Bigger Nintendo DSi XL caters to the older gamer

Nintendo has confirmed recent rumours as true by announcing the launch of a new version of its popular DS handheld with the introduction in Japan of the fourth-generation DSi LL.

The DSi LL will, as rumoured, and contrary to the usual trends in the handheld gaming market, take the form of a larger model than the current DSi offering dual 4.25-inch screens and come with a bigger, thicker, pen-shaped stylus controller.

Considerably larger - and more expensive - than the DSi, it's thought Nintendo might be offering such a super-sized device for its older (causal gaming) audience, who, without tiptoeing around and with a nice dose of generalisation, have poorer eyesight and a need for less fiddly gadgetry.

Alternatively, and less likely, the Japanese gaming giant could be planning a push into the pre-school educational gaming market, rivaling the likes of LeapFrog with coming-soon titles for little 'uns to be played on the chunkier console.

The Nintendo DSi LL will go on sale in Japan on 21 November for 20,000 yen - about £132 - while here in the UK Nintendo tell us "a new Nintendo DSi XL console is launching in Europe in the first quarter of 2010. The retail price of the Nintendo DSi XL is expected to be higher than that of the Nintendo DSi. Further details will be released soon".