DSi XL: A conditional two thumbs up

nintendo dsi xl

If you’re a heavy DS user, don’t particularly care for portability, and don’t mind reselling outdated gadgets to subsidize new purchases, the Nintendo DSi XL is for you. For everyone else, it’s a pass. Except for maybe anyone who has yet to buy a DS.

Upon turning on the XL for the first time, it struck me how massive, bright, and colorful the screens are. They’re lovely. In fact, I’ve never really noticed the top screen like I do on the XL, as the bottom screen is where most the action is. As a result, game animation pops on the XL. The screens are just too hard too miss. And I quickly found myself reaching for old games, just to see how they’d look on the XL. It’s not HD, but the oversized screens serve bite-size games very well, enough so to encourage new play throughs.

In terms of extras, the “bigger is better” is the sole draw here. Oh, and the pen-size stylus, I guess. While the on-screen action looks fantastic on the near PSP size screens, it’s hard to swallow the XL’s $190 price tag, provided you already own a DS, DS Lite, or DSi.

For non-DSi owners, however, the larger screens plus the option to download the still small but increasing number of good DSiWare games make the XL more appealing. And non-collectors willing to trade in their old DS for $60-70 will surely appreciated the adjusted $120-130 price in exchange for super-charged screens.

Overall though, it’s hard to give the XL an unconditional two thumbs up, despite its attractiveness. Especially since Nintendo is releasing the 3DS handheld on or before March of next year (perhaps as soon as this holiday). Think twice before buying.

Fun fact: The XL user manual is ginormous, perfect for grandpa.

Review based on retail copy of DSi XL provided by Nintendo.

10 Responses to DSi XL: A conditional two thumbs up

  1. Mr.cranky says:

    Im gona lose all stuff i downloaded, but im upgrading my dsi to the dsi xl. The reason is the regular dsi’s quality a little suspect. I never had any problems with any nintendo handheld untill the dsi 🙁 my first one was a launch system and had to send it twice for crummy R button. Got a free replacement but the speakers get scratchy and im done with dsi. Heard dsi xl has better built speakers and the system itself built for better quality. Majority of the dsiware shop sucks though, mighty flip champs and dark void zero the only downloads i got that are 100% worth the money they ask for 😀

  2. Jake says:

    Ironically, the XL seems to be this generation’s GBA Micro. It’s neat, but everyone is preparing to move on. Having said that, the Micro is my favorite iteration in the Game Boy line.

  3. Blake says:

    Yeah, the micro analogy is spot on. Is there anyway to transfer DSiWare/WiiWare purchase to a new system?

  4. srkelley says:

    There are only two ways to transfer games.

    1. Your system has to be stolen or somehow lost then confirmed ot Nintendo via a police report.

    2. Your system has to be badly damaged to the point of needing to be reapired. Then I believe you wither send the one or both systems to them.

    Either case they can update your DSi account via Club Nintendo. When you call in they’ll ask for your serial numbers which are on the system, box and the club Nintendo account if you linked them.

    My first DSi was stolen, but none of the reps gave me any of this info when I originally called in the first few times. I got hit by the statute of limitations with my theft report and am now short of all my DSiWare. I don’t bother with Nintendo digital downloads since it’s a stupid system. Everything can be linked to an account to gather user data, but not to help the users. Games are sold to the DSi system and not the user, which is bs.

  5. elmer says:

    My personal worry is that the pricing is likely to set the mark for the 3DS. If the 3DS were $150 (not unthinkable) then it would fly off shelves, but it’s hard to imagine Nintendo positioning it at anything less than the current DSi XL price, even with a subsequent price cut in the wait between their releases. It’s quite likely Nintendo are using the XL as a test bed for a ~$200 portable. It may even be the case that the apparently odd timing of the 3DS’s announcement was intended to soften the blow with the XL in the US. Can you imagine if they announced it a few days after the XL launched rather than a few days before?

  6. riku says:

    im gunna get a XL soon ive only got a couple of the original ds (phats) thnx

  7. N64 Games FTW says:

    I still won’t trade in my DS(original) until the 3DS.
    Side: I would still like to see the Virtual Mobile

    But anyways is it jsut me or does the oversizing just seem stupid.
    The screens I get, but the Stylus(Pen)!
    Seriously The DSlite’s was perfect.
    But that… That makes me feel like $5 is going just for the pen.
    A WHOLE $5, like the DS pen would probably be $1.
    (Sorry I obsese over how stupid technology is getting in terms of wanting money)

    Anyways Im not getting a DSLite, DSi, or DSi XL.
    But I will get the 3DS.
    Side: I think they should have waited another year to unveil the 3DS because I think less people will buy the DSi XL now.

  8. srkelley says:

    Trauma Center 2, Picross, CrossworDS, both Advance Wars, Canvass Curse, and heck every game with great touch screen controls benefit greatly from using a pen sized stylus. I don’t use that little stick anymore, I bought a 3rd party stylus years ago after my Dialga stylus lost the Dialga.

  9. InvisibleMan says:

    I’ve read on several reviews that the screen resolution of the XL model is the same as the regular DSi. That would make the graphics bloquier, like when you blow up the size of a JPG or GIF picture:


    If that is true, I’d rather upgrade my DSLite to a DSi, not to a DSi XL…

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