An R4 card is a flash cartridge for the popular Nintendo DS hand-held system that allows booting of ROMs on the Nintendo-DS system from a normal micro-SD card. It gives users the ability to play previously backed-up games (e.g. Dscraft), run homebrew applications and/or store several games on one memory card.
In order to work properly, an R4 card needs to be fitted with a micro-SD that contains all the necessary firmware.
The original developer of R4 flashcards stopped the production of R4 cards which had the capacity of playing ROMs on the Nintendo-DS. Instead, the developer began producing new R4 clones such as R4 3DS (For Nintendo 3DS), R4 NES, R4 Gold and R4 DSi.
They are used in playing ROMs for a wide range of Nintendo platforms such as; Nintendo DSi, Nintendo Entertainment System and Nintendo DSi XL, among others.
Original R4 cards
It’s almost impossible to find original R4 DS series in the present-day market because the manufacturer stopped producing them several years ago. Some computer repair shops may still have them, although many hold onto them more as an artifact of a bygone era. However, it’s possible to find similar cards (clones) produced by other companies.
The R4 3DS, for instance, is a genuine card that was developed and also produced by the same company which came up with the R4 DS cards (they are no longer being produced).
Nonetheless, there are various R4 3DS clones, although they’re designed with less features and usually lack kernel updates/ firmware. These shortcomings effectively make them incompatible with the latest 3DS updates.
R4 3DS card
The R4 3DS card (also known as the R4i SDHC 3DS) is a clone of the original R4 card that works efficiently with the Nintendo-3DS, Nintendo 3DS XL and Nintendo 2DS consoles.
The R4i SDHC- 3DS card is quite popular because of its compatibility with Nintendo 3DS, Nintendo DS and Nintendo DSI. Additionally, it’s able to support Nintendo pirated games just like the original R4 –flashcard.
The latest R4 3DS is also able to update itself automatically via Wi-Fi.
Which R4 card should you buy?
- The R4i SDHC
This is the first card that was released for the popular R4 brand. It was developed by R4i-SDHC.com.
The card is compatible with Nintendo DSi, DSi V1-4-5, DSiL, DS Lite and DS.
- R4i Gold, Ri Gold 3DS & R4i Gold Plus
R4i Gold is known as the golden edition of R4i-DSi card. It supports Nintendo DSi V1-4-5 and SDHC micro-SD card (with capacity of between 2GB- 32GB). Ri Gold 3DS supports DSi V1-4-5 and 3DS V4-5-0 while R4i Gold Plus is compatible with Nintendo 3DS, DS Lite, DSi and DS.
- R4 3DS, R4i SDHC 3DS & R4i 3DS
These are 3DS editions of the R4i DS and R4 DS. They are compatible with Nintendo 3DS, DS Lite, DSi, DS and DSiL. They can support high-capacity memory cards (up to 32GB).
- R4 DS
R4 DS is among the earliest versions of the R4 cards. It’s quite popular because of its ease-of operation and compatibility with Official Kernel. The card is ideal for people who love listening to music or watching videos. However, it can’t support a TF card that is larger than 2GB. Additionally, it’s incompatible with DSi and DSiL.
- R4 DS SDHC
This is an upgraded edition of the R4 DS. It’s able to support a memory card with capacity that ranges between 2GB- 32GB.
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