When I first held a Nintendo DSi in my hands, I was impressed – it's a cute little system, a cute little system with two cameras and a microphone. Oh sure, the battery life wasn't fantastic and the speakers not terribly loud, but it was undeniably fun and clever. After extended play however there were some things that definitely bothered me, the chief of which was the fact that to hold the unit comfortably I repeatedly hit the volume button. Sometimes I would increase the volume, which wasn't horrible except if I had headphones on in which case I was rendered momentarily deaf, and sometimes I would decrease the volume, which, while it didn't physically harm me, was annoying to say the least. With the latest iteration of the DS, the Nintendo DSi XL, I no longer have that problem.
Nintendo's newest handheld console, which is being released March 28 in North America, is 16.5 mm longer front to back than the DSi, and for me, that's the difference between hitting the volume toggle and not hitting it. It is also 24 mm wider, which, again, for my hands is far more comfortable. No longer when I'm playing a DSi game do I feel as though I'm using a child's handheld console, and while it's true that the DSi XL weighs more – 100 grams more – than a DSi, that really doesn't make a massive difference.
The difference, of course, that Nintendo is touting, is that the screen is a larger one. The DSi boasts two 4.2 inch diagonal screens whereas the DSi only has 3.25 inch screens and the DS Lite even more puny 3 inch screens. The larger screens do, sort of, make for easier viewing. The issue is this – the DSi XL only boasts the same screen resolution as the DSi, which means that, essentially, though the screen is larger it has the same number of pixels, and that could lead to a blockier, less smooth, image.