Large Screen Nintendo DSi Launches In November

By Spencer . October 29, 2009 . 6:40am


imageNintendo announced the Nintendo DSi LL, a DSi with a 4.2 in screen compared to the 3.25 inch screen on a regular DSi. The new model goes on sale on November 21 for 20,000 yen ($220). That’s a bit more costly than a 18,900 yen ($208) DSi so Nintendo is bundling the LL with accessories.


You get two touch pens, a stylus and a fountain pen pointer, a kanji dictionary program, Brain Age Express: Math and Brain Age Express: Arts & Letters with a DSi LL.


The handheld will be available in three classy colors: Dark Brown, Wine Red (pictured), and Natural White.


Here’s how the kanji dictionary looks on a DSi LL vs a DSi.




Anyone upgrading? Larger screens are nice for text heavy RPGs.

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  • Oh, I already bought a DSi. Oh well, I’m sure it won’t change a bit besides the screen.

  • malek86

    That thing is a beast. I sure wouldn’t want to carry it around. The Lite is so much lighter and easier. And besides, i still use the GBA slot from time to time. Of course i’m not upgrading.

    Also, they said it will cost more than the DSi. Here in Europe, the DSi already launched for 189€. How much is this going to cost? 209€? That would put it almost up to PSP Go levels. And at least the Go is actually portable. Not that I like the Go, mind you, but I find this to be even less useful, and that’s quite a feat.

    • Soma

      Isn’t the DSi lighter that the DS Lite?
      Maybe this new model is going to weigh a bit more, but when playing on a friends’ DSi, the first thing I noticed was how light weight it felt in my hands considering its larger dimensions.

  • superdry

    Didn’t one of the previous articles here about the larger DSi (or maybe it was on a different news site) mention that the larger screen DSi would cater more to older folk who have trouble reading from such a small screen? Or, just regular folk who don’t like looking at a small screen.

    The wine red sure looks nice though.

    • MadMirko

      Yes, it is meant for the elderly.

      The touch pens, longer and thicker than the stylus, to make it easier to hold if your hands are not as good as they once were.

      The bundled Brain Training games obviously fit the target demographic. I wonder how they’ll market it, but I doubt the average gamer will be interested.

      EDIT: Now that I’ve seen more of it, it _could_ be pretty nice, depending on how the screens turn out. Longer battery life as well… damn, now I’m actually tempted.

      • Aoshi00

        The wine red color is totally classy. This thing might be huge or heavier, but I’ve been wanting a bigger screen for a long time since my eyes tire easily from squinting at any portables (PSP is slightly better), that’s why I could never have long sessions w/ my DS. Especially for people who work in office and stare at monitors everyday, I have like old man eye vision even at 30 years old lol..

        You know what game I just thought this would most benefit, Professor Layton! Because each puzzle has to fit on one screen, the text is like bean-size to me (I’m not sure if it’s just my old man eyes). My eye don’t tire as easily when playing the Jpn version since Jpn font are bigger (than longer English words/sentences).

        Oh man.. if I hadn’t gotten the DSi, I do want this and don’t care if people call me elderly.

        EDIT: it’s like the GPS, I went for the 4.3″ screen instead of the 3.5″… because you want to “see” where you’re going… argh… damn you Nintendo. I guess I only have myself to blame for succumbing to new gadgets too quickly. The larger DSi screen did make a difference, but this beast of a screen would be a hell of a lot better, again for me who tire easily from staring at small screens.

        EDIT 2: Ironically I did get a longer and thicker touch pen, for some games that require extensive stylus use, as I found that default toothpick too small sometimes, and I have small hands…

        • MadMirko

          Just for the record “elderly” wasn’t meant to be insulting.

          I’m your age, and my eyes suck as well (might really have to do with staring at computer screens all day), but I’ve never had a problem with DS screens. Heck, I play my GBA games mostly on a Micro.

          I’ve decided to blame DSiWare region-locking, so I have an excuse to buy a XL.

          • Aoshi00

            Nobody’s calling you an ageist, don’t worry :) Micro is a novelty for me, like when I play an RPG like Mother 3 where I need to read a lot, playing it on the DSLite is definitely better than a Micro.

            So XL (LL) doesn’t have DSiware region locking compared to plain DSi? If the weight/feel/battery life is good for this new behemoth, I actually want to get this in Wine Red as I prefer a bigger screen (less strain on the eyes) and sell my Jpn DSi (the white Gyakuten Kenji one w/ Blue Badger) if someone’s willing to buy it. Bigger is always better, just like a 46″ TV is better than 32″. W/ HD games’ text being so small these days, sometimes you even need to sit close to a 46″..

