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Nintendo Announces New Large Screen DSi XL

Nintendo DSi LLContinuing to tinker with its flagship handheld product, Nintendo has announced another revision to the Nintendo DSi hardware that sports a pair of screens that are 93% larger than its predecessor.  See that little dotted line square in the image to the right?  That's the size of the standard DSi's touchscreen.  Say hello to the Nintendo DSi LL and its 4.2" screens which are coming to Japan in late November with a price tag of ¥20,000 and to Europe as well as North America (rebranded as the DSi XL) early next year at a price yet to be announced.  What say you, Kotaku?

The DSi LL is geared for those who want to use their Nintendo handheld for internet and as a music player as the larger screen is able to display letters and characters in a bigger font.  The DSi LL is bundled with two touch pens: one shorter and one longer touch pen (129.3mm), and comes will three DSiWare titles pre-installed: Two brain training games (one for humanities, the other for sciences) and DS Easy Dictionary. Releasing in three colors, the DSi LL will be available in Dark Brown, Wine Red and Natural White.

I'm really surprised by this news because this seems like a rare instance in which a portable game system's hardware has grown larger from one revision to the next.  For years we've watched the original big gray Nintendo DS slim down into the DS Lite, the metal chassis Sony PlayStation Portable shrink into the PSP-3000, and — if you want to reach far enough into the past — the iconic Game Boy compressed into the Game Boy Pocket (not to mention the Game Boy Advance's evolution into the Game Boy Micro).  I'm actually kind of interested in the DSi LL with its larger footprint.  The admittedly limited time I've spent with the DS Lite and DSi has made me yearn for the original DS in terms of being comfortable to hold while using.  I'm not so thrilled with the price ($220), but if this product makes it way to North America, I'd be willing to consider it if I had a little extra cash to burn.  I know that it's meant for people with bad eyes, but I bet there will be a healthy secondary market thanks to those of us with large hands.