The third redesign of Nintendo’s newest handheld system launches across stores throughout the country today, though its entry is notably one of the least-heralded in Nintendo history.
The DSi XL is a little over 50% bigger than the existing DSi models. In Japan, it was marketed as a gaming system that could be more easily used by older gamers. In the US, there’s a different angle, literally.
During the US launch announcement, Nintendo’s executive VP of marketing said that having bigger screens will allow people to let their friends watch as they’re playing a game on their XL.
Additionally, Nintendo will soon launch digital books for purchase over the “DSi Ware” store, and the XL model will offer the most amenable viewing experience for reading these books.
However, unlike the DS Lite and DSi, the launch of the XL is muted. Sales are not expected to spike as much as a typical new hardware release. Even in Japan, the prime market for the XL, initial sales were about half that of the DSi.
Additionally, while Nintendo usually counts on existing customers to provide a lot of sales for redesigned models, the XL may be a different story. People who already own a DSi and have purchased downloadable games will not be able to transfer them over or redownload them on a DSi XL.
In a Kotaku story, Nintendo said it is working on a potential fix to this problem but is not making any guarantees.
The DSi XL is available for $190