Nintendo’s new DSi handheld, announced today, may be a bit more portable than its DS Lite predecessor – 12-percent thinner in fact – but if you’re expecting to use that portability to take it further afield for even more gaming then the estimated battery life ratings may be a disappointment. While the DS Lite could last for 15-19hrs on a single charge at minimum brightness, that figure drops to 9-14hrs in the DSi; at highest brightness you’ll get a mere 3-4hrs from the DSi, whereas the DS Lite would have entertained you for 5-8hrs.
At low brightness, the DSi will last 8-12hrs compared to the DS Lite’s 10-15hrs. At medium it will last 6-9hr – versus 7-11hrs from the older handheld – while at high that drops to 4-6hrs. The one improvement is charging time, with the DSi taking 2.5hrs to fully recharge while the DS Lite takes 3hrs.
It’s unclear whether the reduced battery life is a result of the new functionality, the bigger screens (probably a significant component) or the power pack itself being cut down to maintain the DSi’s slim physique. However Nintendo’s assertion that the handheld is the company’s “third platform” and will likely go on sale alongside the DS Lite becomes a little more clear: any hardcore mobile gamers who prioritize longevity and GBA backward compatibility over media features will be able to pick the DS Lite (which will probably see a price cut), while those who view gaming as just a single part of what they want their handheld to do will more likely be tempted by the DSi.