There is a reason why the Nintendo DS is one of the most popular portable gaming consoles of all time. More then anything else, the Nintendo DS gives its owners the ability to select and customize their gaming device to an incredible degree. This is in part thanks to the portable storage devices that can connect to the same slots as regular games.
Portable storage devices come in many flavors. One trusted source of portable storage devices for the Nintendo DS is the R4DS series of cartridges. Standing for “Revolution for DS” the R4DS uses its own firmware to connect and talk to your Nintendo DS depending on how you set it up. This blank slate if you will means that with the right coding, your Nintendo DS can do anything the underlying hardware of the portable console allows. In short, you can use an R4DS card to dramatically increase the options of your Nintendo DS.
So What Can You Do With An R4 Card?
Well, that will depend on what kind of Nintendo DS you own. However, there are versions of R4 cards made for each, meaning that you will have the ability to make use of R4 functionality without being selective regarding what DS you own. Features of the R4 include being able to download and play games from the internet, being able to back-up and store your games on a single card, using the card as a music/video/photo viewer, and much more.
Watch Out For Fake Versions of the R4 Line
The original R4 line ended in 2008. From there, multiple versions of the R4 line were later produced. However, due to the success of the R4, there was a great number of knock-off products produced and sold. Often designed poorly, these fake R4 cards have a history of breaking down easily and at times not working even when brand new.
A Note About Piracy
Oddly enough, both England and Japan have banned the sale of the R4 Card (and those that have come after it) for fear that it would cause rampant piracy of games. While this is technically possible, there is little qualitative data (and mostly paranoid rumors) fueling this legislation. With so many options provided by the R4 Card, piracy ranks among one of the fewest reported uses for this device. In fact, many countries allow you to make a single back up of the game you own for personal use incase something were to happen to the original. This completely legal use of the R4 Card stands in contradiction to laws that forbid its use.