Nintendo DS |OT| Everyone Buys a DSi XL


This is true. It’s telling that the first party games I do remember were the ones built for portable play: Echochrome, Numblast, Patapon, LocoRoco, Pursuit Force (maybe - load times were long though). Gran Turismo on PSP was better tuned for portable play though bringing over the same mentality in user interface design from the PS3 games was a mistake.

Speaking of load times, the portable-friendly games were burdened by the UMD drive. I bought Knights in the Nightmare on both DS and PSP, and in the time it took to reach the title screen on PSP I could load my file, skip the cutscene, and start the first level on DS.

I’ve been playing Twinbee Portable recently - marvellous collection and a great fit for the PSP. But it shouldn’t take this long to switch games. It’s the games that are constantly needing to seek from the UMD drive that suffer though.

Luckily the problem today has mostly been alleviated due to the availability of digital PSP games and storage media.


Excellent post. Lots of good points raised here.


It’s huuge! (sorry quick phone pic)


The stuff people remember best on PSP is the stuff that was designed specifically for it with portability in mind like Patapon and Loco Roco. Too many of the games were built just like console games and when you play portable, that simply doesn’t work so well.

As good as the Switch handles this stuff, it also suffers sometimes from a lack of portable design ethos. I know you can just stop anytime in most games and suspend, but suspension doesn’t always lead to comfortable re-entry when you come back to play later.

The best portable games know they’re made for handhelds.


I agree. Generally, I don’t undock my Switch unless I know for a fact I’ll be trapped on a plane or train for hours at a time. It feels very much like a console to me first and foremost with its games.

I think I also always prefer a larger screen in general when given the option. I switched from my N3DS back to my N3DSXL and have been gaming on my DSi XL again too.

So with the Switch, I generally prefer to save my experiences for the big screen at home.


Thank you. I’ve been mostly playing DS, GBA and PSP games on the commute this year, with the Switch taking a backseat compared with the last year, so it’s something I’ve been thinking about a lot. It does somewhat sadden me whenever I see cries online for Nintendo to kill the 3DS given it’s the last line in Nintendo’s traditional portable heritage.

Yup. Wario Land 4 is a great example of this. It’s big on interactivity such that while each level takes around 5-15 minutes to run through, it certainly doesn’t feel that short actually playing it because you do so much or the game asks so much from you! And you can suspend the game at any time from the pause menu.

I also picked up a copy of Fire Emblem 7 to play for the first time. What I found impressive about this game is it saves your progress after every move that you, or the AI, makes. So it’s very possible to switch on your GBA, hammer the A button to resume chapter in 5-10 seconds, execute your strategies, and switch off when you need to.

Luckily Nintendo is at least designing some of their Switch games to work well when played flexibly. I find it impressive that Mario Tennis Aces goes from launching the game to title screen in about 2-3 seconds, so I happily played through the entire single player on various commutes. Switch’s quick suspend function is excellent for the odd local multiplayer session throughout the day too. You can continue exactly where everyone left off a few hours ago.


This is exactly how I played the game but never got too far. It’s really time consuming and something else took my attention away.

But man, what a game! The attach animation has so much personality


I love the Switch suspend feature as a console. Takes like 3 seconds to jump back into BotW and boom, I’m again inside that engrossing world. No menus, no loading, no waiting at all. Kinda dangerous on a game like that! So easy to turn on yet so hard to put down…


I never got this argument there were plenty of “console” games for other systems but people only seem to have a problem with it when it comes to sony handhelds. I mean I remember playing dragon warrior 3 all the way back on gameboy color. And super Mario 64 on the ds.


I think by “console” style games, it means more cinematic style experiences.


If that’s the reason then why are people losing their mind over final fantasy coming to switch


To be fair, Super Mario 64 on DS isn’t the best example given it wasn’t really the flagship DS launch game from Nintendo - that would be WarioWare Touched. And it certainly didn’t represent the majority of Nintendo’s output on that system after launch, where it was evident the platform in general had been rushed out due to the impending launch of the PSP.

As DaveLong mentioned, Nintendo tends to design games that are a good fit for portability, so a lot of console titles and series did tend to be a good fit for handhelds - see Fire Emblem and Advance Wars which both began on consoles.

If you had to conflate another factor which might explain why some console games fit handhelds, I’d say the era they were made in tends to lead to a more immediate and directly interactive game. For instance, I’ve been playing Twinbee Portable and that’s a great fit for the PSP despite its console and arcade origins. As is the likes of 3D OutRun on the 3DS, and Final Fantasy V Advance on the GBA. It wasn’t really until generation 4 when Japanese RPGs tended to gain bloat, after all, when 80 hours of play time became a selling point on the back of the box. Mario Kart is another example of a game made in an era where arcade sensibilities - heavy interaction within a small amount of time - ruled.

As console development began to play to the bigger and better mindset, it was no surprise that handhelds like the GBA continued on the same design sensibilities as titles on the SNES and MegaDrive in its original games. The DS was a different story due to its unique hardware and approach opening the door to wholly new types of games made solely for a portable system. But that didn’t stop it from getting 16- and 32-bit era ports, of course. Stuff like Chrono Trigger works better for travelling or casual sessions than the likes of Resident Evil: Deadly Silence.

The PSP, with its UMD drive and capability to play the kind of games being made on consoles in generation 5, inherited some of the bloat that came with the console space at the time with its software library.


I’m actually one of the people that is fine with, and maybe even prefers, “console style” games on handhelds. I don’t need them to be bite sized portions of gameplay for gaming on the go since I don’t ever use a handheld on the go. I play my games in the same general space no matter what I’m playing mostly.

I don’t think that I’m the typical user though. The actual problem may also be when you have “too” close of a console experience you end up with devs wondering why they arn’t just making it for a home console instead. Then comes the ports and downgrades instead of what could be a good reason to own the system.


I’m fine with them too, but I find the stuff built for handhelds, and their previously-unique hardware, to just be more interesting. On the GBA, for instance, I’d take Wario Land 4 over a port of Yoshi’s Island any day, even though both are masterpieces. I’m happy we did get both though.

On the Switch, I think Nintendo finally nailed console games on the go. PSP and Vita didn’t have the chops to recreate modern games made around the TV and the traditional controller in a way that worked well enough, but the Switch with its full suite of button inputs, active cooling to enable better performance, large display, ability to handle local multiplayer anywhere, makes a large majority of modern games finally work. Maybe they work too well, since unlike the PSP it isn’t receiving much in the way of games built specifically for it.


Switch is also a console :sweat_smile:


Thread has made me go want to play some of my DS games again. Went back and forth between my DSiXL and original DS Lite and can’t really decide which to use. Like the screen and visability of the XL more, but the DS Lite feels better in my hands and I seem to be able to control (used New Super Mario as test game) better as well with it.

Any suggestions for a grip for either of those older systems?

Well I would as well, because I can just play Yoshi’s island on my tv in the same spot I’m playing my GBA at and have a better experience that way. Again I know my usage or expectations isn’t/arn’t typical but because of them it being a “console” or “handheld” style experience just doesn’t matter as long as it is a good game and the best way to play it.


Looks like I joined the dsi xl club. Got these two in a lot for $40. One worked great but the other one had some water damage. Bought a broken one from eBay and used the parts from it to fix the other one.


lol at the thread title change!

…I’ve been playing Castlevania Dawn of Sorrow on my XL recently.


You all own Pang DS, right?


Count me in for the DSi XL photo posting…