of them yourself? (the 20+ hour life of the GB was disputed heavily recently in the Game Sack thread . . . it was mentioned that 10-15 hours was usual with modern alkaline batteries -at least with the unit Dave was using -and in the same thread, it was mentioned that the GBP was only getting ~5 hours, or worse in some cases)

    Of course the 3DS does get a better battery life than three hours when you turn down the brightness, turn off the wi-fi, and turn down or off the 3D, but really, given how much batteries can hold, there isn't much they could do there, and the same is true for Sony. Battery technology simply doesn't increase at anywhere near the same rate that computer technology does.
    They could sacrifice size/form factor slightly to facilitate moderately bulkier batteries with substantially higher capacities. (-the battery expansion/replacement kits for the PSP barely add a slight bulge to the system, but add substantially improved battery life)

    The 3DS's battery is listed as 1300 mAh, which seems pretty low compared to what you get with many off the shelf NiMH cells even (let alone higher-end Li-ion batteries in modern handheld games/laptops/cell phones/tablets/etc).

    I certainly wouldn't have minded a system somewhat closer to the size/shape of the original DS if it meant far more battery life. (not to mention the old DS is much, much nicer to hold, has better d-pad, and better face and shoulder buttons -though the d-pad and buttons of the GBC/GBA are still better IMO) For that matter, something closer (or identical) to the old DS's form factor, but using the DS-lite's revised hardware (and screens) with a larger battery than the Lite would have been really nice to have. (a more ergonomic, more rugged system with better battery life and equal quality screen as the lite -plus no protruding GBA carts)




    Quote Originally Posted by GohanX View Post
    Fair enough. Batteries seem to last longer these days, but admittedly I am more prone to be using either good quality alkalines or NiMH rechargeables now. Back in the day I'd use whatever I could dig up in around the house or what I could convince my mom to buy. Mostly I used the AC adapter.
    My family used almost exclusively alkalines (usually energizer or duracell -more the former, though sometimes other common brands or generic stuff), and almost never any dry cells (be it the basic "general purpose" ammonium choride cells or the "heavy duty" zinc chloride cells). In fact, we pretty much only had that latter around from products that came pack-in with cheap-o batteries . . . or maybe if we got extra batteries from relatives or something. (I seem to remember my grandparents or uncle bringing batteries over a few times) Oh, that and a short period when we got batteries from the thrift store before realizing the low prices weren't a bargain for such weak batteries.

    As far as I can remember, our handled games, radios, 2-way radios, TV remotes, wireless controllers, clocks, etc all lasted pretty much the same as they do now . . . with maybe a very slight improvement. (but even with the promoted duracell ultra, the contemporary energizer thing, "titanium" branded batteries, etc, I never saw a huge difference -at least no more than usually from lower-end alkalines vs the "good" ones . . . lithium is another story though
    Granted, my memory is mostly limited to 1993/94 onward, and didn't include handheld consoles (aside from crappy built-in LCD games) until my brother and I got Game Boys around 1997/1998.
    We also tried NiCd rechargables for a while, but my parents got fed up with the poor reliability and charging/discharging issues. (we started using NiMH pretty heavily as soon as those became really common ~5-6 years back)


    Alkaline batteries may have moderately improved since the early 90s, but I doubt dramatically. (they did get a fair bit more affordable though -relative to prices of dry cells . . . and the latter often not being sold at all anymore, aside from lantern batteries) One thing's for sure: dry cell performance hasn't changed at all in the last 3 decades.

    Another thing that's always been true for alkalines over dry cells is shelf life: good alkalines (and even most cheap ones) will stay good (ie near full charge) for years on end (especially if stored in a cool, dry place) while Dry Cells can degrade much more quickly. (lithiums have extremely long shelf lives on top of high capacity -the latter more so for some than others due simply to having more reactive material crammed into them -usually also priced higher)






    Quote Originally Posted by Clessy View Post
    The reason it beat the 3ds is because battery technology has improved vastly in almost 20 years.
    Again, I highly doubt it's improved much at all for alkalines, at least comparing the better quality ones then and now.

