[Left to right: DSi XL, DSi, DS Phat]
Perhaps it was no coincidence that Nintendo stopped by New York City to show off the Nintendo DSi XL, one day after Apple made its not-so-earth-shattering iPad announcement. Like the iPad, the DSi XL is a larger version of an already successful handheld device, but unlike the iPad, the DSi XL promises no added functionality, nor does it alter the electronics landscape in any way. It is, quite succinctly, a bigger DSi.
One can't help but question why the device exists in the first place. To whom does the DSi XL appeal? Certainly, its gargantuan size makes it stand out as the least portable handheld system we've seen in quite some time, taking a completely opposite approach to that of Sony's PSP Go. Thanks to its larger screen size, it takes up even more space than the original DS Phat -- strange, considering one of the primary complaints held against the Phat was its unwieldy girth.
What the XL excels at (sorry!) are games that require extensive use of the stylus. The massive stylus that's included with the system is easy to handle, making earlier stylus pens feel cheap and flimsy. The larger screen real estate makes it easier to draw on the system, perfect for intense Pictochat sessions or a round with WarioWare DIY.