News Article

It's Official: Big-Screen DSi LL is Confirmed

Posted by Damien McFerran

The rumours were true after all - but is it a mistake to launch new hardware so soon after the DSi?

The DSi launch may seem like it was only yesterday but that hasn't stopped Nintendo from announcing a new version of its portable gaming system.

As we reported recently, the large-screen DSi - known as the DSi LL - will feature bigger displays (4.2 inch, to be exact) and a longer stylus. Because it's bigger, it will obviously weigh more than the DS Lite and DSi, but the battery life should be improved.

For more information - albeit in Japanese - visit the Nintendo of Japan website.

In addition to this, the Japanese version of the console - which will be launched on the 21st of November at 20,000 Yen - will come pre-loaded with the DSiWare titles A Bit of Brain Training: Arts, A Bit of Brain Training: Science and Kiyou Akira Rakuhiku Language Easier.

While we welcome any new Nintendo hardware launch, we can't help but feel this move is something of a mistake: people that have just shelled out for the shiny new DSi - which, lest we forget, is an upgrade of a machine most Nintendo fans already own anyway - will be pretty angry right now. How many upgrades is too many upgrades?


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User Comments (73)



odd69 said:

I'm glad i didn't get the dsi right away, looks like I'll get this one instead



Sneaker13 said:

I think they shouldn't have done that. They should have made the DSi with this big screens. I doubt that people with a DSi will upgrade to a DSi LL. BTW, is this handheld Japan only?



y2josh said:

If they were going to do anything, I wish they would have a TV cable for your DS. Unless there is one I don't know about. They should stop their trickery though.



tambourine_man said:

They should have made it more expensive, people that just bought a DSi will feel ripped off since they could have got this for the same price.



FATEM said:

The main thing which I think every prospective-upgrader should be asking is "What about the DSiWare on my old DSi?" I really hope nintendo has some sort of solution to this other than "Buy it all again."



jorenmartijn said:

Let them keep it in Japan for a while, since I want to justify my purchase of the previous version DSi... I'll wait for the GameCube-powered handheld for now.



skywake said:

So much for "widescreen" and the "extra media content" this upgrade would apparently provide. I think this is a pretty good idea for older gamers and it will probably sell really well. It does make the case for upgrading from a DS lite a little bit stronger.

I agree that "core" gamers won't want to upgrade from a DSi but I don't think that's the point of it.



Raylax said:

Wow, it's actually real? Nice and lame. Seeing as it seems to have no hardware improvements over the DSi though (asides monster screens which are gonna make sprite-based games look stretched and 3D ones look more polygonal and PSP-inferior than ever), I'm not too fussed that I've already shelled for a standard DSi.
I don't see this being a massive commercial success either. Why would people buy a larger, heavier, slightly more expensive DSi when the only thing they can say about its advantages is that it comes preloaded with a commercial game demo and a language coach? There's no improvements to the titles themselves, just scaling them up and letterboxing (I'm presuming the aspect ratio is a bit different, looks to be on that picture) the sides.



Roopa132 said:

I don't see a reason for upgrading. I got my DSi at launch that was half a year ago and I won't buy a new one till mine is broken or outdated in 3 years or so.



Waldo-Tron said:

I think the DSi is the perfect size and weight. Seeing as the screens don't have a higher resolution there seems to be little advantage over the standard DSi apart from the improved battery life and the impossible to lose large stylus but I can live with that. Also, seeing as the nice new colours have just been released in the UK how will this effect sales. I can imagine all the kids are going to want the latest and greatest for Christmas but this will obviously miss that. I was considering buying my Mum a DS so maybe I'll go for this, I just hope she doesn't get upset that her Christmas present will be late!



JayArr said:

Bigger screen. Longer stylus. Sounds like somebody is compensating for a lack of size some where else......



FATEM said:

JayArr if you listen very carefully you may be able to hear my applause. That was an excellent call.



