Nintendo DSi XL: The Perfection of the Handheld Console

Remember the "Golden Age" of Nintendo? Photo from www.sxc.hu/
Remember the "Golden Age" of Nintendo? Photo from www.sxc.hu/
Who wants an itty bitty hand-held game when they can have the whole enchilida?? Photo by Jono Rotten
Who wants an itty bitty hand-held game when they can have the whole enchilida?? Photo by Jono Rotten

Back In My Day…

I grew up in what might be called the “Golden Age” of Nintendo; sure, there were other competitors in the gaming market, but they were so weak as to be almost nonexistent. Indeed, when I was a kid, the word “Nintendo” was synonymous with “Game system.” As a child, I couldn’t resist the trippy world of everyone’s favorite Italian plumber, Link’s action-packed saga, or the over-the-top violence of Mortal Kombat! There was nothing else like the times when my family and friends huddled together around the TV screen to try to make it past just one more level, or to finally bring down that troublesome boss.

So when Nintendo introduced a handheld console—The Gameboy—I was among its biggest detractors. What they asked seemed preposterous! After experiencing the vivid colors, sounds, and power of the Nintendo, I was supposed to be happy with a tiny camouflage-colored screen with terrible sound and even worse graphics? Ha! I think not, said I. Even when Nintendo managed to stuff better elements into their tiny machines I still could not bring myself to have anything but pity for the poor people playing games on tiny screens, with infinitesimal buttons, and tinny—if improved—music quality.

And then one day, it happened. While perusing the titles at my friendly neighborhood game store, I noticed an odd little machine in the testing area. What’s this, I asked myself: Strange horizontal orientation, tiny little stylus, TWO screens? And lo and behold, there was my favorite Italian plumber making his first appearance on the newly released Nintendo DS. Looking around to make sure no one was watching, I broke one of my cardinal game rules and placed my hands, for the first time ever, on a tiny handheld console game.

And that was all she wrote.

The Nintendo DS in all its glory...proving ME wrong about hand-held games, once and for all! Photo by I. M. Indraneel
The Nintendo DS in all its glory...proving ME wrong about hand-held games, once and for all! Photo by I. M. Indraneel

I was hooked! Who could resist? The Nintendo DS has the power of the consoles I grew up with, great graphics, and two beautiful screens! You can talk to it, you can interact with it—it’s tiny, but mighty and PORTABLE! Now I could take Mario, Zelda, and Animal Crossing where ever I went: to the doctor’s office, to the airport, even to the bathroom! While I don’t have a great amount of time to spend playing video games, what time I do have is mostly given to the Nintendo DS; it is, in my humble opinion, the greatest handheld console ever made—that is, until March 28, 2010.

You can keep the tiny DS incarnations! I want something I can hold onto! Photo from www.wikipedia.org
You can keep the tiny DS incarnations! I want something I can hold onto! Photo from www.wikipedia.org

New and Improved

I didn’t think Nintendo could improve upon its piece of gaming gold; I fell in love with the DS Phat, and I’ve stayed in love with it. You can keep your DS Lite and its even tinier components (I love the DS because it’s BIG), and I wasn’t thrilled with the DSi since it did away with the GBA game slot. But now I know I was wrong. By the time many of you read this article the new, improved, even BIGGER Nintendo DSi XL will be flying off the store shelves, and with good reason.

The Nintendo DSi XL is as close to THIS as you can get from a hand-held. Photo by babyparentingguide
The Nintendo DSi XL is as close to THIS as you can get from a hand-held. Photo by babyparentingguide

The new DSi XL blows even the DS out of the water! A joy to hold, It is more than one and half times the size of the DS Lite (that’s 6.34 x 3.6 x 0.83 inches for you techies), but somehow it only weighs 14 grams more than the original DS. Its dual screens measure a whopping 4.2 inches on the diagonal—that’s a 93% increase in size from the DS Lite—ensuring that your eyes won’t fall out AND your gramma can join in the fun as well! As far as I can tell, that makes it the largest screen on a handheld system to date (although you may feel free to correct me if I’m wrong). Not only that, but its speakers have been beefed up—all the better to hear it with, my dear! And finally, Nintendo has improved on the only thing I always hated about the DS: that stupid, tiny stylus! The DSi XL comes with an enormous (comparatively, anyway) pen-sized stylus that’s perfect for adult-sized hands! And of course, your brand new DSi XL will still play all your favorite DS games, so if you’re upgrading—or even if you’re buying for the first time—you won’t have any problem finding great games to play on the greatest handheld console ever made.

