Hardware 3DS batteries years from now

JGSM

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So, I have a small collection of consoles and handhelds.

I am now wondering how worried I should be about whether or not the internal battery of the New 3DS (or any other console with an internal battery for that matter) will still hold up, say, 20 or 30 years from now? I know that old gaming consoles can still be functional to this day, provided that the owner has taken good care of them. But when batteries come into play, I am not so sure one would even be able to power on a console if the batteries cannot hold up charge anymore, even if the internal hardware is in good condition.
I don't want to rely on 3rd party batteries (bad experience with 3rd party laptop battery), but it seems to be pretty difficult to find original batteries for the New 3DS (and also Wii U gamepad, PSP, Vita, etc) nowadays.

So the question is: how likely are my current batteries to still be functional when, for example, I want to have my hypothetical grandchild try out these consoles (assuming we won't be living in a Mad Max scenario by then)? I don't play that often, btw, maybe 2 hours a day until I finish a game, then I don't really touch my 3DS for the next 2 or 3 months.
 
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CoolMe

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I've thought about this in the past, specially for handhelds. Now, for consoles internals can fail, capacitors/CPU/GPU.. Etc specially for PS3/360 era and onward, and you have to worry about firmwares/HDDs.. Some things can be fixed, some are a pain and there's no permanent solutions for them even today, let alone 20+years when this kind of hardware will get even more scarce, this is why emulation is important ... For handhelds, we've seen rechargeable battery mods, like for the GBC for example, if they'll be enough demand in the distant future, there could be a mod of whatever kind of energy-efficient batteries we'll have, and as for internals like motherboards, i don't think they'll be available. Stuff like buttons/joysticks no prob. Now the solution, is to play as much as you can, and buy spares as much as you can for both consoles and handhelds, or at least the ones that you care about. Life is full of things to do like you've said, work... Etc And there'll be even more games in the future, so it's constant loop heh..
 

ghjfdtg

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I would not count on them lasting even 20 years but you can increase their lifesan sijgnificantly by following a few simple rules:

- Keep the battery between 30 and 80% charge. Above or below causes faster wear.
- Charge the battery to exactly 80% for long term storage. Sounds weird but cooling the battery in a fridge slows down the chemical processes even more for long term storage increasing life span.
 
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This is an important question for any handheld collector.
In the past there has been a well established aftermarket, but that changed around maybe 2010, when even Nintendo, long-time offerer of accessories, stopped with long-term service for their older handhelds. The DS Lite/Lite XL hadn't stopped for very long until all supply was ceased.
There is some third-party aftermarket supply by chinese producers, but my take is they are not reliable in quality and dependent on continuing high demand. Especially for lithium based batteries, once they go completely out of production, they have maybe a 6 year lifespan after which they are degraded just by the age.

So what I personally do is I monitor the situation every other month and keep a few spare batteries stored water-proof in the fridge at about 50% charge. That way there is the least degradation possible.

After that, there will always be some way, just not guranteed convenient ones. For the next 10 years I guess it might become more effort as in, getting a fitting battery and tinkering to fit it in your retro console.

One nerd dream of mine always has been third-party batteries with significantly better charge. Like say 50% more at the same size. Unfortunately no supplier ever specialized and stepped up to offer something like that.
So, as a side note, if any collector is willing to invest some money and _create_ such a thing themselfes, I would gladly join in with money and time!
 
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CoolMe

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The fridge method though sounds interesting is not ideal, as i fear batteries could be affected by condensation specially if stored for long periods..
 
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JGSM

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Besides keeping what I have in a dry cabinet when I am not playing, away from humidity, I guess there isn't much else I can do...
I have a New 2DS that I use the most to play my games, and a New 3DS Samus Edition, which is one of the most beautiful handhelds I've ever seen. So, do you suggest I remove the battery of my N3DS and keep it in the fridge at around 50% charge left?. Should I do that with my Wii U Gamepad battery too?
 

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Li-ion batteries age whether in use or not. High temperature (or freezing) may damage them or make them age quickly. Twenty years is a really long time for a battery.
Console batteries will rarely die of charge/discharge cycles. Common LiCoO2 last between 300 and 1000 cycles. Keeping them in moderate charge levels significantly increases both, cycles and longevity. Most consumer electronics don't allow to adjust this (cutoff voltage for full end empty) and just maximise usable capacity for each charge. At least for storage you can do what @ghjfdtg said: Moderate charge level and cool temperatures (not freezing). Check the charge level once in a while and recharge if needed.

