L X i S D A
! R E V E N A H T L X R i E S G D G E H BI T G N I DUC INTRO
large Nintendo’s handheld phenomenon is, literally, bigger than ever. Here’s where you can start to get to grips with the Nintendo DSi XL…
t’s almost exactly five years since the original DS was launched in Europe. At the time, there was as much cynicism as there was excitement; as much bewilderment as acceptance. This was a format that was so different, especially in its method of interaction, that some people wondered whether Nintendo, always king of the handheld arena, had maybe lost its grip. Nearly 140 million worldwide sales later, including over ten million in the UK, it seems strange to think that it ever seemed strange. The DS has become the byword and benchmark for handheld gaming. It’s also evolved quite considerably. First, it got Lite, with a more slimline version launched in summer 2006. Then, last year, it got smarter, with the DSi, including a camera and extra online functionality.
On March 5th, the next big change will come. And it will be big. The DSi XL boasts 4.2inch screens – that’s 93 per cent larger than the DS Lite, and they’re also considerably brighter. Another important change is the wider viewing angle, making it easy for people to watch and share the fun, help with puzzles, encourage each other or indulge in a bit of back-seat driving. To go with the bigger screens, there’s a larger, pen-like stylus to make gameplay more natural and comfortable. The DSi XL comes pre-loaded with Dr Kawashima’s: Little Bit of Brain Training: Arts Edition and Dictionary 6 in 1 with Camera Function as well as the Nintendo DSi Browser, which enables users to easily access the internet from anywhere with a Wi-Fi conection. The new model will be available in two colours: wine red and dark brown.
DSi XL: THE BIG FACTS • Launches 05/03/10. • Two 4.2-inch screens, compared to the 3.25-inch screens on the DSi. • Brighter picture resolution. • Wider viewing angle. • Pre-loaded with Dr Kawashima’s: Little Bit of Brain Training: Arts Edition and Dictionary 6 in 1 with Camera Function and the Nintendo DSi Browser. • Available in wine red and dark brown.
Big screen star Ahead of the first major hardware launch of the year, senior product manager James Honeywell explains the advantages and opportunities offered by the DSi XL… Why has Nintendo chosen to launch the DSi XL? The launch of DSi XL is designed to offer people more choice. We have already seen that many people are playing the DS together at home and now they have the perfect model available. With bigger screens and a wider viewing angle, it is much easier and more comfortable to play with friends and family. It also offers a great new way to get reconnected with all your favourites like Mario Kart and experience new titles like Mario & Luigi on the best screens available. Just as, for example, TV manufacturers offer models with different screen sizes and features to fit into people’s different needs and requirements – so we are doing with DS. DSi XL has so much to offer to gamers, families and older people looking for something new. What are the key advantages of the new model? The DSi XL benefits from all of the great features of the DSi, but is enhanced in many ways. Aside from the larger screens, you also get improved battery life and pre-installed software from our DSiWare range. This means that the unit is ready to play straight out of the box – and for longer. Other improvements come from the unit itself, offering a more comfortable way to play, either held or placed on a table top. The bigger screens enable a new wider viewing angle for the screen, which is designed to keep the top screen at an optimal angle for playing like this. What sort of split do you expect between consumers upgrading from old versions and completely new customers? DSi XL offers so much that I am sure we will be able to attract both new customers and old. Whether you are upgrading from the original DS or DS Lite you will find new features like
the camera, DSiWare, and sound capabilities all wrapped up in a great new package. And for new customers, they now have the choice of whether they are looking for a more ‘individual’ machine that they carry with them all the time in the DSi, or a console that is designed more for use in the home and to be shared. It’s really up to consumers to decide which best meets their needs. What can you say about price? I know you don’t set street prices, but do you expect it to sell at a slight premium to the DSi? We’ve already announced that we expect a slight premium on the trade price of DSi XL over DSi, but as ever, the final price is set by retailers, not Nintendo. What will be happening to the DSi and DS Lite now? Will all three models be available initially and if so, for how long? It is absolutely our intention to sell both DSi and DSi XL alongside each other and as has already been seen this is working well in Japan. DSi XL is not designed to replace the DSi, just to offer a different choice. Our current plans are to continue manufacturing Nintendo DS Lite globally. It has been a highly popular handheld console and has brought fun to an expanded audience of gamers – male and female, young and old – and sales remain strong. That said, our key focus in the UK for 2010 will be Nintendo DSi and DSi XL. Are there any games, either from your catalogue or on the release schedule, that you think will work particularly well on the XL? There are so many great games that sometimes it is difficult to choose, but we have highlighted a few titles that we feel will appeal to different audiences. For fans upgrading and looking for something new to purchase, there is Mario & Luigi: Bowser’s Inside Story. It’s such a fun
The DSi XL makes it easier for families and friends to share the handheld gaming experience game with amazing reviews, so we hope people will give it a try. There’s also the Professor Layton series, which works so well on the new bigger screens. It’s always been great fun playing these titles together and trying to work out the puzzles, but now it’s an even more enjoyable experience thanks to the bigger screens and wider viewing angle, allowing two or more people to get into the mystery together. Finally, for people who were interested in titles like 100 Classic Book Collection and Crossword DS but were concerned about the size of the screen, they should take a look at them on DSi XL. They have never been clearer or more comfortable to read and play.
