An XL console needs an XL opening image. The Nintendo DSi XL is here and ready to break someones hands due to the sheer size of the thing!
Well not quite, the DSi XL is the latest version of Nintendo’s super selling console and this time they are looking at the older people and people with bad eye sight for their money. This is basically a DSi but exploded with mature ‘chocolate brown’ and ‘wine red’ colours. The screens are super huge, 93% bigger than last time and a chunky stylus is included along with some pre-installed software the DSi didn’t get. It also has some good clicky joints which keep the two screens together so you can now have it like a mini netbook. Cute. Game Boy Advance slot still missing despite the size increase is probably what I hate most about this new system. Also the buttons haven’t been enlarged which is a little odd but no biggy, I can handle them fine.
The screens are the highlight of the DSi XL for sure, they are magnificent and will throw people back when they first flip open the device. Full of colour though slightly blockier than before, still XL awesome. The matte underneath and shiny surface on top provides much touching happiness and gives the device a sleeker feel to the DSi. Other than that, everything is the same as the DSi. If you already have a DSi I wouldn’t bother, but for those with DS original and DSlites, this is the one to plump for. Unless you want to be portable. This thing can be carried around but it will just about fit in a pocket, remember you need to go out with wallets, keys and the likes too. It may be the sacrifice of the entertainment carrying.
Just about right? Sill the price is only a tenner more than a DSi at 160 quid and you can pick one up from Asda for 135 so price wise it ain’t so bad. Plus it has the Internet Browser, 6 in 1 Dictionary and A Little Bit Of… Brain Training Arts Edition built-in and if you log on online you get 1000 free Nintendo points to spend on the shop as a bonus start-up. Not a bad little haul, makes up for the lack of decent bundles anywhere.
To get an idea on how big this monster is, let me show you:
So there you have it, a wii less than double the width!
Seeing as this is my first jump into the i world, I think it would be good to have a look at the little features the DSi has which the older versions don’t and the installed software. Oh yeah!
The first thing which becomes apparent on the DSi is the new interface you use to select games from. The settings has been made to look like the wii’s and the selection screen reminds me of the wii channels only this time it goes from left to right. You can move about where things go on this channel screen which keeps things organised and you can now move download data onto an SD card which is welcome though I hear while you can access photos and music off the card, you can’t with the dsi software. You have to transfer instead which is a bit rubbish. Still the new interface gives everything a fresh new look! Download Play and Pictochat remain the same, this time they are channels rather than options like past DS consoles.
Nintendo DSi Camera
The two cameras on the DSi is perhaps the first thing people will notice about the DSi in what it offers over the older models. Now you can take pictures of your face or other people and the quality isn’t bad! It is a touch grainy but it works well in the sunshine and with the option to instantly upload to Facebook, it is a quick and fun way to take random shots of things. You can’t take pics in secret though, the snap noise happens no matter what!
Once a picture has been taken you can then mess around with it which makes up for the grainy quality. You can distort pictures, doodle on them, merge pics, mirror them and even put someone elses face on yours. A little creepy that one. The fun little features remind me much of the Game Boy Camera from years ago, this is a suitable upgrade I’ve always dreamed of. I also like how the DSi displays a random picture on the top screen while browsing the DSi menus, unless it happens to be some horrific picture you forgot to delete. A big thumbs up from me this mode, though I can’t see it replacing my real camera.
Nintendo DSi Sound
In this area you can record your voice or other people along with listening to music. The voice recording is a little but of random fun as you can mess around with the pitch, speed or have the sound as if you are wandering down a tunnel. It is a fun little feature though I can’t see it being more than a little random novelty for when you first play with the machine. My MP3 player can’t do the random bits but I can get a long recording on it.
The music player has much the same in the area of random things you can do with it only this time you can have little things going on the top screen as you listen and if you choose to have it as your MP3 player you can shut the DSi and walk about. You can only listen to music while in the music bit so no Pictochat doodling while humming and the fact it only allows you to use AAC files annoys. This feature requires an SD card. After much pain in getting some AAC files, I got some Foo Fighters on and it didn’t sound bad at all.
Nintendo DSi Shop
This is another large key feature of owning a DSi over the Lite. Here you can go online and buy new software to play about with. Thing puzzle games and bits of retail games chopped into pieces. So far the selection doesn’t have the hottest titles available but there is some decent games there and the free Flipnote Studios which must be downloaded! 1000 free points is credited when you log on for the first time as of this time of writing too. I bought Art Style: Intersect and Reflect Missile. With the XL you also have Dictionary 6 in 1 and A Little Bit Of… Brain Training Arts Edition included already. Yay! So the shop ain’t bad, apart from the Nintendo points costing more than they do on wii and not being able to use a debit card. Still the future is bright with this service and some excellent looking titles seem to be on the way.
Nintendo DSi Browser
Internet browsing on the DSi while out and about? Yes! But it’s incredibly slow and doesn’t seem to work too well. No! The idea is good and I like the option of saving favourites but the websites I tried (twitter, facebook, wordpress, bbc, kotaku) just don’t work too well. Ah well, at least it is free and maybe one day trapped in a place when my DSi XL can get online it will come in handy. Just have to be patient.
Dictionary 6 in 1 with Camera Function
This dictionary doesn’t tell you what words mean. Instead it translates them into six different languages. Nice little idea which I guess I might use once in a while, it would have come in use when I was studying Japanese and Spanish. Grr, too late! Searching words is easy with the touchscreen keyboard and the ability to write the words. The camera mode is a mess though and rarely knows what it sees. Still, nice idea.
A Little Bit Of… Brain Training Arts Edition
I wouldn’t buy the Brain Training games due to not feeling they are worth the cost, but to see a free mini version here is welcome. And it is good fun to with the new camera option so you can have your mug with your age. I’m 54 years old after three days, I got some cheese stuck in there somewhere. It offers a nice selection of tests to really irritate your mind and the expanded theme mode is awesome. Here you draw things, pose to the camera for certain things and speak romantic phrases. It isn’t something to play in public but they are good fun especially if you can get your friends involved as it saves six peoples awful photos in a scrapbook which you can upload onto the net. I await my first six people set before I upload the monstrosity to the world. This free game is good fun!
In the end I have to say I am glad with my upgrade to the sexy XL. Is this love?