There are some people out there that might not have a DSi yet and maybe aren’t ready to get on the 3DS bandwagon. Well, Nintendo is making it a little easier to get in the handheld market. Beginning on May 20th they will be dropping the price of the DSi to $99 and the DSi XL to $129. Both of those systems have a huge library of games available to play. I would recommend games like Mario Kart DS, Mario & Luigi: Partners in Time or Dragon Quest IX as a good place to start.
I actually have been thinking about picking up a DSi XL and this price is getting a little closer to making it a purchase I’m willing to make. That is just a great looking system and the screens make the games look fantastic. If $180 is still a little much to make you want to pick up a 3DS then this would be a great place to start for gaming on the go.
The 25th Anniversary Edition Wii will be heading here complete with a copy of Wii Sports, New Super Mario Bros. Wii, the 25th Anniversary edition of Super Mario Bros., a red Wii Remote Plus and a red Nunchuk. It will be sold at retail for $199.99.
The red DSi XL will also be coming on that date bundled with a copy of Mario Kart DS. It will also come with pre-loaded copies of Brain Age™ Express: Arts & Letters, Brain Age Express: Math and Photo Clock and will retail for $179.99.
For those of you not needing a new system you can get your hands on the new Wii Remote Plus for $39.99. No longer will you need to keep track of your Wii Motion Plus dongle as it’s built right into the controller. Flingsmash, the new retail game that utilizes Motion Plus will hit stores on that date as well, bundled with a new controller.
Nintendo has announced 3 new DSi XL colors for Europe. Hitting stores on October 8th will be the yellow, blue and green SKUs. These models will retain the glossy top half with the matt finish bottom half. The DSis (how on Earth to you write that as a plural?) will continue to ship with Brain Training, 6 in 1 Dictionary and the DSi Browser. So basically, they are the same but just different colors.
The press release refers to the colors as yellow, blue and green but I have no doubt that Nintendo will come up with goofy names for the colors before the go on sale. Names like Banana, Smurf and Palm Leaf, respectively. No news on when/if these colors will hit other regions but I’m sure they will make their way across the globe soon enough. Europe typically gets shafted on release dates for games and hardware so it’s nice to see them getting something first for a change.
It’s been a while since we’ve had a proper Retro Redux on the site and you could almost say I’ve been criminally negligent to the feature over the last few months and that will change starting in two weeks. I’ve been so swamped in working on newer games that I’ve neglected the older ones. The Retro Redux will be back proper in two weeks with a look at Star Tropics. One of the readers out there recently played the game and we talked about it and I’ve never played the game so I’m going to jump in and get the Star Tropics experience.
This week, though, you get a special second Tony’s Time and I’m just going to talk about something that happened recently. It occurred at my day job that actually pays the bills. I work for a major healthcare group here in Tulsa that I’ve mentioned before and a strange thing happened at work the other day. I’m known as the tech guy and the video game guy on my floor. If anyone has problems or questions about electronics or video games they come to me. Yesterday one of the women on the floor came to me asking how to unlock worlds 4 and 7. I told her how and she asked if I would unlock them for her, so I did. I say all of this because I want to talk about the device I played New Super Mario Bros. DS on.
I finally got a chance to get some hands on time with the DSi XL and I have to say I’ve got mixed reactions about the device. I ended up playing with it for about an hour. First let me talk about the things I did like. The screens; they’re enormous. I really like the screens. They just make the game feel that much bigger. I didn’t notice any real resolution differences between the DSi XL and the DS Lite, which is what I own. It seemed a little bit brighter and the colors a little more defined. I didn’t have anything to compare it to on hand, so it’s all based on recollections, but the screens do seem to make the games look a little bit better.
The user interface is also very nice. I like the simplicity of it. The DS touch screen would have been a perfect place to replicate the Wii Channel Menu, but the simple straight line layout of the DSi works quite nicely. It was very easy to navigate around to and all of the pre-loaded apps made it very easy to get back to the main dashboard without having to restart the system. I was impressed when I hopped into a Picto Chat channel and was able to log out without turning it off. That’s always been an irritable point with me when it comes to the DS Lite. Being able to reset the system back to the main menu from the game was also very nice. A simple tap of the power button will take you out of a game and back into the dashboard of the DSi.
