Up-to-date Nintendo DS storage devices allow consumers to take advantage of the Nintendo DS hardware, beyond its original capabilities. Most consumers store and run homebrew (independent) games and software, in addition to game backups of retail titles, using these devices.
Also known as flash carts or flash cards, these carts fit into Slot-1 of Nintendo DS consoles. Older flash cart iterations took advantage of the console’s Slot-2 (Game Body Advance Slot), later phased out after the Nintendo DSi entered the market.
The most popular flash carts are second generation flash cart like R4i. The R4 flash cart is one of the most popular flash carts, dating back to its first generation models. The R4i, in particular, is compatible with the Nintendo DSi and DSi XL, in addition to microSDHC memory cards.
A glance at the R4i Flash Cart
The R4i is considered one of the most used flash carts for the Nintendo DSi and DSi XL. The cart is notable for its relatively easy to use hardware and software, since most users can just ‘plug and play’ the device before setting it up.
Most users only have to download and install the device’s firmware onto its included microSD memory card. The R4i firmware is available on the official R4i-SDHC website.
As mentioned, this device is inserted into Slot-1 of the Nintendo DSi and DSi XL. Although some consumers might think that the device ‘installs harmful firmware onto their game console,’ that statement is just misinformation. This device doesn’t install any harmful firmware onto the device; the R4i devices also doesn’t heighten the risk of ‘bricking’ or rendering a game console unusable.
The R4i is primarily used like a ‘microSD adapter’ for Nintendo DS game consoles. Most people use the device to access homebrew or independently produced games and software. Its popularity mostly stems from using homebrew software and running ‘backups’ of Nintendo DS software. It’s also popular for storing and playing music, since it’s not easily achieved through regular use of the game console.
The flash cart is compatible with several types of microSDHC cards, including higher capacity versions (up to 32 GB). This enables R4i owners to store and access more music, photos and other types of files, via their Nintendo DS console.
Many R4 devices, including the R4i, are available at relatively low prices. Most R4i flash carts are sold in bundles with microSD cards, allowing people to use the device right out of the box.
Verdict? The R4i flash cart is a great value for people wanting to get more ‘value’ out of their Nintendo DS devices. At prices below $20 nowadays, any avid fan of the Nintendo DS should consider getting one to make their favorite game console last much longer.