Nintendo announces new DSi XL handheld launch date

By Iain Mackenzie
Newsbeat technology reporter

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image captionNintendo's new DSi XL console goes on sale in March

Nintendo has annonounced the launch date for the latest refresh to its DS console.

Nintendo's new DSi XL console will go on sale on 5 March and it is expected to be more expensive than current models.

The latest version of the world's best-selling handheld features 4.2 inch screens, almost double the screen size of the DS Lite.

The DS family recently passed the 100 million sales mark worldwide.

Recent estimates figures from Japan suggested that Nintendo's machine was outselling Sony's PSP two to one.

However, at five years old some gamers are starting to ask how much longer the DS platform will survive.

Sony has substantially updated the hardware behind its PSP platform since launch adding bluetooth and a large internal memory, while ditching the UMD drive.

Competition

Aside from screen size, changes to the DS have been largely cosmetic.

Last year, the company was forced to play down reported comments by a senior executive that it was planning a new motion-sensing handheld console.

Meanwhile, a games industry survey suggests that 2010 may not be quite such a boom year for Nintendo.

The poll, conducted by Gamesindustry.biz, asked what games publishers were expected to be most successful over the coming year.

Nintendo received 9.4%, down from 20.7% in 2009.

The survey also asked experts what console they expected to be most successful in 2010.

PlayStation 3 came out top at 34%, double the figure it polled last year.

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