TourianTourist said:

I'm glad, I haven't gotten a DSi so far. It's also the first time, that Nintendo makes more than three models for one handheld generation, which is rather unexpected.



SanderEvers said:

And ofcourse it's still the same ammount of pixels.. so it won't be anything better than the DSi.

Though I think that this is perfect for older people who cant read very well off the smaller DSi screens.



bboy2970 said:

This makes me a little steamed........I got my DSi at launch not too long ago and now this comes up?? Chances are it will be coming to the states within 6 months. As much as I don't approve of this move, my Nintendo fanboy-ism is making me want one. I'll get one IF and only IF I can transfer all my DSiWare. Please make it so , Nintendo!



Yosher said:

People seem to forget that this thing is made for those who have trouble with the smaller DS(L/i)! You shouldn't really see this as an entirely new entry in the DS line, as aside from being bigger, and offering some DSiWare titles from the get-go, this thing has NOTHING the old DSi doesn't have. So why are people complaining? You don't have to get this if you already own a DS, yet people who have trouble with the old can get one now or replace their old one.



bboy2970 said:

@Yosher: I understand this isn't exactly "aimed" at me but being the Giant Nintendo fan that I am, I simply must own every console/handheld no matter what. Being completely honest with myself, even if you can't transfer DSiWare, I will probably STILL get this.



SanderEvers said:

Yosher is correct, you could see this like the new colors that are appearing. This is just a new color, with a bigger screen. Also it comes with Brain Training DSiWare, which are most commonly used by older people.

@bboy2970: a giant DSi for a giant Nintendo fan



Yosher said:

@bboy2970: I fully agree with you. I feel like I must have every console/handheld coming from Nintendo as well (which hasn't been such a success yet, missing out on a lot of variations from the handhelds and such). BUT, you already have this thing. Just smaller. So I personally think you can skip this one. I will, since, well, I already have one!



RyuZebian said:

I got my DSi at launch. My tactics is pass-buy-pass-buy and so-on. I got the DS, but not the DS Lite, I got the DSi, but I'm not getting this! I'm waiting for the all-new DS that will launch sooner or later!



Kirk said:

It's not really an upgrade or even an alternative for most gamers.

It's specifically for those older gamers like grannies and granddads imo.



Stuffgamer1 said:

I told people not to count the rumor as automatically false. Looks like I was right, huh?

This sounds like a VERY bad idea. Is nobody besides me thinking of the gameplay implications of this beast? As I posted a few days ago when the rumor popped up, screens THAT much larger could really screw up the touch screen controls, making you slide around further and all that. And it doesn't even have more pixels or anything? Screw it, I'm putting this squarely in the "digital version of a large-print book" category: It's for old people who can't see tiny stuff clearly, period. I'm content with my regular DSi.



mjc0961 said:


Next Nintendo will do something even dumber, like say that this model doesn't have a DSi card slot and so you have to re-buy all your games in digital format. After all, why stop at copying one stupid thing Sony did (releasing new PSP models over and over with no noteworthy upgrades) when you can copy TWO stupid things that they did?

tosses DSi LL in trash bin next to PSP Go and keeps playing regular DSi



Stuffgamer1 said:

@mjc: That would require Nintendo putting a respectable amount of flash memory in the system itself, and what are the odds of THAT happening?

@Tony: Obviously not. I mostly agree, but could see it appearing attractive to a VERY small group of older consumers. I should be interested to hear what my dad thinks about it, actually. He never upgraded from his DS Lite to a DSi (planned to eventually, I think...maybe), but the question is: would he really want it that much bigger? If he's been managing just fine with a DS Lite, probably not. Therefore, it'll only be good for the small number of people who didn't buy any previous model of DS specifically because the screens were too small.



Mama_Luigi said:

God i'm a genius, i didn't buy the DSi because i knew something like this would come.



