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Plugged In

PlayStation Vita’s battery life fails to impress

Plugged In

The PlayStation Vita has plenty of cool features to brag about, but battery life ain't one of 'em.

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PS Vita (Sony)

Sony has released a new spec sheet for the upcoming handheld system, revealing that gamers can expect between 3-5 hours of game playing time per charge -- meaning if you bring one along for a cross-country flight, you might want to have another entertainment option at your disposal as well.

While the numbers are small, they're no worse than the Nintendo 3DS, whose battery life is also quoted at 3-5 hours.

If you're buying the PS Vita with other entertainment options in mind, the story's a bit better. Video playback is estimated at 5 hours, while music playback can extend to 9 hours.

Still, the short window for games is causing some grumbling in message boards — and it's being exacerbated by the fact that fully charging a drained Vita battery will take a whopping 2hours and 40 minutes.

On the upside, that's actually better than a 3DS, which takes over 3 hours to charge. However, that system comes with a charging cradle. If you want one for the Vita, it will cost extra (though you can charge the system other ways.)

The news isn't a shock to most gamers, as Sony has stated from the start that the Vita's battery would be on par with the original PSP's, but many had hoped the company would find a way to eke out an extra half hour or so.

The PlayStation Vita is slated to go on sale in Japan on Dec. 17, but won't hit North America or Europe until sometime early next year.

Sony says it opted for the 2012 launch here in order to have a robust software lineup to support the system, something Nintendo failed to do with the 3DS, which was part of the reason Nintendo was forced to lower the system's price so substantially and so quickly.

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