PAX East: DSi XL Hands-On First Impressions

PAX East: DSi XL Hands-On First Impressions

While PAX East was jam packed with the latest and greatest in videogames, there really weren’t any new consoles on the horizon for us to take a look at except the newest version of Nintendo’s handheld, the DSi XL. Fans eagerly visited the Nintendo booth to try out this new system, and The Flickcast was able to spend some time checking out the XL.

What We Like

• The DSi XL’s screens measure in at 4.2 inches diagonally, an inch larger than all previous models, and it’s apparent from the second you pick one up that the system more than benefits from the size change. The menus are easier to navigate, dialogue is easier to read, and games are just plain easier to play.

• The first DS Lite had a glossy finish all over, and it was really easy to scratch up and dent. They fixed this with the DSi, but the DSi XL has an even nicer matte finish on the bottom and glossy finish on the top, making this system look and feel gorgeous.

• Nintendo’s always managed to keep their prices down and despite the major size difference, this system is only $20 more than the DSi. It’s definitely not going to be difficult to justify purchasing this model over the DSi.

What We Don’t Like

• The system’s got bigger screens, which means it’s much bigger. While this isn’t necessarily a bad thing, this makes the DSi XL less of a handheld and more of a portable console. It can fit in a back pocket or into your backpack just as easily as the other DS models, but it’s heavier and bulkier.

• The larger screens are going to appeal to an older crowd, but this version of the DS really isn’t the best one for kids. The bigger screens mean more is at stake if the system is dropped or damaged.

• Other than the screens and finish, there’s no new features to this system. If you’re already sporting a DS, don’t run out and splurge on the new version just for the new screens.

• While the bigger screens were a great idea, the brand-new Nintendo 3DS was announced so close to the XL’s release, making it harder to justify this purchase. While we have no idea what the 3DS will look like or how it will even work, the fact that it’s on the horizon is definitely going to keep some from jumping on the XL bandwagon.

• Some people, especially those without a DS so late in the game, would do well to take the DSi XL into consideration. But if the system had some more unique features other than some design upgrades, it’d be a little more tempting to pick this system up.