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XL Screen, XL Fun!
Nintendo DSi XL
Member Name: xjodieleex
Nintendo DSi XL
Date: 14/08/11, updated on 14/08/11 (14 review reads)
Advantages: Bigger Screen, Camera with Extras, Internet Browser, DSi Shop .
Disadvantages: Not many games make use of the camera
What Is It?
Today I am reviewing the Nintendo DSi XL. The DSi XL currently comes in six colours, Dark Brown, Blue, Green, Wine Red, Yellow and Red. The Red one is a limited edition Super Mario 25th Anniversary bundle though so I am not sure how long that particular colour will be available for.
Who Makes It?
The Nintendo DSi XL is made by... you guessed it... Nintendo. It is the fourth version of the DS to be released, its predecessors were the DS, DS Lite and the DSi. The DS series follows in the footsteps of other Nintendo hand held consoles such as the GameBoy, GameBoy Color and Gameboy Advance. With updated versions of all our old favourite games.
What's In The Box?
Inside the box you will find the DSi XL console, a mains charger for the DSi, an updated stylus that is slightly longer than a normal DS stylus, a second stylus that is the same size as a regular pen and does not slide into the console like the normal stylus and all the user guides and information you need to get started.
So What's XL All About?
The main purpose of the XL is the bigger screens, the screens on the XL are 4.2" which makes them 93% bigger than the screens on the DS Lite. It also comes with "A Little Bit Of Brain Training... Arts Edition" pre-installed on it. Another new function is that now instead of having to turn your console off and on again to change games you can change games with the machine on. All you do is when you have finished playing your game just press the power button once quickly and it will take you back to the main menu where you can then remove your game and insert another one. To turn the console off completely press and hold the power button.
You can play music using the SD slot in the side of the console. You just have to put the songs onto the SD card in the AAC format and put it into the console to access the files. It is a shame that you cannot play MP3 files but it is still a great feature.
You get three play lists to save your music to, top ten, practice and memory. Each one holds up to 100 songs each.
Sound quality on the XL is better than on the previous versions too, surprisingly clear.
There are also several effects that you can add to your music as an extra fun feature, I wont go into them here as it is nice to figure out little things like that for yourself.
Another pre-installed application is the voice recorder. I have only used this feature once or twice myself so far but it is definitely a fun addition. You record yourself saying something and then you can add effects to it to change the sound when it is played back to you. For example you can speed it up or slow it down. You can also make it a higher or lower pitch. There is quite a few things you can do with it, I still have not got it completely figured out myself.
The cameras on the XL are 0.3megapixels. There is one underneath the top screen and one on the cover. You can switch between the two cameras depending on whether you want to take a photo of yourself or someone else. There are a lot of fun effects for the camera, you can add frames and objects (such as a filmstrip frame and objects including tear-drops, Mario hat and moustache, cats ears and whiskers and many more), you can also merge two photos together, create your own frames or one of many other effects that are offered up. If you have a WiFi connection you can also upload them directly to Facebook from the DS.
If you have a WiFi connection you can access the DSi Shop. In this shop you can download DS Wares either for free or at the cost of Nintendo Points. You can get Nintendo Points by purchasing them or registering your Nintendo Products. When you purchase a Nintendo product there will be a little leaflet inside the box (usually gold) that has a pin on it to register your product at the Nintendo website. Once you have registered your account will be credited with stars, you then use the stars to buy Nintendo Points. It is all explained on the website. 100 Nintendo Points costs 400 stars and you can exchange stars for points once per day. There are currently only two free DS Wares on the DSi shop, and my DSi XL came with both of them pre-installed onto it, but my boyfriends only had one of them pre-installed on it and he downloaded the other one. The one we both had pre-installed was the internet browser, the other one is called Flip Notes, I have not tried that one out yet so cannot say anything about it in this review.
There are some good games on the DSi Shop, I am currently saving for "A Little Bit of Brain Training... Maths Edition" which costs 800 Nintendo Points. The cheapest games I have seen so far are 200 Nintendo points. Whenever you buy a game it will have a pin number for registering it inside it so every time you get a new game you will be able to add to your Nintendo Points and save up for some of the better downloadable games. As far as I know the DS Wares cannot be purchased any other way or downloaded from anywhere.
If you have used one of the previous DS versions then you will be familiar with the controls of the DSi XL, or even if you have only used a GameBoy before you should be pretty familiar with them. You have the directional buttons on the left (up, down, left and right), on the right there is the A, B, X and Y buttons along with the start and select buttons. Two noticeable differences between the DSi XL and the DS Lite is that for one, the power button has moved, it is no longer a switch on the side of the console but a button just under the directional buttons and secondly the volume button is no longer a switch on the base of the console but two separate buttons on the left hand side of the console. The volume buttons can also alter the brightness if you press select and then use the buttons.
How Much Does It Cost?
The DSi XL varies in price depending on where you go to buy it. The console alone costs in the region of £140 give or take. This seems a steep price, but it is worth it. There are also many bundles available for purchase. For example the bundle I purchased was a DSi XL console with the Pokemon Heart Gold game (complete with pokewalker) and it cost me £170. It is a good idea to shop around for different bundles and offers to find one that suits you.
You can buy the DSi Xl on it's own on Amazon brand new for £139.99.
Problems With The Console
Personally I have not had any problems with my console itself. We have had a problem playing games with people who have the DS Lite, we found that we could only play games with them if they had the game too (multi-card play). When using the built in DS Download play (single card play) we found that anyone who did not have the game would get cut off often.
One other thing that I noticed with my boyfriends DSi XL is that his screen started flickering, which happened about a week after getting it. It stopped on it's own though so I don't know what happened there.
I own a Wine Red DSi XL and I absolutely love it. I got it because my DS Lite broke and I needed a replacement. The camera is fun for people of all ages and it is great that you can put the photos directly onto Facebook. I love the pre-installed Brain Training game as it makes full use of the camera function, I wish they would bring out a full brain training game that did this as well as more games that make use of the camera function.
I like being able to download new games from the DSi Shop, and hope that they will add more free ones for people who cannot afford to be buying new games for the Nintendo Points all the time (or even buying the points themselves).
In conclusion I would definitely recommend this console to anyone who is thinking of buying it. Once you get used to the larger screen you wonder how you ever coped on the DS Lite with it's tiny by comparison screen.
Don't just take the first offer or bundle you see though, if you decide what YOU want in a bundle and then shop around online for it you will find the perfect bundle for you rather than ending up with games you have no interest in because they came with the bundle. It is worth remembering also that some shops will let you exchange the games in the bundle for others of equal or less value, all you have to do is ask!
Summary: I have also uploaded this review onto the website Ciao.
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