Terra said:

I already have a DSi and bigger screens aren't a reason for me to upgrade. Pass on this one. When will they just give us that brand new handheld already?



blank_user_1 said:

@Aviator: Ha, ha, so you're the target market!

@Raylax: No kidding. Since when did the DS's graphics deserve a larger screen?

One thing I pointed out in the rumor article is that it never said it would have widescreen, only "larger." Well, here it is. A Large & Long DSi. I'm looking forward to what they'll advertise it as-- the cadillac of handhelds? DS king size? Certainly "thin and sleek" just went out the window. I'm not even sure this is coming outside of Japan; it's just such a bad idea that could only compete with the even worse idea called PSP Go. At least that has a cool name. I understood DSi, riding the iPod name, but "DSi LL?" What the heck.

@JayArr: While catering to the lowest form of wit, it just might be a plausible theory to match this inane upgrade.




"While we welcome any new Nintendo hardware launch, we can't help but feel this move is something of a mistake; people that have just shelled out for the shiny new DSi - which, lest we forget, is an upgrade of a machine most Nintendo fans already own anyway - will be pretty angry right now. How many upgrades is too many upgrades? "

100% agree. I'm not getting it.



pixelman said:

Hmm, I haven't upgraded to a DSi, and if this one sells for the same price (and hits the states), I'll probably get it.



People knock it off ok? See the size and the pen. Is obvious that is aimed to the elder gamers.
Is not aimed AT YOU.
The population in japan is getting old and this product just aims to that market. Why are you making such a big fuzz' if you already have it there's no need to buy it again.



wanderlustwarrior said:

It may have some purpose, but here's the sad truth: it's Nintendo's Sixth gaming handheld in seven years and seventh gaming handheld in nine years.

Here's the Rundown:
DSi LL/XL - 2009 - launched: Japan, November 21
DSi - 2008 - launched: Japan, November 1
DS lite - 2006 - launched: Japan, March 2
GB Micro - 2005 - launched: Japan, September 13
DS (reg.) - 2004 - launched: North America, November 21
GBA SP - 2003 - launched: Japan, February 14
GBA (reg.) - 2001 - launched: Japan, March 21

Of course, this doesn't include the various limited editions (Diamond and Pearl, Phantom Hourglass) or extra color options that are released every few months.

Yes, technology improves, but they've already strangled their own sales (see - Game Boy Micro, DSi) by flooding the market with incremental upgrades. If they're indeed going towards differing bases, at least release multiple choices at the same time (DSi and DSi LL for example) to give people options without surprising them by making their most recent purchase out of date in a few months.



bboy2970 said:

@Yosher: Glad to see that there is someone out there almost as crazy as me! But seriously, i don't think you understand quite to the extent that I must have Nintendo products. I have trouble resisting buying another system when a new color comes out! I have 5 DS lites because I just had to have the pokemon version, zelda version, black one to not show dirt, white one to look good with my wii, and blue one because of the matte bottom. I know for a fact this new machine is a complete and utter rip-off! But regardless, I will still buy it! When I say I'm loyal I'm NOT kidding



shinkukage09 said:

They're making a new DSi, essentially screwing with people who have already gotten a DSi, and then making it so if you take advantage of the DSiShop, you can't go with the new one. Lovely, Nintendo. Way to be like Sony.



NinjaTendo said:

I think I'll wait for them to beat the living daylights out of the DS brand and they release something new under a resurrected GameBoy moniker. I still have my DS lite and saw no real reason to upgrade to the DSi and there is still no reason to upgrade to the DSi LL since there in no increase in resolution. I don't like to see individual pixels and I don't know why Nintendo thinks we want to. Why couldn't they implement a higher resolution screen for developers to program for and just upscale the original/current DS games... Nintendo, I love you but you're losing it.



Sprace_Bot said:

So happy i didn't get a regular DSi cuz i'm totally getting this one when it comes out!!!!!!!!!!!!!!



JuneBelle said:

I was right. Both of the screens are larger. Man, that thing is HUGE.