LiFePO4 can do many cycles more than this and have a longer shelf life but aren't used in consumer electronics.


About the quality of third-party replacements: You never know what you get. Can be good, can be :shit: If there is no first party support anymore… well third-party batteries are better than nothing. They are cheap and you can try more than one vendor. I would keep away from those cells with an absurdly high capacity printed on. They are always fake and may even perform much worse than the original (e.g. 3000mAh for a SPR-003 replacement isn't plausible with today's technology)

The fridge method though sounds interesting is not ideal, as i fear batteries could be affected by condensation specially if stored for long periods..
How about a small airtight and waterproof box with some "Silica Gel Desiccants" (or whatever they are called) inside.
 

CoolMe

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Besides keeping what I have in a dry cabinet when I am not playing, away from humidity, I guess there isn't much else I can do...
I have a New 2DS that I use the most to play my games, and a New 3DS Samus Edition, which is one of the most beautiful handhelds I've ever seen. So, do you suggest I remove the battery of my N3DS and keep it in the fridge at around 50% charge left?. Should I do that with my Wii U Gamepad battery too?
You should keep any Li-ion battery at 50% charge when not being used, regardless of where it's being stored.
 
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spectral

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It's going to be 3rd party or nothing. Batteries don't last. DS and PSP batteries are all on their way out now. Google PSP battery bulge. Obviously that does't mean they are all going to suddenly all die at once. But they are starting to deteriorate and it wont be too long until no working original batteries are left. Certainly not when you have grandkids.
 
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JGSM

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You should keep any Li-ion battery at 50% charge when not being used, regardless of where it's being stored.
Good to know, thanks!
I guess if I have the option to easily disconnect the battery from the console, I should always do that, right?
 

KleinesSinchen

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Besides keeping what I have in a dry cabinet when I am not playing, away from humidity, I guess there isn't much else I can do...
I have a New 2DS that I use the most to play my games, and a New 3DS Samus Edition, which is one of the most beautiful handhelds I've ever seen. So, do you suggest I remove the battery of my N3DS and keep it in the fridge at around 50% charge left?. Should I do that with my Wii U Gamepad battery too?
The Wii U Gamepad is a special and very bad case. It has a serious design flaw: Always on (listening if the main console turns on and asks for the Gamepad). When not in use, the Wii U Gamepad battery should be disconnected to prevent frequent deep discharge which will kill li-ion pretty fast.
 
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CoolMe

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Good to know, thanks!
I guess if I have the option to easily disconnect the battery from the console, I should always do that, right?
Handheld or console? Yes for handhelds.

--------------------- MERGED ---------------------------

I find the DSi XL to have the best battery when it comes to durability/lasting charge, it can stay for more than a month and when i turn it on it's 80% percent or something. Now for PSP/3DS not even close.
 
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JGSM

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@KleinesSinchen , still on the topic of the Wii U Gamepad battery, which one do you think is worse, letting the battery die and leaving it uncharged for a long time (almost a year since I last touched my Wii U, I think), or charging it every 2 months or so?
 

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Nintendo sold 75 million 3DS and I think they basically all share one of two batteries. That’s a big enough market I expect you’ll be able to get 3rd party batteries for a long time.

You can also charge via USB and portable usb battery packs are going to continue to get smaller / higher capacity over time. So maybe not ideal, but I think there will at least be functional solutions for a while.
 

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I've been bitching about this since the GBA-SP came out.

3rd party replacements are shit, but will end up being the only option, if there even is an option.

I suppose it's possible to make a plastic block in the shape of a battery that would bypass the battery function altogether and just function as a power adapter, meaning you're always on the cord but at least the console works. I dunno.

@KleinesSinchen , still on the topic of the Wii U Gamepad battery, which one do you think is worse, letting the battery die and leaving it uncharged for a long time (almost a year since I last touched my Wii U, I think), or charging it every 2 months or so?

I've always heard a li-ion should be stored at about 80% charge, with the device turned off (not sleep), and not in a fully run-out state.
 
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@JGSM You shouldn't store it/let it die without any charge, it's definitely better to store it removed at around 50% charge.

--------------------- MERGED ---------------------------

@Jacobh
You can also charge via USB .
How does this work? Is it some type of hardware mod, if so not really feasible.
 
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JGSM

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I think I'm getting a little paranoid, but should I go ahead and try to look for original batteries for my v1 Switch while it may still be possible to find them? And even if I do get an original spare battery, won't it be slowly dying anyway, to the point that 10 years from now it will be completely dead just like the battery that I currently have in my Switch?
 

