Nintendo touts social gaming for DSi XL

The soon-to-be-launched portable game device, its maker says, will help you play well with others.

Don Reisinger
CNET contributor Don Reisinger is a technology columnist who has covered everything from HDTVs to computers to Flowbee Haircut Systems. Besides his work with CNET, Don's work has been featured in a variety of other publications including PC World and a host of Ziff-Davis publications.
Don Reisinger
2 min read
Nintendo DSi XL
The Nintendo DSi XL. Nintendo

Nintendo is awfully fond of telling its customers that the upcoming DSi XL will boast screens that are 93 percent bigger than those in the DSi Lite.

So fond is it, in fact, that Nintendo has decided to poll social network users on what they would like to see become 93 percent bigger. According to the company, the "poll lists fun, humorous options, including sound speakers, swimming pools, and furniture." It's available as a Facebook application or via Nintendo's Twitter profile.

Speaking of Twitter and Facebook, Nintendo also made it clear in a statement Thursday that it plans to "significantly boost the social fun of portable gaming." But it won't be achieving that goal in a way that you would think (that is, through social networks). Instead, Nintendo is saying that thanks to the DSi XL's much larger screens, more gamers can crowd around the device to pitch in during gameplay.

Along those lines, the company announced that two social games--America's Test Kitchen: Let's Get Cooking and WarioWare: D.I.Y.--will be made available the same day as the DSi XL's launch. Nintendo said that the cooking title will "help multiple chefs chip in to prepare delicious recipes," while WarioWare will allow users to "create and share their own microgames."

Is the DSi XL's "social" gaming element just a gimmick? It's certainly possible. After all, the new device is just a DSi Lite with bigger screens. But in the end, whether the DSi has social merit will be up to consumers to determine when the device goes on sale March 28 for $190. It comes with three games preinstalled: Brain Age Express: Math, Brain Age Express: Arts & Letters, and Photo Clock.

Further reading: First Look: Nintendo DSi XL