    What has changed is alkalines becoming totally dominant as the de-facto consumer standard batteries (over dry cells, which were still more popular in parts of the US in the early 90s -let alone other parts of the world), and with those you'd have less than 1/2 the duration in most cases. (poor performance under heavy load, generally low capacity, poor shelf life -especially after partial discharge, etc)

    If any of those old battery tests (or consumer complaints) were done with cheap-o dry cells, it's no wonder they ended up so poor. (the GB doesn't fare very well on dry cells either)
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    Dude it’s the bios that marries the 16 bit and the 8 bit that makes it 24 bit. If SNK released their double speed bios revision SNK would have had the world’s first 48 bit machine, IDK how you keep ignoring this.
    Quote Originally Posted by evilevoix View Post
    the PCE, that system has no extra silicone for music, how many resources are used to make music and it has less sprites than the MD on screen at once but a larger sprite area?

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    Raging in the Streets KnightWarrior's Avatar
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    How about the Game Gear and the 3DS with 3D off, Wifi off..and see who's the winner....

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    Raging in the Streets A Black Falcon's Avatar
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    Again, I also wonder what sorts of batteries were used in those tests . . . as well as in anecdotal accounts and complaints.
    The type of alkalines does matter, but I'd guess that (Lithiums aside) that's just going to move things up or down a bit, not radically change the battery lives of systems... but I've never done a direct comparison test, so I'm not certain.

    I remember the GBP getting much less life than the GBC (maybe GBA) and obviously even more distant compared with the brick GB (at least the units we have). That's all with similar brand/types of batteries used.
    Well, the GBP is estimated at 10 hours, the GBC at 10-12 (or maybe slightly above that), so I would think that on average the Pocket would last several hours less, yeah. I have never owned a GB Pocket myself, though; I do have original GBs, GBCs, and GBAs, however.

    How did you come up with your numbers for these? Did you test any of them yourself? (the 20+ hour life of the GB was disputed heavily recently in the Game Sack thread . . . it was mentioned that 10-15 hours was usual with modern alkaline batteries -at least with the unit Dave was using -and in the same thread, it was mentioned that the GBP was only getting ~5 hours, or worse in some cases)
    The ones where I say "from the manual" -- that is, the Virtual Boy, Majesco Game Gear, and original Game Boy -- come from my manuals for those systems. The other ones mostly come from Wikipedia or other online sources. They aren't entirely accurate, but these things vary anyway, so there aren't specific, one-number answers anyway.

    My own experiences line up with their estimates, for the VB and GB; I've never used my GG with batteries, I just plug it in. As for the VB, after getting it I put in some batteries. I played through both games I owned (VB Wario Land and Vertical Force), and played one of them a second time through most of the way (both games are a couple of hours long), before they stopped working. Now, VBs don't actually drain batteries -- instead, when the batteries get down to about a third, the system starts resetting constantly, in my experience. So at that point I had to take them out, and had this pile of low-life-left batteries. I decided to put the in my original GB and play Kirby's Dream Land 2 from the beginning. I finished the game before they finally died. That's some pretty solid battery life.

    As for the GB, I have always said that I thought the system gets 35-40 hours. We had two GBs, mine from late 1993 and another one from 1994, and I always remember it getting quite good battery life, and lasting a long time. I did also have a rechargeable battery pack, which didn't last nearly as long as the batteries, honestly, but had the big advantage of being rechargeable, and working as an AC adapter too. Unfortunately the technology used for early '90s rechargeable battery packs didn't hold up too well and both stopped holding much of a charge after a few years.

    Then, in Christmas '98, I got a Game Boy Color. It was pretty cool to have a color system, but I clearly recall how much worse the thing's battery life was than my original GB. With the original GB I'd be able to put batteries in and just play for a good long time without worrying about it, but with the GBC the battery life was much, much worse, certainly less than half that of the GB's (considering that it uses half as many batteries). I remember finding it kind of annoying. And as for the original model GBA, the estimate that it has about the same battery life as the GBC sounds about right to me. I didn't get an SP until last year, so I played the original GBA for years.

    So yeah, I'd say that for most of those systems, both personal experience and wikipedia support what I'm saying. The only one with any contention is the original GB, where you do see numbers all over the place (from 10 hours to 40), but I pretty strongly think that the upper end of that is what you actually get...


