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Portables (Games)

PSP Battery Journal 332

ayersrj writes "The folks over at IGN have started a "Battery Journal" in an attempt to provide us with some relevant information regarding the battery life issue on the PSP in a realistic playing environment. The first run: a little under five hours with no wi-fi. Not too shabby."
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PSP Battery Journal

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  • by GoldRanger ( 546676 ) on Monday December 13, 2004 @05:01PM (#11075683)
    ...McGriddles did they consume in that same time span?
  • Whine, Whine, Whine (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Voltage Spike ( 643170 ) on Monday December 13, 2004 @05:02PM (#11075684)
    I'm happy with five hours, but people will still point out that the DS does better.

    Why don't they make the batteries easy to swap out? This practice is not too popular (look at Pocket PCs), but it should stop the complaints.
    • How long will the battery last in 6 months?
    • by chaboud ( 231590 )
      You mean, the way that Sony did []? cough

      I can't think of a swap being much more easy than that.
    • I'm not happy with it.
      5 hours isn't that great. I use my GBA SP for long plane trips... At that rate, the PSP rate will get me about 1/3 of the way there.

      I've had a single charge on the SP take me the entire trip. I don't want to carry batteries everywhere I go, along with a charger...
      (I guess that satisfies your assumption about mentioning the fact that Nintendo's battery life is better, but it's true...)

      I'll reserve my complete judgement on the unit until I see it for myself, but this issue is certai
      • most planes these days have power outlets, you can plug it in. My powerbook on heavy usage even swapping batteries only gets about 5 hrs total (I have 2 batteries and it gets about 2 1/2 hrs a battery). However, on a plane I can usually plug in my laptop and not have to worry about it, the same applies here.
        • I strongly disagree that most planes have power outlets. I've flown 10 time this past year, and only once did my seat have an outlet.
          • I agree with you. I fly nearly every week, often cross country, and on the major airlines. Finding a seat with a power outlet is very rare. Generally only a hanful of seats have the ports (And they are car cigarette lighter type), and good luck knowing which seats have them before you get on. Maybe business class is different.
            • I fly nearly every week, often cross country, and on the major airlines.

              It's all in the planning.

              Finding power outlets is HIGHLY dependent on what airline you fly on, as well as the type of equipment.

              Living near Philly, I fly US Air just about everywhere. As long as I'm on an Airbus 320 or 321, I'm virtually guaranteed to have power. The outlets also show up quite a lot on 319s and 737s. I've never seen them on American, though I did see them on a United flight to Chicago (again, out of Philly).

        • For coach and other discount flyers, there is no such thing as a DC port for your laptop or game adapters.

          You'll only get this in the first class, executive/business/commercial class flights on most airlines.

        • My company flies me back and forth to Moscow Russia a few times a year. I never see these plugs in coach class. (They send me on Delta, btw.)

          I was upgraded to Business class once, and saw the plugs there. However, these weren't standard outlets, and required a special adapter. This wasn't a nationality issue; there was a special airplane plug of some sort. The guy next to me had a laptop & portable DVD player, both of which died on the 14 hour flight because he didn't have this special adapter.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday December 13, 2004 @05:02PM (#11075689)
    I don't know what version of Paint Shop Pro you guys use, but mine does not need batteries. :)
  • Not too shabby? (Score:3, Insightful)

    by theREALMcCoy ( 817988 ) on Monday December 13, 2004 @05:04PM (#11075706)
    I beg to differ. I don't want another device I have to remeber to charge every night if I want to use it the next day. My cell phone, palm, and laptop are enough.
    • So, if you had to plug it up ~ every other day it wouldn't be a problem? Or are you saying you prever alkaline batteries?

      If it's got a recharable battery, I'm plugging it up every day.
    • I beg to differ. I don't want another device I have to remeber to charge every night if I want to use it the next day. My cell phone, palm, and laptop are enough.

      Then you probably aren't in the market for a portable gaming machine, now are you?

