If you did a quick specs comparison of the Sony PS Vita and the Nintendo 3DS, I think most people would choose the 3DS as having the longer battery life. Itís hardware isnít as powerful and it has two low resolution displays. The Vita on the other hand has a 5-inch touchscreen, another touch panel on the back, and a 4-core ARM processor and 4-core graphics chip pumping out HD visuals.
Even so, the PS Vita thrashes the 3DS on battery life. And by thrashes I mean offers an additional 1 hour and 10 minutes between charges.
Proof of this comes in the form of a video recorded by a Japanese gamer who owns a 3DS, PS Vita, and PSP-3000. His simple test was to turn on all three fully-charged handhelds simultaneously and time how long they ran for just looping a game. The Vita played Uncharted: Golden Abyss, the 3DS played Monster Hunter 3G, and the PSP played Monster Hunter Portable 3rd. All three machines had their brightness set to full, and the 3DS had 3D on the highest setting too.
The 3DS empties its battery first after just 2 hours and 35 minutes. The PS Vita went 46% longer achieving 3 hours 47 minutes. The PSP was the clear victor though, managing over 9 hours. However, the PSP cheated by having an extended battery installed (2200mAh).
The reason for the large time differences between the 3DS and Vita can be put down to two aspects of the systems. The 3DS uses significantly more power when 3D is turned on and it has a much smaller battery: 1300mAh compared to the Vitaís 2100mAh. The Vita still impresses though when you consider the hardware it uses.
What this does show is that the Vita is surprisingly the better portable gaming unit to take on a trip away from a power outlet. It also offers much better visuals and will soon catch up on the breadth of games offered too.