Nintendo to Launch New Handheld in March

Japanese computer games giant Nintendo has announced that it will release a super-sized version of its handheld DSi console in Europe on March 5.

The DSi XL was launched as the DSi LL in Japan late last year. It features two 4.2-inch LCD screens, up from 3.25 inches on a standard DSi, and built-in low-resolution cameras. The DSi XL will be the third handheld console in Nintendo's DS range, which now features the DS, DSi and DSi XL.

Nintendo has not announced a UK price, though Amazon is taking advance orders at £150. The DSi XL will be available in two colors, red wine and chocolate brown.

The DS is the best-selling games console ever released in the United Kingdom, where more than 10 million units have been sold, almost one for every six members of the population.

Robert Saunders of Nintendo said that the new larger console had been designed in reaction to customer demand. "We find that families like to play games together huddled around one console, and the smaller screen was making that difficult. The new screen also brings a level of detail to the graphics that has never been seen before."

The new console is also designed to appeal to the "grey gamers," older players who have picked up the DS for its popular Brain Training titles but whose eyesight struggles with the smaller screen of the standard units.

"We hope that the bigger screen size of the DSi XL will appeal to older players," said Mr Saunders, adding that the new console comes complete with a fatter stylus, designed to be easier for older players to grip.

For more on the Nintendo DSi XL, read the full story at the London Times.