Can you give us an overview of the marketing schedule? Our marketing activity has already started. Right from the announcement of the release date we have been using online to harness interest and ensure anyone is able to find information about the DSi XL. This will all build over the next couple of weeks with takeovers of the main gaming sites to ensure that everyone is aware of the launch. Then a couple of weeks before launch our TV will kickin, running right throughout the launch period across Easter and through to the end of April. This will be a significant campaign that will ensure everyone in the UK knows about the launch and will really begin to understand why
the new bigger screens and other features are right for them. And an overview of the marketing message? Will Ant and Dec be used in the TV ads? We have different creatives for each of our audiences that are designed to promote the titles I mentioned before to gamers, families and older people. We really want people to understand that DSi XL has something to offer them and they will do this through ads that show people like them. Ant and Dec have been fantastic for us and helped open gaming up to a wider audience, but they wonâ€™t be featuring in the launch.
How will you be looking to guarantee a high profile in stores? We have an extensive POS catalogue to ensure that all our retail partners have everything they need to drive pre-orders before the launch and then make a big splash during the launch. One thing we have also looked to increase is staff education materials, to ensure everyone knows about all the great new features and that they are also able to start sampling to both customers and our partners. The key thing with DSi XL is to get it into the hands of customers and we will be running one of our biggest sampling campaigns since the launch of Wii in order to achieve this.
The big games A bite-sized guide to a handful of the many games that are enhanced and improved by the DSi XL’s larger screen and wider viewing angle…
100 Classic Book Collection 100 Classic Book Collection turns the DS into a portable e-reader packed with some of the greatest ever works of literature. Nintendo teamed up with the world’s leading publisher, Harper Collins, to select the content. The
result is a menu of different genres, brilliant authors and a library to be proud of in the palm of your hand. The Collection is fully searchable, and even offers recommendations. There are ten more titles available on Nintendo’s
Wi-Fi Connection service. Users hold their DS horizontally, like a book, and with the DSi XL the screens are bigger, making the text even easier to read.
confirmed that this is a franchise that is set to challenge gamers for years to come. Both games are packed with a wide variety of puzzles, all set within fantastic stories that make the whole experience a really
gripping adventure rather than a stop-start series of brain busters. Played on the DSi XL, the wider viewing angle allows players to help each other solve clues and follow the story together.
Professor Layton Professor Layton and the Curious Village, released in 2008, was an instant favourite amongst the global army of DS-owning puzzle fiends. The release of Professor Layton and Pandora’s Box last year
Mario & Luigi: Bowser’s Inside Story One of the most recent in a rich tradition of fantastically bizarre games from Nintendo, this Mario & Luigi title begins with Bowser being tricked into swallowing a microbe-sized Mario, Luigi and Princess Peach.
Players are thrown into a dual storyline scenario, with Bowser, in the ‘real’ world, trying to stop a villain from taking over his castle, and Mario and Luigi, on the inside, solving puzzles and battling through challenges to fight their way out.
Playing on the DSi XL makes it a far more involving experience, with everyone able to shout instructions, warnings and clues during the action.
introducing water colours and then challenging users to emulate famous paintings. There is also a Free Paint mode for creating original works. Second Semester advances techniques and takes you through the steps to replicating masterpieces
such as The Hay Wain and Mona Lisa. Art Academy looks better than ever on the big screen DSi XL, with the extra room also making it easier to draw, paint and create.
Art Academy The Art Academy series, available only on DSiWare turns the DSi XL and stylus into a canvas and brush and teaches users the basics of art theory and techniques. First Semester, starts with simple still-life pencil sketches before
W A I DS N i XL
The DSi XL POS includes posters that relate to specific titles
Marketing The marketing of DSi XL will follow along the same lines as the product itself, bigger and better than ever...
ince the announcement in January, a paid search campaign has been running to ensure that anyone who is looking for information online on DSi XL can find the official site easily at www.Nintendo.co.uk/dsixl. The site contains all the information you need to know on the latest member of the DS family. To drive awareness for gamers, a week before launch there will be online takeovers across all major gaming sites showcasing the main features of DSi XL as well as comparing the console with its predecessors.
A major TV campaign will also kick off a week before the launch, with a range of ads featuring Mario Kart DS, Mario & Luigi: Bowser’s Inside Story, 100 Classic Book Collection, Professor Layton and the DSiWare exclusive title Art Academy. The different ads will run for four weeks to ensure maximum visibility. Following this, a second phase of TV will then kick off for Easter, with the advert focussing on The Professor Layton Series as well as emphasing how you can play the DSi XL at home as a family. As you’d expect, a full range of POS is also available to boost the profile of the XL in-store.
Here’s your chance to win a brand new Nintendo DSi XL. To be in with a shout, all you have to do is answer the following question:
How big are the DSi XL screens? A) 3.25 inches B) 4.2 inches C) 4.2 centimetres
Send your answer to firstname.lastname@example.org