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Video: See How Mugen's "20 Hour" 3DS XL Battery Fares Against Other Nintendo Handhelds

Posted by Andy Robertson

Also, there's a chance to win a free battery

At $100, the Mugen 3DS XL battery is a bit steep for many Nintendo gamers. Keen to remove any skeptisim regarding its worth, we put the Mugen battery to the test and see how well it stood up to claims of long life and whether or not it justified its high price.

We ran a large set of Nintendo handhelds through the night on camera so there was nowhere to hide. This time it was 3DS XL, 3DS XL (Mugen Battery), 3DS, 3DS (Mugen Battery), DS XL, DS Lite and a DSi.

We opted to keep all the systems on their default system software rather than different games which may effect duration. This, along with running all the systems at full brightness, no power-saving and Wi-Fi/3D on, provided a level playing field.

If you missed it in the video, the final results of the test are:

  • 3DS XL (Mugen Battery): 10hrs 32mins
  • 3DS (Mugen Battery): 10hrs 15mins
  • DS XL: 4hrs 55mins
  • DS Lite: 3hrs 45mins
  • 3DS XL: 3hrs 40mins
  • DSi: 3hrs 10mins
  • 3DS: 2hrs 45mins

Some surprises here. Firstly, we had expected the DS Lite to last a little longer, but with Wi-Fi switched on — something not all DS Lite owners would necessarily do — the system drains its battery much faster. The DSi XL fared better with Wi-Fi on, perhaps because it is set-up to cope with those bigger screens.

Most interestingly, the 3DS lasted almost four times longer (615/165=3.73) with the Mugen battery installed, and the 3DS XL lasted three times longer (623/220=2.87) with the Mugen.

Of course the battery boost isn’t the only factor here, as build quality and overall finish are important too. The Mugen battery offers a considerable elongation of play-time but to really get value for its $100 price tag you need to want a battery that looks like part of the original system design.

Much of the expense here is not just the cost of a battery (which exceeds what you’d pay for a car battery) or the other parts, but of the design and development that has gone into the product. Let us know if you think this is worth the extra cash — or if your handhelds mysteriously move themselves around when you aren’t looking — in the comments.


Interested in owning one of these batteries? Nintendo Life — in conjunction with Family Gamer and Mugen — is giving away a free 3DS XL battery. All you have to do to enter the competition is subscribe to the Family Gamer YouTube channel and post a comment. The winner will be picked at random on June 15th. The competition is worldwide.

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User Comments (44)

edhe

#1

edhe said:

Is this competition open to those outside of the United States? Could you clarify?

Bulbousaur

#2

Bulbousaur said:

Actually, is this competition worldwide? If not where?
To be honest, $100 would be too much for me for any amount of time. Maybe I would consider it at $50, but definitely not $100.

SilentHunter382

#4

SilentHunter382 said:

While I would like to get the battery back but at €70 its a bit much (for the original one).

My biggest concern with the battery besides the price would be with the CPP. I can see it not working with it because of the extra bulk at the base but if someone who has both tell me if it works good or bad with it.

ThumperUK

#5

ThumperUK said:

$100 prices this device out of the market....I presume if it ever hit the UK then it would be £100 (if you follow Nintendo's currency converter!!). Just get a universal charging pack for a much cheaper outlay, then you can keep playing on the go (and also recharge your phone & other stuff too).

DarkNinja9

#8

DarkNinja9 said:

~looks at price then looks at bulky 3ds~ umm yeah i will pass no ty o.O but nice to know?

Linkmaster9

#9

Linkmaster9 said:

Jesus christ!!! 100$ why would someone pay that much for something that powers your system a little longer, I mean come on you can buy the system and a charger for like 130$.

Mk_II

#16

Mk_II said:

Now you all know why Nintendo did not include this battery in the 3DS. Another 40 or 50$ on top of the launch price would've killed it

russellohh

#17

russellohh said:

You can also buy an external battery that connects with a cord for $9-20, depending on size. My $9 duracell is about half the size of an ipod, and power the DS for another 10 hours. My Energizer external cost $18, and powers a 3DS for close to 25 hours.... a $100 battery, even one that doesn't require a cord, better be like...... $30. At the most.

Rei7

#18

Rei7 said:

I'd get another 3DS for that price tag. Like seriously. It's really nice that it could boost my battery, but having another 3DS would be a much better choice. Or probably investing on some other new games would be even better. It's not like I am able to play any games 10 hours straight at my age. In high school maybe but not anymore :(

UnseatingKDawg

#20

UnseatingKDawg said:

Well... I'd be more inclined to buy if it were far cheaper, but if I were to win one, I wouldn't complain...

123akis

#21

123akis said:

nintendo REALLY needs to include better batteries in there products..if not sell better batteries seperately

Dpishere

#22

Dpishere said:

That is a bit expensive for a battery, good thing I don't any problems with the battery life of my 3ds anyway. Though if I ever did get one I would buy a generic one off of Amazon for 30 or so bucks.

AVahne

#24

AVahne said:

Wow, I've always thought that DS Lite had 10-20 hours per charge. I never had one myself, but that's what I see people say online. All those people must've kept their DSes on modest settings huh?

bassoongoon

#28

bassoongoon said:

I looked on their website; there was no purple...
I'm gonna get a purple 3DS so I guess I will just have to deal with the terrible battery life :(

Intrepid

#34

Intrepid said:

That is pretty cool, but what about the Nyko Power Pak? I find it to be a very reliable battery, and I wanted to see how it stacks up with the others.

KnightRider666

#36

KnightRider666 said:

Still not worth it. My factory battery is just fine. I always have wi-fi on, and the system on the brightest setting. I plug it in when not in use.

bezerker99

#40

bezerker99 said:

@TheRealOtto Haha, if I'm in a dark room I don't have it set that high. But when I'm in my office or playing in my apartment, it's pretty bright - especially during the morning hours. Also, I think the games look better when lit up to 5. :)

abbott_56

#43

abbott_56 said:

I think I would think about investing battery to extend the life of gaming times, but not quite at this outlay. Though when the console is in sleep mode trying to rack up some rare street passes and step counts, it'd be nice to not have to keep a beady eye on the light...

kirbygirl

#44

kirbygirl said:

I use Mugen batteries on one of my 3DS systems and one of my XLs, and I'm really happy with them. They are the ones I primarily use, and you can't beat the battery life. It was worth the cost for me, just so I don't have to constantly worry about low batteries, especially when traveling or out and about gathering SP tags.

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