Nintendo DSi XL – will YOU be upgrading?

The super-sized handheld is in shops today…

The 4.2 inch screens are a whopping 93 percent larger than those of the Nintendo DS Lite, the displays are beautifully bright and glossy and the combination of matt underside and gloss cover is a perfect marriage of style and gripping power. But will you be forking out the required £160 for a DS upgrade today?

I’ve been playing on my Japanese DSi XL for a week or so, and it is a subtly enhanced experience. With the larger screen, I’m finding some elements of hectic action titles like GTA Chinatown Wars and Space Invaders Extreme 2 a little easier. Indeed, any action that requires pixel perfect precision is going to become a teeny bit less challenging with the XL’s larger display, though, of course, there’s no change in screen resolution (not that most gamers will notice). Space Invaders really benefits from the added visual impact, its psychedelic onslaught proving rather mind-blowing at 1am in the morning with your bedroom lights off.

It’s noticeably heavier than the previous iterations – 100g heavier to be precise, but what I really noticed is the change in balance, the upper screen weight slightly toppling the displays away from you if you have the hinges open as far as possible. But then, I like that solidity, and it also feels really comfortable to hold – plus, the fact that the buttons retain their size means there’s more space for big, clumsy banger-like fingers.

That’s partly the point of the machine, obviously. It’s not really meant as an essential step up for cool kids who carry a DSi around in their jeans pocket while riding a skateboard. Everything, from the wider viewing angles to the mature colour schemes hints at a product aimed at non-gamers. Families can gather around the screen and share games, while businessmen might feel a bit less self-conscious pulling a wine red or dark brown device from their briefcases rather than, say, a bright pink DSi with Hello Kitty emblazoned on the top.

Onboard, you’ll find A Little Bit of…Dr Kawashima’s Brain Training: Arts Edition and Dictionary 6 in 1 with Camera Function, as well as a browser, which will naturally benefit from the larger displays too.

So really, are you after a more impactful experience, with a grown-up sheen, or are you still happy nonchalantly jamming that cute little DSi into your coat pocket?

Games

Nintendo

Handheld

Keith Stuart

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