Monday, May 21, 2012

DSi XL at Last!

Left: 3DS Right: DSiXL

As of May 20th the DSiXL had a price cut to $129.99, after a period of nearly a year when it was at price parity with a much more feature rich 3DS;  a platform that can play games not compatible with the DS/DSLite/DSi line. 

I’ve always wanted a DSiXL, the large bright screen, comfy pen sized stylus and long hour battery life lasting up to 17 hours had been well received by gamers and the unit did not disappoint.

Released in 2010 and positioned as a large DSi for adult and older 'casuals' to use, the DSiXL also has a fairly good following among gamers looking for a larger screen DS to play at home, where portability is less of an issue.

The unit feels great on my hands and it combines features of the DSi and DSLite into one unit. It has the matte finish of the DSi, although the finish on the XL is much more textures, while retaining the glossy finger print magnet of the DSLite on the unit’s top side.

The first thing you’ll notice is that navigating touch games with the pen sized stylus feels amazing, and things like writing my name in the pack-in Brain Age  DSiWare titles feels much better as the much larger surface area of the touch screen allows for much more nuance in writing.

The next thing I did was to fire up The Legend of Zelda: Phantom Hourglass, and the game looks absolutely fantastic on the DSiXL. It is incredibly vibrant and bright.  The first thing I notice moving from the 3DS, at maximum brightness with power-save turned off to the DSiXL screen is that the 3DS screen looks much dimmer by comparison. It looks likethe DSiXL will be my DS unit to finish up some of the many games on my DS that I never got around to playing or completing.

P.S. It’s interesting to note that the ClubNintendo questionnaire I filled out had 2 extra questions.  It asked consumers why the picked the DSiXL over the 3DS and if they ever considered the 3DS at all.  This was likely added when both the DSiXL and the 3DS were at price parity.

Not surprising that Nintendo would be interested to know considering the DS (well most models sold in the past year had been the DSi and DSiXL)  continue to do well inspite  of the newer model 3DS whereas DS sales have all but collapsed in Japan as consumers have bought the 3DS instead.

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