      How did this got modded up to +5 Insightful? I am not planning on buying a PSP, DS, or GBA anytime in the future as I rarely travel. Oooh! Give me points, moderators! I'm insightful!
    • Re:Not too shabby? (Score:3, Informative)

      by FrenZon ( 65408 ) *
      I'm suprised that no-one's mentioned that the PSP has a user-accessible battery - it means that users can just carry an additional one around in their bag of UMDs. Sure, it's not an ideal situation, but it means that on your flight from whereever to whereever, you're not totally stuffed.
    • Re:Not too shabby? (Score:5, Interesting)

      by Lumpy ( 12016 ) on Monday December 13, 2004 @09:28PM (#11077890) Homepage
      which brings me back to my idea from 10 years ago..

      the charging mat/table. a simple coil in a mat or under the table and then secondary coils built in the electronics.

      set the device on the table/mat and it starts charging. people would eat it up, although cellphone companies would lose money as their entire profit model is on selling new chargers, that is why they change the charger plug every 30 minutes in a production run of a phone to ensure that you have to buy all new chargers every time.

      imagine if your phone, pda, and game as well as other devices that use batteries would subscribe to the charging mat/table design... throw all the items on the table and they charge.

      it's technology from over 20 years ago, I wrote a paper about it for Electronics Engineering in 1991 and here we are in the 21'st century and we have more chargers than we have gadgest because manufacturers refuse to standardize.

      disgusting isn't it?
  • by Anonymous Crowhead ( 577505 ) on Monday December 13, 2004 @05:04PM (#11075711)
    link []
  • by Locdonan ( 804414 ) on Monday December 13, 2004 @05:05PM (#11075717) Homepage Journal
    PSP hit me again today. It says that its my fault that it gets so little battery life. If I would only learn to love it as it is. I just don't know.

    Today the PSP saw me linking up to play with some friends. It burnt my hands and threw a CD at me. It says that I don't need friends. I should just be with it.

    What have I done!? I couldn't take it anymore. I killed the PSP. I took it off teh wall jack, and played it till it passed out. Then I flushed it down the toilet... All I have to remember it by is the broken CD and a scar under my left eye.
  • by Anonymous Coward
    It makes no sense not to. Maybe the one the PSP comes with is the most cost effective solution.

    It would certainly be a Sony thing to sell a higher capacity battery for a nice markup.

    Not that Nintendo's business practices are any better. Release a handheld with a terrible screen, then after everyone buys that, release a better version with features it should've had to begin with (minus the headphone jack), and then release a completely different handheld that's backwards compatible.

    We'll probably end up s
  • DS does 10 (Score:5, Interesting)

    by kuwan ( 443684 ) on Monday December 13, 2004 @05:09PM (#11075750) Homepage
    Nintendo claims [] that the Nintendo DS can last about 10 hours before it needs to be charged. I don't know whether or not this is real-world performance. It'd be interesting to see what the battery life is when doing multiplayer, wireless gaming.

    Free Nintendo DS []
    • Re:DS does 10 (Score:5, Informative)

      by FuzzzyLogik ( 592766 ) on Monday December 13, 2004 @05:14PM (#11075812) Homepage
      Ok I'll bite. I own a GBA SP that they claim lasts 10 hours with frontlighting on and 16 with it off. My experience has been about 12-13 hours with the frontlight on and I can't comment on the frontlight off because I never turn it off. Nintendo typically gives correct numbers for batterly life, as you can see my battery life is actually HIGHER than they stated. So how's that for ya? I would trust nintendo, where I do not trust Sony.
    • Re:DS does 10 (Score:5, Informative)

      by SetupWeasel ( 54062 ) on Monday December 13, 2004 @06:42PM (#11076668) Homepage
      I own a DS. I seem to get 8-10 hours from Super Mario 64 DS. I have heard as much as 12 hours, but I suspect that may be from someone using mainly GBA carts. I have also heard as little as 6-7 hours, and that would include some wireless play.

      Here is an AP review []

      A quote:
      "I managed 7-1/2 hours of battery life on a single charge, playing graphics-intensive games, blasting the music through the stereo speakers and connecting online with another DS."

      Though it does not say if the wireless was used the entire time.
  • interesting criteria (Score:5, Interesting)

    by fireduck ( 197000 ) on Monday December 13, 2004 @05:09PM (#11075753)
    Playing through Ridge Racers until the battery dies is probably not a good indication of how long the battery will last when you end up getting your PSP system and putting it to use for a variety of things.

    Except, this is exactly the scenario I'd want tested when purchasing a portable device. I'd like to know if it will die on me when I'm flying from Los Angeles to New York. Hopefully they'll include this in future tests.
    • Playing through Ridge Racers until the battery dies is probably not a good indication of how long the battery will last when you end up getting your PSP system and putting it to use for a variety of things.