I have a feeling these guys will be flying off the shelves just as quickly as they get there, so do yourself a favor—click on the link to the right and order from Amazon.com today! You’ll save yourself the hassle of fighting the angry mobs at the stores. You can’t beat THAT with a stick. And don’t forget to grab a game or two; you can check out some of my favorites from the list below.

You can bet I’ll be getting my grubby BIG paws all over it just as soon as I can.

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Comments 13 comments

lynnechandler 6 years ago

Good job! The first system I remember is Atari and playing pong for endless hours, lol.


Crazdwriter 6 years ago

I remember playing with the old nintendo system while growing up. I miss it sometimes :-) Yes the games are getting better but nothing and I mean NOTHING can beat the classics :-)

Great hub, GS! Loved reading this and the videos and pictures are perfect. :-) And you did a great job placeing the amazon capsule too. U r learning fast my friend!


TheGlassSpider profile image

TheGlassSpider 6 years ago from On The Web Author

Lynne: Oh my goodness, Pong! As absorbing as it was back then, I just couldn't imagine playing it now! I never had an Atari, but my cousin did...and I ended up accidentally breaking it by trying to put a game into it backwards. Needless to say, he was pretty upset, but I was just an itty-bitty kid! Thanks for stopping by!

Crazd: Thanks so much for stopping by! I know you are just swamped with things to do; your kinds words mean a lot. I'm certainly trying to learn fast - we'll see if any of those capsules pay off. You're absolutely right about nothing beating the classics, but that's one of the reasons I love my DS - so many of the games I played as a child have been re-released on the DS in all their original glory, only portable! Now I can play Zelda, Mario, or any of my old favorites while traveling or waiting for my car to get fixed! It's just the coolest little machine and it makes me feel like a kid again!


blondepoet profile image

blondepoet 6 years ago from australia

Oh geez I want one of those GS.


TheGlassSpider profile image

TheGlassSpider 6 years ago from On The Web Author

Hey BP I can't say I blame you! Just hit that link up there....LOL ;-) Seriously, they are cool little dudes, and I'm hoping to be able to grab for myself soon.


katiem2 profile image

katiem2 6 years ago from I'm outta here

Good Hub, we are diverse gamers and this is awesome to know. Thanks, Peace:)


TheGlassSpider profile image

TheGlassSpider 6 years ago from On The Web Author

Thanks for stopping by, Katie, I'm glad you enjoyed the Hub. I hope you'll take a look at the DSi XL. You're right, we ARE divers gamers, and I think that's one of the things Nintendo knows as well - whatever you're looking for in a game, you can find it with them (IMHO).


Paradise7 profile image

Paradise7 6 years ago from Upstate New York

I love this technology, but the screens are too small...my vision is not what it should be.


TheGlassSpider profile image

TheGlassSpider 6 years ago from On The Web Author

Hi Paradise, thanks for stopping by! I can relate - that's part of why I didn't like handhelds in the first place, but I think people like you and I (who want a big hefty screen) are exactly the people being targeted by the DSi XL. I'm sure they'll have them out for display and testing at game stores...You should give one a try and see if the bigger screen helps you get in on the fun! :-)


Shadesbreath profile image

Shadesbreath 6 years ago from California

I've been gaming since pong. Had a pong system that required phone company cables run to the back of the TV to work. Had Atari, Intellevision, and all the debut PC giant floppy games. Nintendo and all its iterations. I had hand held football, baseball and soccer that was just red dots and four buttons in the late 70's. I was there when Internet chat discovered .wav files. Realm, Everquest, UO, to WOW day one... been there. I totally respect this hub. :D


TheGlassSpider profile image

TheGlassSpider 6 years ago from On The Web Author

Wow, Shades, that's a wonderful compliment coming from you and I really appreciate it.

I had a Coleco Vision once upon a time. It had the strangest controller ever: a joystick with a sort of phone keypad underneath it. I remember playing Donkey Kong on it.

I haven't gotten to play any of the PC games except to dabble in them (with the exception of a little ASCII gem called Dwarf Fortress--very fun if you have patience and imagination, it's free to download and I'm sure you can find it through Google if you're interested; if you can't find it, drop me an email). If I get a hold of a computer with enough ooomph to run them well I'd love to get into them.

Thanks for reading! And make sure to add the DSi XL to your list of gaming experiences :-)


LeanMan profile image

LeanMan 6 years ago from At the Gemba

I still love space invaders.... was that on here??? lol


mythbuster profile image

mythbuster 6 years ago from Utopia, Oz, You Decide

I got confused after Super Nintendo and certain Sega systems, TheGlass Spider... I decided to just use my PC for gaming almost two full decades ago. I can't keep up with the new systems that keep coming out - but I sure to miss the hand-held controller while I'm playing PC games with the keyboard arrows...

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