Sunday, March 28, 2010

Why a DSi XL?

Written by pikaby

Today is the day the Nintendo DSi XL will hit store shelves. Great timing, Nintendo. With the DSi released just last year and the 3DS set to storm the world next year, this gigantic FOURTH make of the iconic Nintendo DS is sandwiched in between...Is it really necessary to get it when either 1) You've just upgraded to a DSi, or 2) a brand new handheld is just around the corner? It just makes you feel ripped off, doesn't it? DSi XL's position right now, in my opinion, is equivalent to that of the Game Boy Micro right after the GBA SP and before the original DS was released, only it's the exact opposite in terms of size.

The Micro didn't spark any excitement when it was released back in that time either. The screen was ultra small and the console was designed to look sleek. It even had removable faceplates. Obviously catering for the trendy crowd. And again, that's what the DSi XL is doing, catering to a niche audience, only this time the gigantic screens and redesigned stylus are mainly for grandma to see the numbers on Brain Age that much easier. XL even comes prepackaged with Brain Age Express. If the Micro didn't sell well surely this DS won't either. Nintendo are making the same mistake all over again, but hey, they've got nothing to lose. No one condemns Nintendo for making the Game Boy Micro anymore.

But why should we buy a DSi XL? I know the bigger screens(90% larger than the screen of the DSi, blimey!) and the slightly extended battery life are selling points, but Nintendo says.....well, Reggie mentions a wider viewing angle so people can see what you're playing from all sides. I remember him mentioning that on Nintendo Week while the hosts were playing Zelda: Spirit Tracks. But what's the viewing angle for? Surely you don't want to play Spirit Tracks while 3 people stand around you breathing down your neck.

Cue Photo Dojo for DSiWare. Using the DSi (or the DSi XL)'s camera you take shots of your mug and your fighting pose, and your opponents' too. Record a taunt on the microphone. And then using your stick like poses you 'head into battle!' and the fireballs you shoot have YOUR FAEC on them. Some really tense funny stuff. And in multiplayer VS, both of you fight on the same system instead of having to link up. And when two people are staring on the same screen, well, logically you'd need a bigger screen with a wide viewing angle! That's where the DSi XL shines. Photo Dojo could be one DSiWare that gets a lot of attention, for once.

This potentially makes DSi XL a more social machine than the regular model, and that's what Nintendo looove to do these days- pack a room full of people staring at game screens while smiling away having fun, whether you're playing or spectating.

Well honestly speaking if you already have a DSi there's not much reason to pick this up(DSi XL) but if you still hold a DS original or a DS Lite in your hands, XL is up for consideration before the 3DS comes next year. Do you want one?


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  2. I feel bad about getting a DSi XL last weekend. I didn't know about the 3D version. I'm old, and I wanted a big screen for using the Korg DS10+ synthesizer applicaiton.

    Am I a fool?

  3. If you need the DSi XL for the bigger screen, it's a good buy. The 3DS' screen is slightly smaller, treat it as a completely different thing then. It's not like anyone's forcing you to get it at launch :P