      Did they ask gamers? I'm pretty sure that playing a game like Ridge Racer during a multi-hour flight/ride/wait is the most likely usage scenario I can think of, at least for me... granted, over the course of a couple of hours I might decide to switch between Gran Turismo, Spiderman 2, and Dynasty Warrior

  • Battery University (Score:4, Informative)

    by The I Shing ( 700142 ) * on Monday December 13, 2004 @05:11PM (#11075775) Journal
    A while ago I stumbled across this site called Battery University [], which has a lot of detailed information about how various kinds of batteries work and how best to make use of them. Not sure if this is relevant, but just wanted to toss that into the conversation.
  • by Michalson ( 638911 ) on Monday December 13, 2004 @05:12PM (#11075786)
    And with one of the features turned off too.
    PSP (like NDS and GBA SP) uses an internal rechargable battery. That means you can't replace the battery when it gets low, you need a power outlet and time to recharge. The old Gameboy (Pocket) offered about 8-9 on replacable AAAs. Gameboy Advance was near 14 hours (or about 9-10 using the rechargable battery pack).

    Didn't anyone (at Sony) learn anything from Gamegear vs Gameboy? It didn't matter if your system was a monochrome sub-NES powered unit with a bezel speaker, it could still beat a full color portable that didn't give a full days use out of a charge. I'd say mistake #1 was even considering optical (mechanically read) media. Unless the whole dual screen/touch screen gamble flops, PSP will be going the same way as the Gamegear, in exactly the same way (large, high powered but battery killing unit that is mostly filled with ports from its larger brother)
  • by unclethursday ( 664807 ) on Monday December 13, 2004 @05:12PM (#11075791)
    GameSpot reports on battery life [].

    Apparently depending on the game, the battery life can be HORRID. Simply grahic games can go for 5 or so hours with no WiFi turned on... more graphically intense games? Ridge Racers goes for 90 mins-3 hours, depending on screen brightness and speaker use.

    90 minutes!!! Next Sony will be selling protable generators to carry on your back when taking your PSP and graphically intesnive games around with you (Metal Gear Ac!d, Gran Turismo, Ridge Racers, etc.).

    [sarcasm]Yep, looks like IGN is right, as always...[/sarcasm]

    • "Ridge Racers seems to last somewhere between 90 minutes and three hours. Playing with the wireless networking switch flipped on will also further reduce your battery life."

      Sounds like even less to me!

    • Ah, yes. Gamespot. The island of Truth in a sea of amateurish drivel. The pillar of Wisdom on which rests the integrity of an entire industry.

      Seriously, are suggesting that this guy is lying? He has me quite convinced... I mean, I won't be reloading the article minute-by-minute drueling for the next update in the journal...

      But when he says he gets 4.5 hours, I believe he's telling the truth at least.
      I admit that it's almost unbelievable how accurate the "Time left" counter is... but maybe it reall

      • by SetupWeasel ( 54062 ) on Monday December 13, 2004 @06:27PM (#11076515) Homepage
        Considering that Gamespot used the most graphically intensive release game and IGN didn't, I'm more inclined to trust Gamespot's numbers. Gamespot said it depended what you were doing, so they used a graphically intensive game to get the low end.

        IGN played freaking music files for one hour and played a puzzle game for one hour and forty-five minutes.

        Going by what IGN said, they spent 2 hours playing games likely to drain the battery quickly and spent 2:45 doing things that aren't likely to drain the battery quickly.

        I imagine that if you stick to the rigorous itenerary IGN gave precisely, you will get 4.5 hours. But if you want to play Ridge Racers single-player, you will get 1.5 - 3 hours.

        Either way, it is a far cry from the 10 hours Sony promised us at E3.
        • And the IGN article pointed out that playing one game for 5 hours is an unrealistic depiction of what most people would use the PSP for. Their test was supposed to get a feel for average use. Gamespot didn't even give exact numbers, or any real data on volume or contrast settings...
          • No, we are talking 1 game for 1.5-3 hours. Specifically Ridge Racers. Hell THEY played Lumines IN THAT ARTICLE for 1.75 hours straight.

            Believe me when I say that I have played Super Mario 64 DS for more than 3 hours straight since I got my DS.
            • (I didn't mean to imply that you could play something like Ridge Racers for 5 hours, incidentally. Just using it as an example of unlikely usage.)

              Just to be sure, we are talking about this article [], right?

              Based on our estimates and a few battery-draining tests, Ridge Racers seems to last somewhere between 90 minutes and three hours.

              No contrast or sound info given. No real data given (if it was just a few tests, why not give us the numbers?). Their study didn't seem all that scientific to me. Though I

              • Of course there are pros and cons. All I am saying is that IGN didn't exactly go out of their way to test the battery. I Spong reports 2:40 out of Ridge Racers at medium brightness, no wireless play, and no headphones. 3:10 with headphones.

