Yesterday, Nintendo announced their latest money-grubbing innovative handheld system reboot. Entitled the DSi LL in Japan and DSi XL in the U.S. and Europe, it’s the same basic system but with 93% larger screens.
The screens are bigger. The stylus is bigger. The price is bigger.
The DSi LL releases in Japan on November 21, barely a year after the original DSi launched, for ¥20,000 (about $220), ¥1,100 more than the current system’s price point. The screen size is the most obvious upgrade, up from 3.25″ to 4.2″. This is bigger than both the PSPgo (3.8″) and the iPhone 3G S (3.5″), the DSi’s main competition.
The stylus is also beefing up to a less-losable size (although it’s now too big to fit in the system), and the battery life is increasing to a whopping five hours at maximum screen brightness, or nine to eleven hours at mid-level brightness. Wait, didn’t the original DS’s battery last ten to fifteen hours? Hmm… The smaller, portable stylus will also still be included in the box.
The new system will include some pre-installed DSiWare (two Brain Age games and an unreleased dictionary program) and feature a better viewing angle, as well, according to a statement Nintendo sent to IGN. Entire groups of people will supposedly be able to view the screen from all sides without any problems now.
After Japan, the DSi XL will hit American and European shores in the first quarter of 2010. Pricing is expected to be similar (read: more than the current system without any added functionality *cough*PSPgo*cough*), and there will be a choice of three colors: dark brown, wine red, and natural white.
After some “steep declines” in hardware sales, is this the right move? Or is it another case of too much, too soon?