Holding the system book style was great. I hopped into one of the Brain Age games that came pre-loaded on the system and it felt really nice to have the system held book style. I think the added weight of the device and the increased size really made it feel good in my hands when it was held that way. The bigger screens make it really easy to see myself using the DSi XL as an e-reader if Nintendo ever allowed that capability. I could almost see myself purchasing a device with two screens that was this size to use as a book reader, especially because the second screen gives you the perfect opportunity to feel like you’ve actually got a book in your hands. The touch screen on the right would be perfect to use to turn pages with. It would be a great use for the device.
The one thing I really didn’t like about the device, though, was also the added weight when holding the system normally. It’s considerably heavier than the DS Lite and the original DSi. I could very easily see a lot of people complaining about getting tired holding that system for a long period of time. After about 30 minutes I was starting to get tired of holding it. The DSi XL is a very sturdy system. It felt solid and I think it could take quite a beating with no problem, but it’s really heavy to hold onto for a long time. I think the DS Lite is the perfect size for Nintendo’s portable systems, and it makes me really glad that they’re going back to that size for the 3DS. Thinking on it now it would be very interesting to see if they could do anything with the new system while holding it in book style. I think any of those games will be required to turn the 3D off.
I know it’s a bit late to get hands on impressions with a system that’s been out for quite a while now, but there are still people out there purchasing DSi and DSi XL systems. I’m really bummed now, after getting a chance to mess with the device that I haven’t picked up a DSi. There’s quite a lot of good software available in the DSi Shop to purchase. I would recommend if you’re going out looking for a system right now that you pick up the original DSi. It’s a bit cheaper and I like the size and feel of the smaller system a little better than I do the DSi XL. The only reason I see now to pick up the bigger device would be if you absolutely needed the bigger screens. I like the system, but if I was making a purchase right now I would pick up the smaller DSi. As it stands, though, I’m waiting until the release of the 3DS to make my new portable purchase.
I own a DS, one to be exact. I wouldn’t mind having another but I really don’t need two. I must be in the minority. Doesn’t it seem like Nintendo has sold about twice as many of their handheld as the world has people? This month was no exception. Thanks to the good people at Gamasutra we have learned that the DS sold over 700,000 units last month. 141,000 of that was the DSi XL alone.
I guess the announcement of the 3DS isn’t going to slow DS sales down any. It actually seemed to help since this has been the best month for the DS in quite some time. I am almost starting to feel guilty that I am still rocking my Electric Blue DS “Phat.” Almost.
Nintendo’s announcement of the 3DS came at a very odd time in North America. The DSi XL had not even come out yet and it didn’t make sense to announce the next system before this one had even come out. A report out of Gamasutra may shed a little bit more light on the subject.
“Apparently, the Japanese press was all over it and talked with suppliers there and Nintendo just wanted to get out ahead by breaking the news to prevent a leak,” M2 Research senior analyst Billy Pigeon told CNBC. “Does it clash with the DSi XL? Yes, it does.”
The DSi XL is old news in Japan. The system’s been out for a while there and the Japanese media was catching on to what Nintendo was doing. It makes sense, now, that Nintendo, who is a Japanese focused company, would want to control the message a little bit and get the news out there before it leaked. Does it make sense here in North America? No. Is it going to cut into sales of the DSi XL? Probably.
That’s the question Nintendo wants you to answer. They’re ramping up the publicity for the Nintendo DSi XL. The big feature is the fact that the screens are 93% bigger than the current DSi. So they want to know what you would make 93% bigger. Check out this video to see some responses they’ve already received.
If you’re ready to answer the question you have a few ways to do it. First you can leave us comments here for what you’d make bigger. You can also visit Facebook and check out the 93% bigger App. If Twitter is your thing then check out Nintendo of America’s Twitter Page.
Source: Nintendo PR Email