Nintendo DSi XL: The Perfection of the Handheld Console
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.
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.
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 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.