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How does this work? Is it some type of hardware mod, if so not really feasible.

You just need a $3 cable that has a USB A plug on one end and a 3ds power plug on the other. Any usb charger will work. I use them for my DS, 3DS, PSP, etc. No mods required and more convenient than carrying around a bunch of separate chargers.

Here’s one: https://www.amazon.com/Armor3-USB-Charge-Cable-New-nintendo/dp/B01N78TA7C/

You can get ones with multiple system connectors as well.
 
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So, I have a small collection of consoles and handhelds.

I am now wondering how worried I should be about whether or not the internal battery of the New 3DS (or any other console with an internal battery for that matter) will still hold up, say, 20 or 30 years from now? I know that old gaming consoles can still be functional to this day, provided that the owner has taken good care of them. But when batteries come into play, I am not so sure one would even be able to power on a console if the batteries cannot hold up charge anymore, even if the internal hardware is in good condition.
I don't want to rely on 3rd party batteries (bad experience with 3rd party laptop battery), but it seems to be pretty difficult to find original batteries for the New 3DS (and also Wii U gamepad, PSP, Vita, etc) nowadays.

So the question is: how likely are my current batteries to still be functional when, for example, I want to have my hypothetical grandchild try out these consoles (assuming we won't be living in a Mad Max scenario by then)? I don't play that often, btw, maybe 2 hours a day until I finish a game, then I don't really touch my 3DS for the next 2 or 3 months.
When it comes to lipo/li-ion batteries age is not really much of a factor, but they have a limited number of charge cycles, so with enough use, they are always going to wear out. But when not in use, you just have to keep the battery charge around 50%, say you charge it up to 80% once a year or up to 60% every 6 months, so the charge never drops down too close to 0.
The battery produces more heat when charged/discharged closer to 100% or 0% which increases wear, so it lasts the longest when kept around 50%. Keeping the battery charge above 20% and below 80% can actually double or even triple the battery lifetime. That's why keeping any device on a charging dock (or keeping a laptop plugged in all the time) is bad for the battery as it's always kept near 100%.
What you want to avoid at all costs with lipo/li-ion batteries is letting them discharge fully. And I don't mean using the device until it turns off from low battery. There is actually a small amount of charge left at that point because discharging a battery fully will at best reduce the battery life, at worst completely ruin it. A battery that has been discharged below 2.5V is considered faulty per the manufacturer's spec sheet - that's the rated minimum safe voltage of every lipo/li-ion battery (with some odd exceptions having different voltages than normal, Samsung for example uses 3.8V nominal voltage cells instead of the usual 3.7V, and LiFePo4 batteries have a 3.2V nominal voltage, different rules apply for those), similarly they are not designed to be charged above 4.25V and that is the absolute max safe limit, but 4.2V is still considered a full charge as past that all the power escapes as waste heat)
A battery that has been discharged below 2.5V can often still be rescued by trickle charging, with little permanent damage, but the battery protection circuitry may not allow you to do so.
Also, in the scenario a device or battery has multiple cells in series, such as laptops or RC batteries, due to the batteries discharging at slightly different rates (they're not 100% identical from the factory) it can actually lead to reverse charging, where one cell is fully depleted but another still has some charge in it, the electricity can start flowing in the wrong direction charging the depleted battery with a reverse voltage, which damages the internal structure of the battery (metal gets deposited where it shouldn't) and that is a guaranteed killer of any li-ion/lipo battery over time if someone has a habit of letting batteries deplete, because every time a cell is reverse charged, the damage gets exponentially worse.
Charging circuitry and battery protection will keep a battery within the safe limits, but when left for a long time in a depleted state the voltage will drop even further, eventually below the safe minimum voltage.
Bottom line is, if you don't plan on using a device again for a long time but you want the battery to stay good, you must make sure it's charged up to 60%-80% before you put it away, and you must check on the battery charge every 6 months to make sure the battery level hasn't dropped too much, and charge it up to 60%-80% again if necessary. As long as you do this, the battery should still be good decades later if it hasn't gone through a lot of charge cycles.
The fridge method though sounds interesting is not ideal, as i fear batteries could be affected by condensation specially if stored for long periods..
Store it in an airtight container or ziploc bag.
@KleinesSinchen , still on the topic of the Wii U Gamepad battery, which one do you think is worse, letting the battery die and leaving it uncharged for a long time (almost a year since I last touched my Wii U, I think), or charging it every 2 months or so?
Take it out. The gamepad discharges the battery really quickly so it's just unnecessary wear and tear if you're not using it. The gamepad battery is user removable.
 
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