R4 DS Slot 1 – Home Game Player for Nintendo DS and Nintendo DS Lite
Currently, there are numerous slot 1 solutions for Nintendo DS on the market. Two of the most notable are the R4 DS slot 1 solution and the M3 DS Simply. The favorite of the two seems to be the M3 DS Simply. Often out of stock at many online retailers. However, a little known fact could get you to get up and play without worrying about the item going out of stock. I say this because my research has shown me (and confirmed by the manufacturers themselves) that the R4 DS and the M3 DS Simply are practically identical to each other in both features and functions.
Both the M3 DS and the R4 DS Slot 1 solution are made by the same people, or at least the same factory. What this means for homebrew gamers and enthusiasts is that they can get their hands on the R4 DS and know that they are getting the exact same product that they would get if they bought the M3 DS Simply from another store.
You see, the R4 DS and the M3 DS Simply are EXACTLY the same. The only difference between the two units is the packaging and the logo that is displayed on the main screen when you turn on your Nintendo DS or DS Lite. The functionality, features, even firmware updates and updates are released at the same time, and it appears that all the features and functions of each update are identical to the others. Whether you get the M3 DS Simply or the R4 DS Slot 1 Solution, you essentially get exactly the same thing – everything you need to load games, homebrew, and apps is included in the box.
The R4 DS Slot 1 Solution Pack
It’s almost a clear indication here, except for the fact that the R4 DS comes in its own R4 DS box. But you will notice that once you open the box, the contents of the box are identical to the M3 DS Simply, you even get the same light blue keychain / carrying case that simply came with the M3 DS. You get everything you need right out of the box. This includes the 1 R4 DS slot cartridge, a USB microSD reader / writer (and this actually allows you to use your microSD as a USB drive), as well as the keychain carrying case and software CD.
Setting up the R4 DS is easy
The setup is as simple as can be. The included instruction manual (found on the CD) details exactly what you need to do to get your R4 DS working. The first thing you’ll need to do is insert the microSD card (not included, but you can buy it anywhere) into the microSD reader / writer and plug it into any free USB port on your computer. It will instantly appear as a portable drive / flash drive. Here you can do one of two things. You can copy the software from the CD, as instructed in the manual, to the microSD card to put all the system files on it. However, I would recommend that you go to the R4 DS firmware page and download the latest drivers as they are often updated there.
Once you have copied your system files to the micro SD card, it is time to load the games and home applications that you would like to play. Again, this works the exact same way with the M3 DS simply, there is no difference between the two units at all. Just copy and paste the files from your PC that you want to the microSD card. A simple drag and drop is all it takes. Homemade games and apps work without any patch, repair, or compression. They work as is, ready to go, so to speak.
Now that you have copied the files from your system and the files you would like to use and play, it is time to put your microSD card in the slot on the top of the R4 DS cartridge. The R4 DS cartridge is the same size as any standard Nintendo DS or DS Lite game cartridge, so it won’t bulge or stick out once it’s inserted into the cartridge slot on your NDS. The micro SD slot is at the top of the R4 DS and is actually spring loaded. The microSD card is inserted into the slot labeled SD on the opposite side of the actual R4 DS cartridge label. You will hear a CLICK once you have inserted the microSD card into the slot, this is to let you know that it is in place and that you are ready to turn on your Nintendo DS console. The microSD card fits perfectly flush with the R4’s case.
Once you have turned on your Nintendo DS or Nintendo DS lite, the system files will load from the R4 DS cartridge, exactly the same way they do when using the M3 DS Simply. The main menu takes about 2 seconds to appear, with the R4 DS logo on the top screen and the menu at the bottom. In the lower screen you can select one of the 3 options.
1. GAME MENU: When you select this menu, you will instantly access a list of all game files, home applications, and more. that you have stored on your microSD card. You can use the controller panel on the NDS to select the file you want to upload. If you are loading a game for the first time, you will be asked, after selecting the game, to confirm that you want to create a save file for the game. This is necessary if you want to save your game. Saved games are stored on the same microSD card as game files; This is great if you want to delete those games later, to replace them with other files, as you can copy the game’s saved files to your PC, for future use when you’re ready to continue playing that game again.
2. MULTIMEDIA MENU: When you select this second option, the Media Player / Moonshell will start. Within this menu, you can view digital photos stored on the microSD card, listen to your favorite MP3 songs, watch movies that you have converted from DVDs with the included software, as well as read e-books in TXT format. This essentially turns your Nintendo DS or DS Lite into a full-fledged multimedia entertainment unit.
3. BOOT SLOT 2: This menu option allows the R4 DS, like the M3 DS, to boot the GBA slot, or slot 2, on your Nintendo DS / DS Lite console. This is for those of us who also want to get our hands on a GBA Flash card and want to run GBA Homebrew games and applications, as well as Nintendo DS. It also adds extra storage for NDS Homebrew, because you can actually use a GBA Flash card to start NDS files, as long as you use the R4 DS as a PASSME / PASSCARD solution.
Overall, no matter which one you get, both the R4 DS Slot 1 solution and the M3 DS Simply are great accessories for the Nintendo DS / DS Lite. The one you get should only depend on the model in stock. As stated earlier in this article, the two units are identical in every way. The only difference is the box packaging and the logo that appears when you first turn on your Nintendo DS.