Nintendo to launch bigger console in Europe, US next month

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The Independent Tech

Nintendo will next month launch its DSi XL hand-held game console in Europe and the United States, hoping to win over older users with its bigger screens, web access and electronic book reader.

The DSi XL, unveiled in Japan in November, will hit European stores on March 5 and US stores on March 28, Nintendo said Friday.

Gaming consoles increasingly compete with other web-enabled portable devices such as smart phones, tablet computers such as the Apple iPad, and electronic book readers like Amazon's Kindle.

The DSi XL's double screen is 93 percent bigger than last year's model - the panel now measures 4.2 inches (10.7 centimetres) - making it easier to read books by flicking virtual pages with a stylus.

The new version will come with all the games for its core fans, but also includes functions that aim at a more mature market, including a set of recipes with video instruction clips.

The larger screens will make gaming a more social activity, said a Nintendo spokesman in Japan.

"Instead of having only one person play the game, they can share it with others and can play fun games as a family," he said.

The console will retail at 190 dollars in the United States.

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