Nintendo DSi XL vs Sony PSP Go

DSi XL vs PSP Go

The Nintendo DSi brought new features to an already high-volume-selling product, including  multimedia support. While previously viewed primarily as a gaming-only device, it’s new features allowed it to cross over into the territory of another gaming handheld, the Sony PlayStation Portable (PSP).

After nearly 10 years and several new versions, Sony released its most radically altered version of the PSP, known as the PSP Go. While keeping some of the PSP 3000 features and abandoning others, the Go has received mixed reviews. Most notably, it is 16% lighter and 35% smaller than the PSP 3000.

Nintendo, however, chose to go a different route with its next release, the DSi XL. Aimed at older users, most probably those in the PSP market, the DSi XL (XL stands for extra large), has 4.2-inch screens compared to the DSi’s 3.25.

There are still clear differences in the styles of games produced for each handheld device, and one could argue that they have quite different approaches to their design. Nevertheless, they appear to be lining up to go head-to-head, so we will take a look at the features of each and give you the bottom line.


Price: $189.99

The DSi XL features two super-sized screens that are 93% larger than the DS Lite. It comes with three pre-installed titles and other built-in software. The pre-installed software includes Brain Age Express: Arts and Letters, Brain Age Express Math, Photo Clock, Nintendo DSi Browser (a web browser based on Opera), and Flipnote Studio (animation software).  As you can tell from the titles, they are not expecting children to want their “daddy” version of the DSi.

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The screen is not the only thing bigger on the DSi XL. The stylus, which has always been cute and easily lost on previous DS versions, reportedly fits in adult hands nicely. In addition, the XL has a sound recorder for its built-in microphone and a photo application for its camera. Other features include an SD/SDHC card slot supporting up to 32 GB, Wi-Fi support, DSi Shop online service, improved battery life, and support for current DS games.

As far as gaming is concerned, the DSi XL is bigger, the developers say, to allow more precision game play. Critics, however, have argued that the games do not scale well and, therefore, lose some visual quality.

Perhaps the most damaging criticism thrown at the DSi XL, however, is that it does not fit well in a standard pants pocket, because of its increased size.  One of the selling points of a portable gaming system is its portability. In this area, the DSi XL truly is “extra large“.


Price: $249.99

As we mentioned, the PSP Go went the small route, scaling down it’s overall size in comparison to the PSP 3000. Unlike previous incarnations of the PSP, the Go features a pull-out control panel, rather than having the controls on the side.  It is reminiscent of mobile smartphones that include pull-out keyboards.

Unlike other PSPs, the Go also does not include a UMD drive. Instead, the developers opted for 16 GB of internal flash memory storage for games, videos, pictures, and music. It also features a memory stick slot to extend the storage up to 32GB, and does not have a removable rechargeable battery like other PSP versions.

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All of these changes make the PSP Go significantly smaller and lighter than other PSP versions.  It has a 3.8″ screen, quite a bit smaller than the DSi XL.

Additional features include Wi-fi support, USB 2.0, Bluetooth, Playstation Network online service, full multimedia capabilities for music, photos, and videos, Internet browsing, Skype, and Internet radio, built-in microphone, and an analog stick.

Size Two 4.3″ Screen One 3.8″ Screen
Weight 11 oz (314 grams) 5.6 oz (158 grams)
Game compatibility All recent DS games plus online DSi Store Only downloads from Playstation Store
Multimedia capabilities Images, Some audio, but no Mp3 or video Multiple image, audio, and video formats
Storage 256MB internal flash

DS cartridges for games

32GB expandable

16 GB internal flash

No UMD drive for games

32GB expandable

Price $189.99 $249.99

The Bottom Line

While both devices offer new features not found in their predecessors, the prices and drawbacks to some of their changes make one wonder if anyone who already has one of them would actually buy either of these as a replacement. The PSP Go’s inability to support old PSP games is definitely a bigger  drawback than the DSi XL’s higher price and inability to fit in pockets (which some might see as a feature).

For those users looking to buy a portable gaming device for the first time, these devices are certainly worth a look.  If playing games on a large screen is important and you want access to the DS’s 1,000+ library of titles, the DSi XL might very well be the device for you.  If, however, you want a truly portable device where all of your games are purchased online, as well as numerous multimedia features, the PSP Go is a very compelling choice.

The bottom line is, if you are looking for pure gaming, the price is right for the DSi XL, and for certain games, the larger screen will simply mean a better experience.  If you want a complete multimedia device, the PSP Go takes the cake, but be prepared to pay a hefty price.

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Written by

I am a librarian with 8 years of experience in information architecture, technology, free and open source software, and electronic publishing. I have written hundreds of articles on topics ranging from information technology to politics. I also write fiction novels, short stories, and fables.

Discussion 11 Comments

  1. Sonu says:

    PSP Go is too expensive comparing the money you are spending for it…

  2. Jenny Ponce says:

    nintendo is better

  3. ds says:

    J'aime XL dsi

  4. guessss says:

    Multimedia device? Ipod Touch. Portable Game Device? Nintendo DSi or DSi XL.

  5. DS Why? says:

    Actually the PSP is more for hardcore gamers, whereas the DSi Xl is for lighter game play, otherwise it would have a better control system. You don't play hardcore with a touch screen. The DSi XL is for younger children, and older adults, the PSP Go is for gaming, proper gaming. For gamers, the PSP is the way to go, and if you can't afford a PSP Go, get a PSP 1000, 2000, or 3000.

  6. Zaheer Moulvi55 says:

    i definatly prefer dsi xl

  7. dannyrojar says:

    This is really good comparison beetwin Nintendo DSi and Sony PSP Go. I love to go with Nintendo. Nintendo has really good features and some better game than Sony PSP GO. I am currently using Nintendo 3DS which is awesome in function and specification.


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