Nintendo DSi XL Review – An XL Step Forward


By Izmeiah Brown

Going into this iteration of the DSi family was exciting for me. You see if my closet is any indication I LOVE my DS. I bought the original DS “Phat” back when it debuted on Nov 21, 2004 and as the system aged I have been constantly buying the “upgrades” to the family. So far I have owned 1 DS, 3 DS Lite, 1 DSi and now a DS XL. The Lite, and the DSi were a marked upgrade over the original. They featured sexy designs, and sleek polish over the bulky gray original. However the reduction in weight and smallness of the system meant one thing to me: Hand cramps.

I have over 100 DS games, and playing them for any amount of time on a DS Light or a DSi caused pain throughout most of my thumb region. This was pretty much my only complaint about the system. Enter the DS XL, this big boned beautiful sister  alternative to the popular DSi has become my liberator. Gone is the pain and cramping associated with my DS playtime. The DS XL for all its enormity is by far and away the best example of engineering put  out by Nintendo in a long while.

The screens are absolutely gorgeous. I had read on many boards over the last few weeks that there would be “distortions” caused from the bigger screens, but this is largely not true. The screens still operate at the same dimensions as their smaller counterpart. The screens are perfect for those that need glasses, or perhaps those that like to show off their gaming to family and friends. There does in fact seem to be a wider view angle when compared to the previous DSi and this is somewhat a nice thing. I can count many times when people have put their ear to mine to hear the ocean watch what I am playing. The fact that they can now sit comfortably beside me is a godsend.

Now for the bad.  I have downloaded games through the Nintendo WFC yet, even with a linked account to Club Nintendo, I am not able to download those purchases. So basically Nintendo dropped the ball yet again on their wireless end. I hope these issues are fixed by the time we see the 3DS, or the successor to the Wii. I mean this is kind of a big deal. This means that somewhere someone at some Gamestop in Alabama gets all my hand-me-down games. Unacceptable, Nintendo.

Also while I am talking about the 3DS why on Earth did Nintendo announce that this week I wonder? It almost seems certain that it would detract from XL sales, however it also seems just as likely that if they had waited a week it would have upset 3DS sales too. A thorny situation, thorny indeed.  Whatever the reason it is I still stand behind my purchase on this system. Despite what others have been saying online I say that this system DOES in fact feel like an upgrade to an already great system. I just hope that in four months there isn’t a NDS Super XL: Now with cup holder edition.

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