            Or I just need new glasses or eat carrots…

          • MadMirko

            I’m sure the XL will have the same locking mechanism as the DSi. What I meant was I’m going to import one to have access to that region’s shop, too (not decided, yet, but I’m leaning towards a US version). The $ to € conversion makes for a compelling argument.

            The only DS(s) (and about the only video game related hardware at all) I ever sold were my Phats. I still own DSLites and DSis, and I plan to keep them.

          • Aoshi00

            That’s what you meant.. in that case I guess I should get the US XL since my DSi is from Jpn so I could have access to both regions’ DSiWare.. I didn’t trade in my Phat before because I thought it would be a good back up as a 2nd DS, or just lend a friend play it. I know I must sound like I’m complaining, but I think they’ve taken it a tad too far for the DS, everytime you feel like getting punched in the face by the big N “sucker, you should’ve waited 2 months, haha!” W/ the GBA it was still cool, the original didn’t have backlight, so upgrade to SP w/ a flip cover and front light was natural, so I didn’t need to play under direct ceiling light, next to a lamp, or attached a stupid light accessory anymore, micro was a novelty and didn’t make you go “crap, I should’ve gotten this instead of the SP”. When I got the Phat, it was a Jpn one so I couldn’t trade it my SP, plus I wanted to keep it as a collection. But I traded in the SP when I got the Lite. Now w/ the DSi, haven’t they thought of many people would appreciate a bigger screen in the first place? Part of the reason I preferred the PSP (though not as big a library as the DS) was its bigger screen and now they made it smaller again w/ the Go. It’s all these baby steps that really piss off consumers, and now we want to buy whatever new model Nintendo comes out w/, we would think twice, or thrice, “wait, as long as I get this, days later Nintendo would come out w/ yet another better version”. I don’t know if I’m the only one feeling this way.

            I really want this XL for the ease of reading, and if this proves to be every bit as good as the DSi, I’m seriously considering to sell my DSi to recoup some cost, even though the Blue Badger one was very special…

  • Soma

    That certainly is a notable difference in screen size.
    I’m tempted to pick up DSi now!
    So, does the new LL have the same dimensions as the regular DSi, just a bigger screen?

    • malek86

      Nope. If they make the screen bigger, the console gets bigger too. Here is a comparison:

      Kinda huge, if you ask me.

      • Soma

        Holy sh-! o_o
        314g?! That’s 100g more than the current DSi.
        This will likely feel like a brick to carry around. Snap!
        Feel free to disregard my response to your last comment. =P

        • malek86

          Suddenly, we can’t call the old DS “Phat” anymore :P

        • ElTopo

          Its just a little heavier then a DS phat, and really I never thought of the DS as a very good pocket machine. It fits, but its pretty uncomfortable.

  • “Our company is not doing any interviews. We believe this article is speculation,”

    • Aoshi00

      Goddang, right on the money… :(…

  • malek86

    I just noticed something weird. Every DS revision until now, has a pen of different length.

    DS: 75mm
    Lite: 87.5mm
    DSi: 92mm
    XL: 96mm (or 129.3mm for the bigger one)

    Why is that? Just so you can’t use your old spare pens anymore if you upgrade the console?

    • Soma

      It’s so that if you lose your stylus, you’ll have to go buy one specific to your DS.
      The games industry makes a whack of cash on the sale of accessories.
      Especially on tiny plastic accessories that sell for several dollars, but cost only pennies to make.

      I mean, as long as you’re not too particular about your stylus sliding into your DS, you could always just carry around your old ones as spares in your pocket/carrying case.

      • Having a different charger for each model is pain, too.
        I wonder if the charger for DSill is going to be different from the DSi?

    • ElTopo

      Every system has different dimensions, could just be that for it to fit snugly it had to adjust to those specific dimensions. At least for the later models that could work, the jump in size from the phat to the lite was due to the fact that the stylus on the phat was just too small.

  • fuzaku2

    Good that I didn’t buy a DSi just because it had larger screens.

    This one will make a much better companion to the DSlite, one really has to wonder why they didn’t make the DSi as large from the beginning! Nintendo said that they planned on selling it alongside the DSlite, without making the old model obsolete, after all.

  • fuzaku2

    Playing games with touchscreen-heavy controls should become much more comfortable. Chousoujuu Mecha MG, anyone?

    I wonder why they didn’t use this opportunity to enlarge the fire buttons, though. I always thought they were a little small, after playing with Gameboys for a decade. This might support the theory that the new revision is aimed mainly at our elders, who are unlikely to play classic games requiring quick and precise input. But then again, old people should have a high desire for portability, as they are usually more active than youngsters. But then again, they are more able to concentrate on a single activity as well, so they are probably less likely to carry their DSi to the tennis court when they actually just want to play tennis there.

