DSi XL Review; The Good & The Bad

No doubt that Nintendo owns the handheld market and that gamers are always buying every handheld that Nintendo releases. First it was the DS Lite, then the DSi, and now it’s the DSi XL. With the DSi XL out in North America this week, DS Lite and DSi owners are wondering if upgrading to a DSi XL is worth it? Sure, the screen is bigger, but what other benefits does the DSi XL have that the others don’t?

Nintendo is well known for constantly redesigning its handheld, which has come a long way since the Gameboy was first introduced. We saw the Gameboy evolve into the small Gameboy and the Gameboy Color. Gameboy Advance had three revisions from Gameboy Advance to SP then to the Micro. With the DS generation, the DSi XL is the third and maybe the last since the recently announced 3DS is coming out next year.

Let’s take a quick look at the HOTs and the NOTs of the new DSi XL.


Bigger Screen, Bigger Gameplay
The biggest selling factor of the DSi XL is the big screen. Just as the name implies, it offers an extra large screen compared to the DS Lite’s screen. With a 93% bigger screen than the DSi Lite and a 26% bigger screen compared to the DSi. The screen 4.2″ big and you can clearly see what you play. I honestly like the bigger screen because it makes gaming more fun and I don’t have to squint while playing games with small text.

Vibrant Colors & Loud Speaker
Playing both the DSi and DSi XL, one of the things you would notice is that the DSi XL is a lot more vibrant than the DSi. Colors on the XL range from a wider spectrum than those on DSi, with the bright colors popping out more and the dark colors being more defined. Since the DSi XL is big, you should also expect to have the speaker be a little bit louder than the other models.

Same Interface and Menu
As for the interface and menus of the DSi XL, it is exactly the same as the DSi. Nothing has changed. You will see the same slide menu that you would see on the DSi. As for the positioning of the D-Pad and buttons, it is exactly the same size as the DSi except the power button has gotten a little bit bigger.


Paid Contents Not Transferrable
If you have bought a lot of games via the DSi Ware and were wanting to upgrade, you might want to wait until Nintendo figures out a way to transfer these. None of the games bought on the DSi can be transferred to the DSi XL. If you don’t really buy anything from the DSi Ware Store, then this problem shouldn’t worry you too much.

Not So Portable
The DSi XL is not so portable anymore due to its humongous size. There is no way to put the DSi XL into your pockets anymore. It is 100 grams heavier than the DSi, which is quite a substantial size for a handheld!

Finger Print Magnet
The top portion of the DSi XL is prone to fingerprints and light scratches. I don’t know why Nintendo decided to change this since the matte finish on the DSi is good enough. This isn’t a major concern, but it is a bit of a nuisance.

Limited at Two Colors
As of right now, there are only two colors on the DSi XL. Knowing Nintendo, we should be expecting more colors to arrive on the market later this year.

3DS Coming
With the 3DS recently announced, the DSi XL might be obsolete by the time the 3DS comes out next year.


The Nintendo DSi XL offers the same features as the DSi. The larger screen is the biggest selling factor of this handheld but I’m not sure if it’s a good or a bad thing to others. I actually liked the DSi XL due to the fact that I get to play my favorite DS games on a big screen, but the idea of handheld being too bulky for pockets is the thing I don’t like about it. With the 3DS coming out in less than a year, you might want to hold off. Buying a DSi XL is a tough choice—you just have to weigh the HOTs and NOTs of the handheld and decide.

One thought on “DSi XL Review; The Good & The Bad

  1. well now nintendo seriously sucks the 3ds is out and if you look at it youll realize that all nintendo cares about is money the wi fi sucks barely get a connection unless your on top of the router . The browser can barely do anything unless you want a dictionary you cant look at your email cant watch videos cant even have a fun time with the crap dsi games besides the ones that cost 40 bucks each so in my opinion stick with sony portable .

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