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Nintendo Launches DSi XL

Gordon Kelly


Nintendo Launches DSi XL

Hankering for a DSi, only larger? Nintendo hears you...

The gaming giant has today announced the 'DSi XL', an enlarged version of the DSi, which ups the display sizes to a huge 4.2 inches. This results is a 93 per cent jump in screen real estate compared to the original model.

Despite this and the enlarged footprint of the XL (161 x 91.4mm vs 133 x 73.9mm), the thickness is actually marginally slimmer than the DSi at 21.2mm verses 21.5mm on the DSi. That said, it is considerably heavier at 314g against the DSi's 214g and DSi Lite's 218g. Battery life does remains the same however at three hours.

Other than the bump in size, everything else remains the same with a 21 November ship date scheduled for Japan and a Q1 target for Europe.

In related news, Nintendo also used the DSi XL to mask some rather troubling financial results which show profit down to ¥69.49 billion ($770m), roughly half of what it managed at the same time last year. Given our cataclysmic economy that could be expected, but more concerning was the huge drop in Wii sales from April to September that saw 5.75m units shipped - a fall of 43 per cent from this period last year.

Yes, a profit is still a profit and that's no little number of consoles, but it does confirm the Wii's rather long Indian Summer is finally at an end...


DSi XL Homepage (In Japanese)

Paul Blakeman

October 29, 2009, 6:28 pm

I hope they increase the Resolution on the screens otherwise it is going to look pretty bad, I thought the increase on the DSi from the DS made games look a little ruff now they will look awful.


October 29, 2009, 8:37 pm

Isn't it called DSi LL or is that the Japanese name?


October 29, 2009, 8:45 pm

@Paul Blakeman: I think they're aiming it more @ the original market the EeePC had. Sort of edutainment/education/+older people. So far the lack of any other info on changes would indicate they're the same resolution, which would make even text look rather rough, so I'm a bit confused myself over their strategy.


October 29, 2009, 8:53 pm

Now, I don't want to come across as a boring accountant (it isn't true!) but I wouldn't class the drop in unit sales or profits as worrying at all. Profits are a very small part of the picture that a huge number of people seem to get hung up on a lot of the time. Now, if you told me that Nintendo had a cash outflow/deficit of £770m then that would be worrying!

Anyway, to me it is expected. They will most likely be spending a heap of money on the development of their next home console and will no doubt post "poorer" financial results until its release. If Microsoft or Sony only operated in the gaming sector I'd imagine you would see similar results/trends. It all gets very complicated trying to compare them though due to a number of reasons. Things just aren't the same as the golden days of the SNES and Megadrive...


October 29, 2009, 9:14 pm

@Jones: I agree, but I wasn't going to start accusing TR of jumping on the "DA WII IS DOOOOOOOMED!" bandwagon as it'd be hard to shut me up.


October 29, 2009, 9:36 pm

I think its an absolute failure! We or i or us need to see proper improvements, mainly to the graphic of the console. My mobile phone plays better games than the DS!

Plus i think Nintendo needs to actually ask the people outside of Japan what we would like to see on the next console etc.....

Real shame!!!


October 29, 2009, 10:12 pm


{quote}My mobile phone plays better games than the DS!{/quote}

No. No, it doesn't. Not even if it's an iPhone.


October 29, 2009, 10:57 pm


Name the phone because I cannot find any phone to challenge the DS. Nintendo are playing a dangerous game here too many iterations puts a buyer off a potential upgrade like me.


October 30, 2009, 2:01 am

what? no resolution bump? no nvidia tegra? no built in flash memory? in a larger machine (and with specs probably the same as the dsi) no room for a friggin GBA slot? they used up the "no room" excuse last time. this time, there is no excuse. i bet it won't even manage a single megapixel camera, let alone video recording...


October 30, 2009, 1:09 pm

A resolution bump wouldn't be a good idea. They'd have to do something like exactly doubling it, so that existing games register precisely on the new screen, and then they'd have to get developers to make new games which took advantage of that resolution. Would those then be DSi XL only games? Would they make two versions? Would they waste cartridge space, development time and a great deal of money producing two sets of assets so that one game can render at either resolution? (Obviously less of a problem for 3D games, but 2D ones would be in the sink).

This isn't a new DSi, a replacement for what's already there. It's an alternative for people who find the existing one too fiddly and small. Nintendo seem to have given themselves a mandate to bring their hardware to the most people possible whether gamer or not, and this is just a step towards that. We're not going to see anything really ground-shifting in the Nintendo area for a while yet, I think.

Barry Ward

October 30, 2009, 2:20 pm

How would they be able to increase the resolution without it causing issues with previous games? They are programmed to display at the resolution it has now and that's all.

