Redmond, Wash. -Nintendo confirmed it will update its DSi portable handheld in the U.S. in the first quarter of 2010, with a DSi XL model sporting larger 4.2-inch screens.
The same model, but under a different name, the DSi LL, will ship in Japan in November. The screens of the newest DS handheld will be 93 percent larger than the current DS Lite, said Nintendo The company claims the unit will offer a better viewing angle, an additional, longer touch screen stylus, and pre-installed Nintendo DSiWare software.
Nintendo's corporate parent said today the new DS is designed to let small groups gather around the device for playing games, said the AP.
The announcement follows a steep drop in Nintendo earnings, of 52 percent for the April-September period, as reported by the AP today, as profits plunged after the company lowered the price of its Wii console by $50 to under $200.
On the portable front, Nintendo faces mounting competition from the $199 iPod touch, as Apple, this fall, began marketing the product as a gaming device. Apple said it offers more than 20,000 gaming and entertainment apps for the iPod touch and iPhone, as part of its total App Store with over 75,000 apps.