    Oh, and for all systems, I'm pretty sure that volume level affects battery life too, I've always heard that... and the GBC or GBA are more likely to have to be at full volume than the original GB, unless you're using headphones (which I have never often used with handhelds, even though I know it does get you stereo I usually just don't bother), because the original GB has a much louder speaker than the GBC or GBA have. Those two are somewhat pathetic in comparison, volume-wise...

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    Quote Originally Posted by A Black Falcon View Post
    The type of alkalines does matter, but I'd guess that (Lithiums aside) that's just going to move things up or down a bit, not radically change the battery lives of systems... but I've never done a direct comparison test, so I'm not certain.
    Yeah, but if they used cheap-o "zinc-carbon" dry cells (ie "general purpose" or "regular duty") rather than alkalines, there would be a massive difference. (like a factor of 3:1 or beyond to 5:1 in worst cases -depending on the specific dry cells used and how the system is used -dry cells have poor performance under heavy/continuous loads as well as poor shelf lives -to they only perform best with intermittent use within a few days of installation: heavy continuous use or extended periods of non-use will tend to give far poorer overall play time)
    The so-called "heavy duty" zinc chloride Zinc-carbon cells don't fare much better compared to alkalines, but are still more competitive than the cheaper ammonium chloride type. (roughly 1/2 the performance of alkalines, depending on circumstances -could be slightly more than 1/2, but could also be closer to 1/3)

    Basic Zn/C cells are worse than NiCd batteries in some respects. (definitely poorer performing if comparing fully charged cells -the problem is comparing used/mischarged NiCd cells -Zinc Chloride cells fare better than either though)

    The fact that those types of batteries were much more common in the early 90s (and were much cheaper than alkalines) makes that even more significant.

    So in a worst case, a GB getting 35 hours on good alkalines might get under 6 hours on zinc-carbon cells, or in a best case (ideal operating conditions for the Zn/C cells) might get ~12 hours. (or ~11 and ~18 hours for bad/good cases of Zinc Chloride cells -maybe 20 hours in an absolute best case)

    The ones where I say "from the manual" -- that is, the Virtual Boy, Majesco Game Gear, and original Game Boy -- come from my manuals for those systems. The other ones mostly come from Wikipedia or other online sources. They aren't entirely accurate, but these things vary anyway, so there aren't specific, one-number answers anyway.
    On that note, it looks like Wiki removed the 35 hour statement for the GB article.

    However, unless you've compared other GB models or you know you have an early model, the battery life may have varied for earlier revisions.
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    Quote Originally Posted by evilevoix View Post
    Dude it’s the bios that marries the 16 bit and the 8 bit that makes it 24 bit. If SNK released their double speed bios revision SNK would have had the world’s first 48 bit machine, IDK how you keep ignoring this.
    Quote Originally Posted by evilevoix View Post
    the PCE, that system has no extra silicone for music, how many resources are used to make music and it has less sprites than the MD on screen at once but a larger sprite area?

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    Raging in the Streets A Black Falcon's Avatar
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    On that note, it looks like Wiki removed the 35 hour statement for the GB article.
    I have no idea why they removed that (though it's still mentioned in a reference, actually, they just took the "35" out of the text -- so they cite a source that mentions the 35 in the citation, but don't mention the 35 number in the text... um, yeah, that sure makes sense. Hmm.), but I'd just count it as more Wikipedia incompetence, probably.

    I mean, the "35" number is right there in the manual. Anyone with a GB manual should be able to confirm it.

    However, unless you've compared other GB models or you know you have an early model, the battery life may have varied for earlier revisions.
    While that is possible, I've never heard that Nintendo made any revisions to it... did they?

    So in a worst case, a GB getting 35 hours on good alkalines might get under 6 hours on zinc-carbon cells, or in a best case (ideal operating conditions for the Zn/C cells) might get ~12 hours. (or ~11 and ~18 hours for bad/good cases of Zinc Chloride cells -maybe 20 hours in an absolute best case)
    I'm sure that they would only have been referring to good, alkaline batteries when they printed those numbers, and not any of those lesser kinds, yeah.

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