Why was battery life so poor? (Marcos Rants #1)


Well, I’ve always wanted to do that and now I can: I shall rant about stuff that has niggled me about games, gaming, the industry in general or the Vita in particular. This is the first in an infinite series called “Marcos Rants”. And the first rant is going to be about the lasting power (or lack thereof), of the Playstation Vita battery.

When you compare it on its own, it’s actually not that bad! I mean, if it lived in a vacuum, you’d say “Marcos, what are you on about, man?”. The truth is, though, that battery life was a bit of a secret letdown. The fact that one of my favorite accessories is the Nyko Power Grip should tell you all you need to know: sometimes, I just wanted to keep playing, but the Vita wanted to go to bed.

Thing is, though, I also have a 3DS XL that I bought at launch. And the fact of the matter is that, form day one, the battery on the 3DS XL has been much, much better than on my OLED Vita. I know the Vita is more powerful, which consumes more battery, but the 3DS XL has two screens, so I think it all evens itself out. I very rarely ran out of battery in a single sitting while playing on the 3DS and, on the other hand, had to charge my Vita (which I also bought new) after a couple of hours of “Gravity Rush” (and goodness knows I didn’t want to stop playing).

Another alarming fact is that the battery on the 3DS XL has aged much, much more gracefully. I also own a GBA SP AGS-101, and to be honest, the battery in that is in better shape than the battery in my Vita. I know Nintendo batteries are legendary for their reliability and durability (while the PSP’s battery, well… less so), but even then, the GBA SP is about twice as old as my Vita and yet the battery is in better shape! What gives?

At any rate, both the GBA and the Vita are now considered “old”, so for most people, a battery that doesn’t quite hold up as well as a new system’s battery won’t be that big of an issue. In reality, the battery in my Vita will outlast the battery in my Switch if we’re comparing apples to apples, particularly with more demanding games. So, I guess technology isn’t moving forward as much as we thought.

At any rate, I wish I could have a better battery for my Vita… not least because changing the battery on a Vita is a PITA, while changing the batter on older Nintendo systems and even the PSP is such a breeze. I guess I’ll just have to plug it in more often if I ever want to 100% Rainbow Skies (which I do, considering I worked on the localization for it 😉

Have you had battery issues? I’m curious to see if I’m the only one here. But that about wraps it up for this first rant! Don’t forget to come back to Vita Player for all things Vita. Including my rants (which you may or may not actually want). 



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About Marcos Codas 384 Articles
Lover of portable gaming and horror cinema. Indie filmmaker and game developer. Multimedia producer. Born in Paraguay, raised in Canada. Huge fan of "The Blair Witch Project", and "Sonic 3D Blast". Deputy head at Vita Player and its parent organization, Infinite Frontiers. Like what I do? Donate a coffee: https://www.paypal.me/marcoscodas


  1. Well, the battery of my Vita PCH-1000 doesn’t seem to age so much. I still can get three hours of Soul Sacrifice Delta or of Ys Memories of Celceta out of it. Three hours is sufficient for me. When it was newer, the maximum was maybe four hours, not even. The battery life vastly depend on the brightness of the screen though.

    • Hi Nidget! Well, 3 hours is still way below what I get from my 3DS XL, which is what I was comparing it to. Though I must admit, 3 hours is about on par with more demanding titles on the Switch (however, the Switch has a much larger screen and much more performance).

Got any thoughts on this? Let us know!