The DS really is out-dated in terms of graphics. Ok, it has it's touch-screen, but I agree with the poster above, that my iPhone DOES play better games in my opinion. Accelerometer controls for driving games, Accelerometer controls for marble balance games, touch controls for hidden object games (without the need for a stylus), on-screen analogue controls for shooters (compared to DS' d-pad). And that's not even mentioning the far superior graphics and sound capability of the iPhone/iPod touch.

Compare Secret of Monkey Island on the iPhone to Broken Sword on the DS- the DS doesn't have voices because apparently the cartridge hasn't got enough space to fit the data in. The iPhone Monkey Island has voices all through the game.

Then there is price- the average DS game £25. I bought Monkey Island for a few quid. Call of Duty on DS £25. Operation Sandstorm on iPhone/touch £3.99 (and the game is FAR better too).

The DS' days are numbered imo. Maybe not this year, but soon. Nintendo really need to up their game, and stop messing about with varying form factors of the same technology. Pull your finger out Nintendo, and release a brand new device instead of re-hashing an old one.


October 30, 2009, 2:48 pm

Apparently, this DS is just a version that allows older people, with lower eyesight to see the screens better. Nintendo have been getting complaints about the small screens, so I've heard.

If that's true, then Nintendo is just trying to reach out to a larger audience, like usual.

Then again with a 4inch 256 x 192 screen, it looks like the screen is just going to look even worse. We complain about 480 x 320 on a 3.5inch screen, imagine the size of the pixels on this.


October 30, 2009, 8:00 pm

@ Barry Ward. Im not having a go here, and feel free to call my cynical but why on earth would Nintendo want to jump the gun and release any new machine they have hidden away at Nintendo HQ when they still shift units in the millions?!

They are already financially "challenged" compared to Microsoft and Sony so I dont blame them at all for taking advantage of the market that their products like the DS, Wii, Pokemon etc bring.

I am certain that like Nintendos two main competitors they will already have some sort of prototype next gen handheld and home console but like their competitors wish to take full advantage of the product life cycle. Its good business sense! All these new/slightly modded machines did wonders to extend the Gameboys life a few extra years!


October 31, 2009, 2:19 am

I own a Samsung Lucido S7220 and i know your thinking not it does not! and your correct. How i meant to get my point across is that Nintendo graphics need to improve why??

There falling behind. Nokia N gage games are pretty good. And the nintendo would have much more better games if the graphics were more advance.

My main point again. Nintendo Ds Need Propper improvemnts, grpahics being first!


October 31, 2009, 5:01 pm

@ zero and others. why does nintendo need better graphics? They've got nothing to do with better games, which is what is really important. The psp has always been far superior on that level, but has sold a fraction of the units. I never understand the old style 'hardcore gamer' confusion around nintendo's current products. They aren't competing in the same space as sony or ms because they moved the game to a whole new audience. That group of people are far more likely to be interested in a new set of brain training puzzles, than a fancier screen or sound card. My personal experience is that the iphone games I've downloaded don't yet have the depth of a decent ds release, but then they are pretty cheap generally. Again it's the user interface that makes or breaks the games, the graphics and sound are completely peripheral.


November 2, 2009, 1:20 am

Leaving aside my Nintendo fanboy bias, and the multitude of gamer stereotypes out there (Hardcore, core, casual, or whatever else the media makes up), I just don't believe anyone who calls themselves a 'gamer' of any kind can NOT own a DS.

Here's a few good reason why in a list I came across a while back (updated since then I noticed) but is in no way complete:



November 4, 2009, 2:41 am

I feel like I have to defend myself in some way or another! The only reason I am complaining about this new release of the console (DS) is that it&#8217s pointless. Like the many releases of the PSP, there are no major tweaks to the console, and in this day and age, they should contemplate upgrading the graphics. This would bring more title releases to the DS, and for those who are talking about the audience I agree quite a lot. They are in a league of there own, however the release of this XL so soon after the DSI is pointless because what has improved that should make people buy it over the DSI?


November 4, 2009, 4:38 pm

They don't need to. It's for those that don't have a DSi. Or so you can buy your parents a DSi. I'm not going gaga over this. It's not for me, I'd rather have the portability. I'll also keep saying they'll be releasing books over DSiWare until it happens...

Sorry if it appears you were attacked! But as an example of why graphics don't matter, I first played Monkey Island (PC) in the year 2000 and after about 15 minutes didn't notice the outdated graphics at all. I'd finally like to add it was the 16-colour version.

Leaving aside the DSi LL(or XL) though, the DSi is much more of a significant step up from the DS Lite than the PSP Go was from the PSP3000.

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