                Here's the link. []

                If you are willing to accept 3 hours for a game like this, that's fine. I don't own the DS because it has better battery life, but 3 hours would be troublesome. I mean hell, my town flooded a couple of months ago, and I couldn't go back home for a nigh
    • And the thing is.. (Score:2, Insightful)

      by PeelBoy ( 34769 )
      People will be buying this thing mainly to play those graphically intense games. Right? I mean that seems like the whole point of this things..

      Things are only going to get worse. New games will probably have higher and higher load times with more and more graphics and the battery lifes going to get worse and worse.

      By what the gamespot article said it sounds like 90 mins was still with the wi-fi turned off.. Hmm
    • My experiance with these built-in batteries is that right out of the box they have great life, but six months to a year down the road you're looking at half of the runtime (or less!). Worse, integrated batteries are often difficult/expensive to replace and can be hard to find once a gadget goes out of production. This is why I usually look for stuff that takes AA batteries, because I can always just use NiMH rechargables in it and fall back on Alkalines if I have to.
  • Oh my! Are they hiring??

    Let me get this straight. There's someone out there whose job is to play until the game runs out of a battery? Is he a lucky bastard or what?!

    Sure, sure, go on, tell me he'll be tired someday. Whatever. When that day comes, I'll be the first to send out my resumé ;)

  • by juuri ( 7678 ) on Monday December 13, 2004 @05:13PM (#11075794) Homepage
    Of course Gamespot [] says the battery life is a bit more variable than that.

    For those not playing at home IGN has had some incredibly biased coverage in this recent round of handheld launches going so far as to "talk down" about the Nintendo DS on the actual DS portion of IGN. While both portable gaming systems kick ass, they do it in different ways, the rampant fanboyism at IGN is somewhat sickening, especially given than when it was first started, way back as Next Generation and even before then when the site was run off a college server it was known to being one of the first gaming sites to push honest opinions.
  • I love this journal. First, they decide to give you times in American West Coast (PST) for no reason, as they're in japan, and time of day here matters not to anyone when the test is taking place in day/night conditions in japan. Could someone post the article but translate the times to Japan time, so that their actions make sense logically?

    Also, they've made a few, how do you say, mistakes?

    4:30AM: Stopped MP3 use

    4:30AM: Status Report
    - Battery remaining: 76%
    - Full brightness time remaining: 3:4

  • What about a Loading time journal?
  • by apachetoolbox ( 456499 ) on Monday December 13, 2004 @05:15PM (#11075815) Homepage
    7:45AM: Stopped playing games Realized that you don't actually control mechs in Armored Core, so decided to stop playing.

    yeah that about summed up armored core for everyone else to :)
  • by joeldg ( 518249 ) on Monday December 13, 2004 @05:19PM (#11075856) Homepage []
    I love the people packing around the car batteries to be able to use their PSP's hah.
    direct link to images: [] .jpg []
  • Awesome.. (Score:3, Interesting)

    by sinner0423 ( 687266 ) <(moc.liamg) (ta) (3240rennis)> on Monday December 13, 2004 @05:20PM (#11075865)
    Now that we've got everyone talking about battery life of the PSP - what about DRM? I threw my MiniDisc player in the garbage, after the headaches I had to endure with the software / copy protection.

    I'm not trolling, one of the selling points of the PSP is the fact that you can load up all kinds of user created content on it.

    I'd hate to purchase one just to find out that I have to do it Sony's way, or no way. I really don't want to make another one of those expensive mistakes.
    • I threw my MiniDisc player in the garbage,

      Dude, that's called Ebay
      • Honestly, I wouldn't wish the MD player on anyone, let alone some poor unsuspecting fool on ebay. I did get some use out of it, but got caught up in the hype when they first came out.

        After the casing starting coming apart, the buttons started to recess in to the unit, I just figured it wasn't worth my time to even toss it on ebay, and threw it out. The draconian copy protection was just the icing on the cake.
  • i got one in Shinjuku on launch day and played Ridge Racers for a solid 4 hours and some time just dinking around before the battery crapped out. i'm perfectly satisfied with that performance. i see a lot of PSP bashing from people that don't even have one. i think that once you have one in your hands, you'll whistle a different tune. i like the DS, but the PSP experience is light years ahead of the DS experience.
  • by Jagasian ( 129329 ) on Monday December 13, 2004 @05:39PM (#11076033)
    My GBA gets near 20 hours of battery life! I can basically take it on a vacation and not have to worry about bring along the recharging equipment.
  • by _KiTA_ ( 241027 ) on Monday December 13, 2004 @05:40PM (#11076043) Homepage
    Accordig to reports from Gamespot [], the battery lasts approximately an hour and a half to 3 hours playing a complex 3d game like Ridge Racer. The benchmarks from Sony apparently come from using non-graphically intense, small games that don't require much CPU, VPU, or disc read time.