    • Or how about Elite Beat Agents, Ouendan and Taiko? The beat-circles would be easier/less harder to miss, won’t they?
      Man, this really is aimed at the older folks…

  • Didn’t some big-name Nintendo guy come out a few weeks ago and say Sony was silly for offering so many options for the PSP (namely, bashing the Go)?

    …What makes them such an exception? I’m definitely not buying this. I upgraded to the DSi and the PSP-3000 and those are good enough for me. I’m tired of this tweaking crap every year.

    • If you’re talking about Reggie, I think his main claim was along the lines of “who is the PSPGo for?”, which I think a lot of people are still wondering.

      This is really the first DS model I can say I won’t be getting, either. I’m content with the current DSi. Same with the PSP1000 I got a while ago, if I had gotten that at launch I’d still be fine with it.
      Tweaking is ok to me, so as long there’s a purpose or goal (for the benefit of the consumer) behind it. I don’t think people feel obligated to get every model under the sun and it doesn’t seem they’re marketing it that way.

      • Indeed. It’s just strange to have one company lambaste another for offering a different model with different points (enhanced portability, digital gaming), then turning around to offer their own different model (larger screen marketed to those with poor vision).

        As you said, neither of these are necessarily marketed as “upgrades,” just different options. It’s just getting to be a little too common of a practice lately, in my mind.

    • daizyujin

      Agreed, it is getting out of hand. The thing is, at some point, this could very well come back to bite them in the butt. Just imagine if every time a person goes to buy a DS or PSP they have second thoughts because 6 months down the road a better one could be coming out at a relative price. That is the last thing you ever want a consumer to do.

  • neo_firenze

    The DSi’s main feature is also the reason I won’t be upgrading to any new DS platform:

    You can’t transfer downloaded games to a new DSi system. I’m not going to just give up my growing little collection of DSiWare – Dragon Quest Wars, Mario vs. DK, my 6 Art Style Series games…

    I do think the Wine color is awesome, and I’d love a larger touch pen instead of the dinky stylus. But Nintendo locked me into my current DSi completely by themselves and their backwards DLC management policies.

    • malek86

      I agree that Wine Red is pretty awesome. I wonder if they’re going to make some more colors for the Lite.

  • kylehyde

    I think that I will stick with my old brick for a while and then get a normal DSi, because, this looks so heavy, but I have to admit, that I like wine red the color. And considering the object from the promotional, I think that is true that this will be aimed for old folks.

  • JeremyR

    Well, as someone who finds the DS’s screen far too small for his middle aged eyes, I think I will get this model, if possible, if and when I ever upgrade to a DSi.

    I would guess it would be about as portable as PSP in a logitech carrying case (the clamshell one). Which is to say, a little big, but fits in a coat pocket pretty well.

  • Is that Kanji Sonomama Rakubikuten? That’s like the most useful kanji dictionary in the entire world. I really like the color, but I dunno if I’ll hold off till that “secret” new DS comes out

  • eliel

    i’d buy this(yep thats all i need to say)!…

  • Aoshi00

    It’s funny though, seeing this is a reminder for me definitely not to get a PSP Go (other than the high price and digital d/l hassle), when you “pay more” you want a bigger screen so you can see (like a 4.3″ GPS contrary to the cheaper 3.5″), it’s not like getting a GB micro for novelty’s sake.

    I really don’t care about portability since I always put it in a bigger protective pouch and carry in my messenger bag anyway and I’m not about to put a delicate machine in my pants’ pocket. Screen size is the most important thing for me.

    I wonder if I should put my Gyakuten Kenji DSi up for sale.. or if somebody here wants to unload it from me, I’ll willing to let the limited edition go for a reasonable price.

  • protofox

    hmm. i just might get this snice the Lite and the DSi both cramped my fingers form being too small while my old phat ds i could play for hours with no issues. but seriously..those are big screens for a nintendo handheld.

  • Guest

    Scratch that this isnt as stupid as PSPgo its just really random and eh not really needed. Its not worth more than a damn Wii is all I wanna say.

    • Hraesvelgr

      Actually, I would say it’s worth more than a Wii, based solely on the fact that the DS has a lot more good games. The Wii’s lack of good software is exaggerated, I think, but the DS lineup is still better, in my opinion.

  • Hraesvelgr

    Huh. I might actually upgrade from the original DS for this. Anything smaller than the original is too small for me.

  • Joanna

    I really like Wine Red, but nope, no upgrade for me.

    • Aoshi00

      The wine red is irresistible I tell you. I keep repeating to myself I won’t get it, but the other part of me is anticipating when they would release this in the US, which should be round $200 instead of importing it at $270. It’s nice to think that you could play so many DS games on a bigger screen, but I wonder if they would appear more jagged and look worse being blown up.

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