I seriously doubt this is coming to the US. The United States has some of the highest birth rates of a Westernized country. Japan is mostly becoming a nation of old people (who are resorting to caring for robot babies to make up for the lack of grandchildren). This is aimed at them. shrug



b_willers said:

I didn't get a DSi and I won't be getting this. The next DS better have a much higher resolution like the iPhone as even the lite looks rubbish these days.



Wolfcoyote said:

I wouldn't be the least bit interested except for the fact that my L button is malfunctioning, and this is a launch DSi unit. Should I get my current DSi fixed or should I just purchase the upcoming version upon release and trade items and Pokemon back and forth using the current one - that's the question...

I'm all for bigger screens, but I honestly wish that Nintendo's engineers had introduced it a little sooner. But for many of us who were early DSi adopters, imagine the wear and tear our DSi units will be put through by the time the new DSi LLs show up in the US.



Kknight said:

@shinkukage09 - As pointed out by buffalobob (#47) this is not aimed at you. It is not a move by Nintendo to screw over people who already bought a DSi. This is a DSi aimed at the older generations and/or those that don't have the best eyesight. Calm down. That goes for a number of other people too.



cheetahman91 said:

Thankfully I haven't purchased a DSi yet. I expect this to come out in the spring outside of Japan. Nintendo is the Apple of gaming when it comes to upgrades.



sonic_brawler95 said:

Its the same exact thing, except with way bigger screens and a huge stylus. But if Nintendo starts releasing DSi LL exclusive content, then I will be very, very angry.

Just because the DSi has been out for a year in Japan (on November 1st that is, so not even), doesn't mean you have to release a new upgraded handheld, Ninty. I'm a big Nintendo fan, and even I think this is a weak move.



Noire said:

You take a nap 'cause you ain't feeling good and then Nintendo formally announces a new bigger-screened DSi. I see how it is, Ninty.

Anyways, I give a big ol' meh to the entire deal. It's obviously not for me, and I really don't see Nintendo making games exclusively for the system, so no reason to get worked up.



letsplay said:

I always found the Gameboy and DS too small for older eyes. I welcome a larger screen.



postmanX3 said:


I just bought the DSi. Well, I already received the middle finger from Valve with Left 4 Dead 2 (which I bought anyways...) but this is just RIDICULOUS.



rosemo said:


I agree with you. I have read people freaking out about this, and I don't understand it. I have a DSi and I don't feel ripped off. Think of it like the 2nd generation Kindle from Amazon. They released it to great fanfare, and then about 9 months later came out with a bigger-screened version, the Kindle DX. True, there were a few other very minor revisions, but on the whole it was just a bigger screened version to capture different demographic, those who want to read newspapers and magazines instead of just paperback books.

My prediction: the DSi XL is about $50 more expensive than the DSi. The DSi gets a price drop and the DS Lite is discontinued. Now you will have two options. That's not so bad, right?



ueI said:

This isn't the first time this happened. Japan got the gameboy lite, a gameboy color with a backlit screen.



bejerild said:

I understand the bad move on Nintendo's part, but I also love the option of having a larger console itself. I have large hands, and that's why I never really wanted to upgrade to a DS Lite or DSi. I might want to get this LL now. I always wished nintendo would release large-sized controllers too.



bbb7002004 said:

Hey look, its a DS for Senior Citizens!

Actually, I'm sure that is something Nintendo is considering with this, especially with brain training built in. I know a lot of older people who aren't interested in games specifically because the screens hurt there eyes, and imagine Nintendo wants these peoples money.



ZachDusoswa said:

wow really? so i guess they are following apple in a sense.. releasing a slightly improved copy of the same thing every 6months (mabye not even)



StarDust4Ever said:

On second thought, I have big hands. That's why I kept my DS phatty and never upgraded. The DSi is small, sometimes hurts a little when I play it, but it's not anywhere near as painful as my GBA.

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