We reviewed the Nintendo DSi last year and awarded it a terrific 8 out of 10. Now around one year later Nintendo has decided that they need to have another DS on the market. If you want to know what’s so different about this one and find out if the DSi XL is right for you, then read on.
Before we go head long into discussing the ‘new’ system let’s recap a little on the original Nintendo DSi. The Nintendo DSi was a bold move by Nintendo to bring the DS closer in line with the Sony PSP and Apple iPod Touch. Rather than carry on their previous gaming only meme; Nintendo decided to explore multimedia with the addition of two cameras and head online with the new DSi Shop Channel. Other changes included: Speed boosts to the two CPU’s; extra RAM, 256MBinternal Flash Memory storage, bigger screens and an SD card slot. The only downside to the Nintendo DSi was that Game Boy Advance carts could no longer be played on the device; for that gamers would still need to keep their DSfat or DSlite. As expected the Nintendo DSi was a hit and already has sold over 17 Million units. The DSi shop was slow to start but now boasts a very good selection of low priced downloadable games that can be saved straight to the device or backed up to an SD Card.
That’s the Nintendo DSi; so what is this DSiXL business? Well basically the DSiXL is just an enlarged DSi; not only is the device bigger in size and weight but the two screens are now 93% bigger than they were previously. That’s nearly twice as big; but of course there is a little more to it than just larger screens.
Whilst they wouldn’t admit it now; Nintendo were very surprised when their gamble to attract parents and grandparents to a gaming actually paid off. Not only did they manage to sell the Nintendo DS to a keen crowd of traditional gamers with hit games such as Mario Kart DS, Metroid Prime Hunters and Super Mario 64 DS; they also won over a new older crowd with unique software such as Brain Age, Big Brain Academy and Personal Trainer: Cooking.
Whilst there may not have been that many complaints that the previous DS’ were too small for the older users, it’s obvious that the design was still primarily focused on the smaller hands of Japanese twenty something’s rather than the hands of western grandparents. The new DSiXL is designed to extend Nintendo’s reach into the older gaming market by being a system that comes with an extra-large stylus that isn’t too small or fiddly for less nimble hands. The new screens also make reading text far easier; no more squinting is required because everything is larger, brighter and more legible.
Considering that the DSiXL is roughly $30 more expensive than the original; Nintendo have installed five software applications to make the system that little bit more value for money out of the box. The first three applications are:
- Brain Age Express: Arts & Letters
- Brain Age: Express Math
- DSi Photo Clock
The next two applications are free for all DSi users but come exclusively preinstalled on the Nintendo DSi XL:
- Opera Internet Browser
- Flipnote Studio animation software
You can preorder the Nintendo DSiXL from Amazon right now in a choice of two distinctive yet attractive colors. Firstly the DSiXL Burgundy and secondly the DSiXL Bronze, both are around $190 and look an absolute treat in your hands.
For an extra $25 you may also like to consider the DSiXL starter kit that throws in several useful additions:
- A pair of headphones
- An audio splitter, useful when playing with someone else also with headphones
- A cleaning cloth
- A wrist Strap
- Screen protectors
- A protective travel case
- 4 game cases
- A pen stylus
- 3 bonus styluses
- A cigar lighter charger
This isn’t to say that the Nintendo DSiXL is aimed at the older generation. Anyone can enjoy the extra benefit of the larger screens and stylus. Imagine playing your favourite DS titles such as Zelda Spirit Tracks, Moon and Professor Layton on screens almost twice as big.
The Nintendo DSi XL release date is March 28th 2010 and we can’t wait.
Buy a Nintendo DSi XL now
New: Buy a Nintendo DSi XL from Amazon.com