    Sony did similar things when they were releasing benchmarks of the Playstation 2 -- they turned off all lights in the room, and rendered a black triangle polygon in a black room. The numbers were amazing. But they weren't real at all.

    So yeah. PSP Battery Life: 90 minutes. This drops further if you enable WIFI.

    Q: How long does the PSP's battery last?

    A: The short answer is that it depends on what you're doing. The longer answer is that Sony has stated that the battery should last around six hours. With simpler-looking games, like Lumines or Mahjong Fight Club, that definitely seems to be the case. But with more graphically intensive games, like Ridge Racers, the battery doesn't last quite as long. Based on our estimates and a few battery-draining tests, Ridge Racers seems to last somewhere between 90 minutes and three hours. Playing with the wireless networking switch flipped on will also further reduce your battery life. The system has an auto-sleep function that stops the wireless drain, but that switch is there for a reason. Turn it off when you're not using it.
  • provided it's enough for me to get my Lumines [] on.
  • by thatguywhoiam ( 524290 ) on Monday December 13, 2004 @06:37PM (#11076610)
    I too have been looking around at the various 'reviews' popping up online. The PSP looks pretty nice, but everyone should keep in mind that they are not really aimed at the same audience.

    The PSP is overpowered as a game machine. Obviously Nintendo knows the magic formula for handheld games is to keep it simple, innovate with the control scheme, and keep your battery life up at the expense of nearly everything else. As a pure game machine, the NDS probably wins in the long run (literally).

    However - and its a big however - the PSP is not just a game machine. Sony has made some gut-wrenching design decisions (for them, anyways) to keep this thing open to its users... and the result is actually aimed more at the nascent phone game market, the GameBoy market, the portable audio and video market, and the wireless connectivity market. Its trying to carve a new niche, and this is exactly what Sony is good at.

    Witness: a plain USB port with full standards-compliant access to the memory card as a drive volume. Regular folders named with things like 'photos' and 'music'. The screen - which is much better than the DS - is something I could easily see as superior against an iPod Photo. WiFi - the verdict is still out on how this will expand - but its standard, and not some proprietary version. MP3 support, also a major shift from Sony's ATRAC3 (although I guess it will play that too).

    And finally let us not ignore the fact that it ships with white headphones. This can mean only one thing: invasion.

    As for battery life, it looks pretty good to me, as I rarely play my PS2 for more than 3 hours (ahem) at a time... but that is personally a subjective thing. I do think its still to early to measure realistically as it will likely go up as programmers learn the tricks necessary to optimize/minimize battery drain. (Of course it might go down again as they all try to compete with Metal Gear Acid).

    And finally, if you can find a plug, the game equation vs. the DS is a no-brainer if you ask me (peanut gallery: no one did.). The PSP is more capable graphically and those optical cartridges will lay waste to the tiny memory storage of a DS cartridge. The impromptu WiFiLAN party will rock with one of these.

    So for me - the DS is neat, I like it. But I've never bought a GameBoy or any other portable game system because I don't want to carry just one gadget for that specific purpose. If it keeps some music, my picures (in a nice display), plays movies and really cool games, and does even a little WiFi access.. hell yeah, I'll take one.

  • The least the poster could do is make "PSP" a link to the product's official site for people who don't know every single Acronym Of The Week(tm)...
  • Come on people the PSP is a portable CD based handheld with an intensive GPU and a WI-FI its not like a palm, ds, gba,ngage etc e of course the battery lasts a lot less than in any other device! it has rotating spinning disk! if thats an impediment for you DONT BUY IT. We are completely aware of the battery problem, ok?

    If you think the system is going to "tank" stop worrying, its already sold out in Japan(although it was a limited release) and apparently it will sold out in America as well, theres a good
  • Many here have been raising the spectre of the infamously battery hungry Sega Game Gear with respect to PSP battery life. But I don't think that we're going to see a replay of the GG failure not so much because the PSP will have stellar battery life, but because our cultural expectations have changed. One poster here made mention of all of the things that he/she has to charge daily, cell phone, mp3 player, and laptop.

    In other words, we're used to charging things up every day! And since the PSP has a rechar

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