It seems almost annual now — a new year and a new version of the Nintendo DS comes out.
Nintendo's almost Apple-like in its offerings, and judging by the sales figures, it's a move that works. On March 28, the company will release the Nintendo DSi XL, the hand-held's fourth iteration.
I had a chance to play around with the bigger, badder system recently at the Nintendo Media Summit. My first impression when I saw it on the table next to a Nintendo DSi was, "Whoa, that's big." No longer pocket-size, the new hand-held boasts a screen that's 93 percent larger than the latest system.
For comparison's sake, I placed my iPhone next to the DSi XL, and Nintendo's screen was bigger.
As I held it in my hand, the portable almost felt like a netbook. There's a heft to it, but it's not a dog-killer. I can't imagine holding that thing up for long. Instead, it seems as if it'd be better used if it were laid on a table. Other than the size, the system's buttons and such feel the same. Unfortunately, there's no Game Boy Advance slot.
So who would buy this? I mean, Nintendo sold 6 million hand-helds in 2009. It seems that Nintendo purposely made this for a different demographic. Some would assume that it'd be for those who have wanted to upgrade but held off on the DSi. But looking at the size and color, I really think this is aimed at women.
You can't really fit it in your pocket now. The size makes it something you'd throw into a bag or a purse. On top of that, the color, wine-red, and stylus pen strike me as more feminine than its smaller counterparts.