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Nintendo DSi XL Review

NINTENDO DSI XL - YELLOW DSI XL YELLOW

Rating: ★★★☆☆

We had fat DS units, we spent a mint getting smaller ones like the Nintendo DSi, so why would we want to spend cash buying a bigger one again?

And then we got our hands on the new handheld… we flipped back the DSi XL’s strikingly thick upper body to reveal two giant, bright screens that slapped our jaded views in the face like a wet fish.

It’s actually quite striking just how nice the 4.2 inch screens are compared to the much smaller 3.25 inch screens of the standard DSi. Unlike any previous DS, they have impact, like the original PSP did when you first saw one.

The slight downfall of an expanded screen is that, with the same 256×192 resolution as the smaller screens and a good set of eyes you can see the now larger pixels, which gives games a slightly blockier look. An issue that’s probably not as noticeable to the older crowd for which the XL is clearly designed.

We’d also assumed the console would come with bigger, easier-to-press buttons, but they’re actually all the same size as the dinky DSi ones, d-pad included. So if you ever struggled with the small and closely-positioned buttons of the previous machines you’ll receive no resolution here, which seems rather counter intuitive.

On a positive note, they’re all just as nicely clicky and the D-pad just as precise as the DSi ones, and the stylus that comes inserted into the console is the same too. Plus, for those of you with Chris Eubank fingers, the XL also includes a fatter pen-sized stylus.

Functionality wise, it’s all pretty much identical to the DSi. Boot-up speeds seem identical, menus the same.

Whether or not you should buy a DSi XL really depends on how you use your DS – if you tend not to carry it out with you, and only ever tend to use it at home, then the DSi XL is the better choice – if only for the stunning screen size. Games are easier to play and stylus use will be more accurate.

But for its sheer size and increased weight, you wouldn’t want this in your pocket or handbag. For gaming on the go, The standard DSi is far more convenient and apart from the smaller screens, does the job just as well in all other areas.

Pros

  • Larger screen

Cons

  • Small buttons
  • Bulky
  • Same resolution as the Dsi

Verdict

It just goes to show that smaller is not necessarily always better in
the cut-throat world of consumer electronics and portable games
consoles. But if you’re more of a gamer on the move, stick to the Dsi.


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