With the release date of the new Nintendo DS now approaching we take a quick look at what we can expect from this chunky addition to the DS family.
The Nintendo DSi XL will be the 4th member of the Nintendo DS family when it is released on March 5th 2010. Following hot on the heels of it's 3 predecessors the original DS, the DS Lite and the DSi, Nintendo will be hoping that the DSi XL will build on it's 100 million strong customer base by appealing to both new and existing players with several new and exciting features.
The Nintendo DS is very strong among the younger gaming audience and the DSi XL will be trying to extend Nintendo's reach into the adult and mature handheld device market with a couple of new features to make it more accessible to this demographic.
The principle change to the DSi is the size upgrade, making it a bigger and more substantial device and so more suitable to bigger hands. Tied in with the bigger overall size is of course the biggest and most exciting upgrade; the increase in screen size from 3 inches to 4.2 inches. With two 4.2 inch screens rather than the original 3” screen, this is a 93% upgrade in total viewable screens, a result of this and a modified design is to offer a wider viewing angle screen. Two other features that make the DSi XL look like a more mature device are the the available colours (Wine Red and Dark Brown) and the bundling of a bigger stylus in the form of a Touch Pen, a larger and chunkier version of the original stylus.
The XL will of course be bundled with the upgrades found in the DSi version. These include several key features such as the built in WiFi Web Browser and the ability to download titles and apps from the DSi Shop. It will also include SD Memory card support, include the camera with image editing software and the ability to listen to and play about with your music and sounds. Perhaps the most relevant of these features for the XL is the access to the DSi shop, which will enable owners to download ebooks, which in conjunction with the bigger screen and larger size makes it much more appealing as a device for the growing e-boox market, an essential feature given the competition from Apple products and Sony's ebook Reader.
Despite the larger size the XL will have improved battery life, a nice feature considering it's larger size.
In a move that looks like Nintendo are trying to bring added value to first time buyers or existing DS owners looking to upgrade their model, the XL will come bundled with pre installed software. These include DSi Ware title “A Little Bit of Brain Training: Arts Edition”, which will allow owners to instantly play this recent Dr Kawashima's Brain Training title, the Dictionary 6 in 1 with Camera Function software and the Nintendo DSi Browser. The browser in particular is increasingly becoming a necessary inclusion with any mobile device.
Nintendo's DS devices are always high quality products and loads of fun for anyone who buys them. With mounting pressure from Apple in the mobile gaming market though Nintendo will need to keep improving their products and offering to keep gamers with their brand, particularly older ones. Attempting to increase their presence with the more mature market should see software developers creating titles relevant to these new customers, a much needed development as Nintendo owners become increasingly disenchanted with the lack of mature, grown up titles.
This guest article was provided courtesy of Game Hub, a leading video games blog.