TGS 2011: PS Vita battery to offer 3-5 hours of gameplay, memory sticks priced

Whenever a new handheld is announced, three questions immediately come to mind: what games are going to come out for it, how much is it going to cost, and how long will the battery life be? For the Vita, the answers to the first two came earlier this year at E3, where Sony announced a $250 price and a slew of games. The third, however, has been a mystery: until now. In a document released after their Tokyo Game Show press  conference, Sony has revealed more of the Vita’s secrets, including the battery life and memory cost.

According to the document, the battery will last approximately 3-5 hours when the screen brightness is at the default setting, the Bluetooth is off, and headphones are plugged in. Video playback is slightly better at five hours, while music (when used in stand-by mode) will play for nine hours before the battery gives out. This, obviously, can be influenced by the 3G/Wi-Fi, which we’re assuming are also off in this estimate. Sony’s numbers are almost identical to Nintendo’s for the 3DS when all of the settings are on, meaning that both consoles will be on a level playing field when it comes to battery woes.

More disheartening is the lack of internal storage on the Vita, and the use of proprietary cards. Sony says that while some games will be able to save on the Vita’s game cards, others will need users to shell out a little extra money to save their games or download additional content. Here’s the list of cards that will be available, as well as their price in yen (and a conversion to dollars).

  • 4GB - ¥2,200 ($28.67)
  • 8GB - ¥3,200 ($41.71)
  • 16GB - ¥5,500 ($71.69)
  • 32GB - ¥9,500 ($123.84)

Considering how hard Sony is pushing the Vita in a tablet-like direction, the lack of internal storage is somewhat strange, though there’s always a chance that it will ship with one included when it makes its way over to the US. Otherwise we might as well tack on an additional purchase of at least $30 to the system’s cost, because Vita without any storage just seems like a bad idea.

It also helps make the 3DS look like even a better deal, because besides being almost $100 cheaper, it comes with a 2GB memory card, and uses the standard SD Card that you likely have sticking out of your phone, camera, and other portable media devices. Then again, it’s about the games, and the Vita looks like it’s going to pack some heat in that all-important department.

If you’re interested in more you can check out the official press release, located here.

Sept 15, 2011


TGS 2011 Vita


  • InfinityPrimo - September 16, 2011 3:45 a.m.

    So... In the end 3DS wins on a technicality!? Lets be real here 170 for a 3DS that uses SD (not proprietary), and the same battery life with a almost definite redesign looming VS a 250 "Mini tablet" that has 3-5 hours of battery life "WITH EVERYTHING OFF", AND proprietary memory... Um. I.Think.I.Will.Pass... Unless some lucky girl wants to get it for my birthday...wink wink (just kidding)
  • roboteye - September 16, 2011 2:01 a.m.

    You don't really need a memory card because you can save your game on the game cards directly. If you wanna download stuff then you need it.
  • Elitepwnsface - September 15, 2011 9:07 p.m.

    Now that im not making money, im going to have to sit this one out till some amazing Bundle pack comes out. I do like the fact you can play the ffx hd remake a crap like that. I hate how they are leaning to the have to buy there memory crap like microsoft rolled... Smart on their part, pisses of consumers though.
  • ncurry2 - September 15, 2011 8:19 p.m.

    Ya I'm on the fence for a vita or a 3DS. Even if I get a 3DS, I will have the 3D effect turned off because my eyes strain easily. I have a DS and I haven't touched it since GTA Chinatown. But then again, I love Nintendo (specifically Mario and Zelda.) On the other hand, I'm new to the Sony family. I got a PS3 about a year and a half ago and have enjoyed the games on it as well but just not the same amount as I do Nintendo games. The only launch title the vita has that I'd want is uncharted and I would much rather just rent it then buy since it's kind of a one and done style game. Right now I'm leaning towards neither until a new model comes along and I can get the old (launch) one for discounted. There are too many good games coming out in the next 3 months for systems I already have.
  • Crabhand - September 15, 2011 7:36 p.m.

    Given the functions of the PSV, I'm not surprised it has so little battery life. Then again, given the lukewarm reaction based on the 3DS batter life, I'm surprised Sony wouldn't try to one-up Nintendo in that department. Let's just hope the games turn out to be as promising as the 3DS first seemed and in a suitable quantity.
  • 510BrotherPanda - September 15, 2011 6:38 p.m.

    I'm on the fence with Sony and Nintendo's handhelds, but I'm still leaning a little more to the PSV right now... Guess I'll have to wait until there's a bundle pack...
  • Rubberducky - September 15, 2011 5:34 p.m.

    Yay, more overpriced proprietary memory sticks. Wonder how long it'll take before sandisk makes an adapter to use with microsd cards?
  • Net_Bastard - September 15, 2011 4:19 p.m.

    What the hell? I could have sworn that they announced it to have a longer battery life than the 3DS back when it was codenamed NGP. Still picking it up though. Some of the games look tight!
  • meh - September 15, 2011 3:41 p.m.

    damn only 3-5 hours? whats with the handhelds this generation? I wouldn't mind if it didn't have all those "smartphone" BS tacked onto it if the battery life was longer, its not like a thousand different phones do it better and longer.
  • Scoob - September 15, 2011 4:57 p.m.

    What happened to handhelds? The exact same thing as Notebook computers: More powerful. The other side to that question is 'what happened to batteries?' And the answer to that is once again, the same as notebook computers: Nothing. Battery technology has not changed, or has changed very little. As far as smartphones go, they serve a different purpose, and their hardware and programming are tuned to work well as a smart phone (the processors probably working in a low power slower state when little power is needed for example).
  • D0CCON - September 15, 2011 6:52 p.m.

    If it hasn't changed, how are there third party 3DS batteries that can last up to 8.5-9 hours? Why didn't Sony nor Nintendo use them?
  • roboteye - September 16, 2011 1:59 a.m.

    To keep the price down as low as possible.
  • Z-man427 - September 15, 2011 3:25 p.m.

    Still looks like a good handheld. But I do dig my 3DS.
  • iluvpkmnmonday - September 15, 2011 3:24 p.m.

    I rarely play my portable systems anywhere besides my apartment so I'm not too fazed by the battery life.
  • majormoses117 - September 15, 2011 3:18 p.m.

    Sony has been pissing me off so much lately.
  • WTeen8 - September 15, 2011 3:05 p.m.

    So it has around the same battery life as the 3DS, and no internal data storage? Cool, never wanted one anyway, also you can buy a battey pack for the 3DS from Amazon because of Nyko so... scho_ uropeac is the captcha quote of the day
  • badgraphix1 - September 15, 2011 5:14 p.m.

    Hopefully they'll make a battery pack for the Vita as well.
  • ultimatepunchrod - September 16, 2011 6:37 a.m.

    theres been a story that says the vita will have an external battery option for longer play sessions. as far as the memory cards go $30 for 4GB sounds about right for the outrages non-flash drive memory market. i really want one of these

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