Nintendo 3DS XL or DSi XL?


This is not a review or a versus comparison against the Nintendo 3DS XL and the DSi XL ‘coz obviously they are both different machines and have different hardware power although they can both play DS games they’re still like comparing apples and oranges. This is article is base on my observation and firsthand experience on the 3DS XL not a bias fanboy or hater’s point of view.


Before I decided to get a Nintendo 3DS XL I’ve research and watch videos for about 3 months to justify how good the 90% upscale of the screen compare to the DSi XL in terms of playing DS games which I think is sharper in and have crispier colors than the regular DSi and DS screens, I though that it will be the same case as on the 3DS XL but I guess I’m wrong. By the way I don’t own a regular 3DS, I only have the chance to play with them on demo stands on my favorite game shops but still didn’t convince me to get one – feels like the 3D effect is a big gimmick. I tried playing with the demo units but there is no way I’m gonna use 3D feature – the small screen just doesn’t work. When I got my DSi XL I wish the 3DS has an XL version and eventually Nintendo answered my prayer. The only question is  – Is the upgrade or upscale worth the wait? My answer is Yes and No! Yes because 90% bigger screen, 3D effect is a bit better and No because there is no 2nd circle pad well I guess makes sense ‘coz they’ve just released the Circle Pad Pro for the regular size 3DSes. Nintendo will be killing their own product if they put a 2nd circle pad on the 3DS XL. Saw some photos from the net of the 3DS XL dismantled and seems like there is no space to put on the 2nd circle pad on the unit. If they tried squeezing that thing in the 3DS XL it will become a 3DS XXL – which  is the case now when you put the new Circle Pad Pro XL to be release in the States and the rest of the world this December of 2012.



First let’s compare the regular DSi against the DSi XL upsized screen. I’ve notice a more significant amount of brightness, vivid colors and louder sound. Yes the pixels are bigger but still sharp and added more charm on the sprites – it’s like looking on brightly colored arcade monitor with dynamic pixels moving about. I remember trying every game on it and the result is still good. Love my Nintendo DSi XL and have no plans in disposing  it even I already have the 3DS XL. The next question will be – WHY? Because playing DS games on the 3DS XL is just terrible. It is blurred and hazy. Colors becomes slightly dull. I’m no expert on technical stuff but I don’t know why the DS games looks bad on the 3DS XL but on the DSi XL i looks very good so if your planning on dissing your DSi or DSi XL think again. I almost sold mine. DS games are best played on their native consoles (DS, DS Lite, DSi and DSi XL).



Now we’re done comparing the 3DS XL to the DSi XL what is it compared to the actual 3DS games? Well It’s about the same with obvious blow up of pixels but I can’t say it’s sharper compared to the effect of the DSi XL on DS games. This is Nintendo’s chance to make the screen brighter than the regular size 3DS but they didn’t bother – they’re almost the same. The upper screen is now almost the same size as the Play Station Vita but definitely no comparison here with the PS Vita’s AMOLED screen. Is the 90% bigger screen better? – I can say the bigger the better specially when playing in 3D mode. Some reviews say it will be less sharper if you turn 3d on but on my experience I’d rather play Kid Icarus: Uprising with the 3D on, somehow it gives me a sense of depth on witch monster to blast first specially when the screen becomes very frantic. There’s a big chance I can make it with 3D mode on than turning it off and for me it looks a bit sharper and brighter when 3D mode is on. That is weird ( or am I weird?).


I like the feel of my DSi XL even with the bigger size it still looks slick and clean but on the 3DS XL it’s… ummm… well… let say more comfortable to hold and they fix the hinge compare to the regular size 3DS and othe DS consoles, now there is a clicking sound on the hinge and less wobble (or none) when you change the angle. Battery wise there is not much improvement but and extra hour on playtime is I guess considered better compared to none. Thanks Nintendo for the extra 1 hour of battery life.


If you’re planning to upgrade from 3DS to 3DS XL for the price point I guess it’s not worth it but if there’s a price drop on 3DS XL go for it. For me the deal breaker here is the 90% bigger screen. You see things better and everything is just bigger that is if you can tolerate the slight pixelation on the screen. If you’re planning to play DS games on the 3DS XL forget about it – it”s just plain bad. Upgrading from DS, DS Lite, DSi or DSi XL to 3DS XL I can say a big YES! Because if you don’t you’ll miss out on the latest first party 3DS games that we all love like Super Mario 3D Land, New Super Mario Bros. 2, Star Fox 64 3D, Kid Icarus: Uprising, Paper Mario: Sticker Star, The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of  Time and more!!! If that’s the case you can skip on the 3DS and go straight to 3DS XL.


Every console or handheld that will come out will sure have  its flaws that’s why there’s a lot of iterations on every model. No matter what Nintendo, Sony or Microsoft will release whether it’s the next gen handheld or consoles there will always be haters. Always remember that games are fun not a reason for hate.  Happy gaming!


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