Over the past few months there have been several rumors about Nintendo readying a new handheld gaming system, so there was some hope that the big N would surprise us yesterday at its Nintendo Media Summit. Sadly, no such luck. Maybe they're holding back for the Game Developer's Conference next month, or E3 in June. However, Nintendo did show off the North American version of the Nintendo DSi LL; over here it'll be called the DSi XL (a name that will make more sense to North American consumers) and it ships on March 28th. It'll cost $189.99. That's $10 less than an iPod Touch, $20 more than the standard DSi and the Sony PSP, making this the first time Nintendo's handheld costs more than Sony's.
So what do you get? Pretty much what the name says: an extra large DSi. The screens are 93% larger (4.2") than the current DSi screens, and it comes with a full-sized stylus and a couple of bite-sized (DSi Ware) games pre-installed. The acceptable viewing angles are supposed to be larger to encourage on-lookers. Joystiq has a few more details, an image gallery and a marketing video (which I'll embed below). It gives you an idea of how big this beastie is. And it's pretty darned big. If nothing else, the DSi XL is interesting for being one of the rare cases where a company makes a mobile device bigger while attaching a premium price tag to the larger version. Keep in mind the Nintendo DS Lite goes for $129.99 and does most of what this jumbo big-brother does. Lots of game release dates were announced as well, but the only other real oddity was the announcement of a US version of the 100 Classic Book Collection cartridge (under the title 100 Classic Books). $19.95 gets you 100 public domain books to read on your DS. Uh, thanks Nintendo? The biggest software announcement for Wii owners was that Super Mario Galaxy 2 is launching on May 23rd. Let's hope Nintendo has some real surprises that it's holding back for one of the shows later this year.