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Nintendo: DSi XL March 28; Super Mario Galaxy 2 May 23; Metroid: Other M June 27

After months of speculation, Nintendo officially stepped up its game today, revealing that the new DSi XL handheld system will be available March 28 for $189.99 in North America, with blockbuster Wii releases Super Mario Galaxy 2 and Metroid: Other M set to follow May 23 and June 27, respectively.

The DSi XL offers 93% larger (4.2-inch) screens than those found on the DS Lite, as well as a wider viewing angle, larger stylus and extras including pre-installed games (two Brain Age titles), Photo Clock and applications that include the Nintendo DSi Browser and Flipnote Studio. Available in burgundy and bronze (not our first choice for fashion-friendly looks, but appropriately Herculean), it will support current titles plus new offerings such as America’s Test Kitchen: Let’s Get Cooking and WarioWare: D.I.Y., both due to ship on March 28.

Super Mario Galaxy 2, which gives you the power to mount dinosaur buddy Yoshi (Toad doesn’t do piggyback rides, apparently), promises more of the candy-colored platform hopping fans love, as well as an all-new drill power-up. Metroid: Other M, which reinvents the sci-fi action-adventure series as a 2D side-scroller with the ability to switch into 3D at any time, puts hero Samus Aran aboard a decrepit space station in an original, never-before-seen tale. Players will hold the Wii Remote sideways to do battle with extraterrestrial foes and explore its haunting corridors, as in earlier 8-/16-bit titles, with options to use the Wii remote pointer to fire away in first-person and search for hidden surprises included as well.

Nintendo also revealed that it will publish Japanese role-playing blockbuster Dragon Quest IX: Sentinels of the Starry Skies for the Nintendo DS in America this summer, while Sin and Punishment: Star Successor launches for the Wii as well on June 7. The company will further offer eBooks of a sort for DS systems with literary compilation 100 Classic Books, which debuts June 14 for $19.99, featuring works by William Shakespeare, Jules Verne, Mark Twain and more. Which makes us wonder: Is Jane Austen secretly a Legend of Zelda fan at heart?

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