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Thursday March 18, 2010 7:15 pm

Nintendo DSi XL: Hands on

Nintendo DSi XLYou know, when I look at the Nintendo DSi XL, I can’t help but notice the similarity in form factor to ‘s iPad (though the DSi XL was released first - thanks for catching that, astute readers!). Nintendo recently announced the US release of the n-th iteration of the DS, now focusing on a bigger screen. Come to think of it, both companies have a penchant for constantly releasing new SKU’s of existing hardware every few months with minor tweaks to inexplicable demand by an attention-deficit public, all while making the people who just bought their newly-outdated hardware feel small and relatively ashamed.

Either way, we got our hands on one at the GDC in San Francisco. Hit the jump for relevant deets.

Hefty, hefty, hefty! The DSi XL is a big, bad mother of a handheld, and if you don’t currently own a DS Lite spin-off, the larger screen and heft might be attractive to you. When we got to one of the demo units, there were a number of games running on the DSi XL models scattered over the countertop. I chose to test one running Picross for no apparent reason.

So, how much bigger is this screen? If you want a frame of reference, here’s a shot of the DSi XL with my Gamestop card resting on the screen:

Nintendo DSi XL size comparision

Yeah, that’s pretty substantial. If you’re squinty, this is a lifesaver. It’s not very uncomfortable to move around the screen, either. Then again, if you’re a rhytm and music guy like me, you might have to retrain your muscle memory to keep acing the hard songs on Elite Beat Agents.

It sports the same accoutrements as the DSi - front and back mounted cameras, no gameboy slot, and the same button layout. The system itself also had a fair amount of weight to it, which, when combined with the form factor, might make this a pain in the ass to fit in your skinny hipster jeans. Otherwise, it feels solid, and definitely looks like it can take a beating. It really comes down to if you want to lug it around in your purse. Or, if you’re a guy, whether or not you’re willing to sport a purse in the first place. (And if you wear a man-bag, stop it. It’s a purse, and you’re only embarassing yourself. Also, stop wearing those Crocs, your mother is mortified.)

You’ll be able to get your hands on the DSi XL on March 28, for $190. If you’re the kinda person who likes the idea of the iPad, or someone who absolutely needs to hook their PC up to a 40-inch flatscreen, this might be a wise purchase. Of course, if you just like the idea of a bigger, more solid DS, it’s definitely not a wash.

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Comments:

Gotcha, thanks for catching that. Revision being put through.


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