Comparison of 3DS Flash Carts/Features - ON HIATUS (9/3)

Discussion in '3DS - Flashcards & Custom Firmwares' started by Ryukouki, Nov 26, 2013.

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  1. Ryukouki
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    Ryukouki See you later, guys.

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    For the moment, this thread is on hiatus. I've been in a hellishly crazy situation these past few months, and lately, I haven't really had the opportunity to really keep up with the scene and its developments as much as I would have liked. In fact, the life situation has gotten far worse, and I really need to take the time to work things out. I'll work on this page when I am in full capacity, but it's not quite going to happen for quite some time. I will however go back and update this at a later point in time, with all the latest developments! I apologize for the inconvenience! ~Ryu (9/3)
    [​IMG]
    As of late, the forums have been rife with complaining, bickering, and speculation as to what the Nintendo 3DS flash carts are capable of performing. The purpose of this thread will be to quell the onslaught of duplicate threads and questions by providing a comparison of the features (not the actions/moralities/responsibilities of these teams thus far) of each of these chips as they appear. A support/cloning thread may be created in future to discuss the legalities of such efforts, but this topic is not the location to discuss it. Please note that the date in the title will be the date in which the latest relevant information regarding these kits has been added to this post! As information is changing constantly, this thread will be continually updated when significant information is released. By the end of this thread, you should have a grasp as to what exactly you would like to purchase. If not, at the very least, you should have a grasp on the major players. If you are confused, please let me know.​
    Guide Contents
    Comparisons of the 3DS Flashcarts
    [​IMG]
    The Gateway 3DS is the original flash cart, presented as a high-quality flash cartridge. A very thorough review of this flash cartridge was written by our very own Devin, which is posted here. The Gateway 3DS presented themselves as a new company and with some rather dubious initial progress. GBAtemp was fresh from the scandal that was the Crown3DS, and the initial response was hesitant to embrace this company. As time passed, the Gateway 3DS team proved their reliability with swift updates and promises on features that many had sought out, earning praise from customers.​
    With the release of the new v2.0 firmware, emuNAND has been brought to the table. Newer game compatibility is present, with the exceptions being the NAND saving versions. Care and attention to the instructions provided by the Gateway team is required, as several users have accidentally updated their real system NAND in place of the emuNAND. Carries some limitations and dangers, due to a beta release. Again, strong caution advised.​
    Other miscellaneous features include Multi-ROM, and other features that have yet to be integrated, including integrated menus, fully working emuNAND with the latest support, backing up of cartridges, homebrew and online support and FAT32 based drag and drop systems.​
    Pros of the Gateway 3DS
    • Easy setup and use
    • Save files could be backed up
    • Plays identically to a retail game
    • Region Free
    • Can spoof firmware
    • Cartridge is made of high-quality plastic
    • 100% Game compatibility
    • Multi-ROM support
    • emuNAND
    • Homebrew and online support
    Cons of the Gateway 3DS
    • Unit is the highest priced of all other chips
    Miscellaneous Notes:
    Users are advised to not mix and match the firmwares and files used by other devices, such as the R4i Gold 3DS Deluxe, 3DS Link, and MT-card. Such integrations of other software will cause corruptions in the launcher.dat file needed to run the 3DS exploit, resulting in irreparable damage to the console.​
    Update Information
    Update Information
    [​IMG]
    This unit came into prominence after the release of the Gateway 3DS. As usual, Devin, bless him, provided a very thorough rundown of the flash cart, found here. This unit is a competitor to the Gateway 3DS, with a lower price tag. Features being developed are similar to that of the Gateway 3DS. The team has solid backing and prominence as the developers of the R4i Gold, currently a popular Nintendo DS cartridge due to its ability to support the Wood firmware developed by Yellow Wood Goblin.​
    With the release of the new v3.0 firmware, emuNAND has been released for the 3DS and provides the stability and support for emuNAND up to v7.0.0.X 3DS consoles. Most of the features of this chip are virtually identical to that of the Gateway 3DS, as the firmware uses a modified launcher based on the Gateway original.​
    Pros of the R4i Gold 3DS Deluxe Edition
    • Cheaper than the Gateway 3DS
    • Easy to set up and use
    • Save files could be backed up
    • Plays identically to a retail game
    • Can play most games
    • Region Free
    • Can spoof firmware
    Cons of the R4i Gold 3DS Deluxe Edition
    • No online gameplay
    • Plastic is of poor quality, which may lead to future contact issues
    • Some games do not work yet*
    • Firmware is a derivation based off the Gateway original.
    *A lot of the games that currently do not work, such as Pokemon X/Y, and Animal Crossing: New Leaf, are being worked on. This is due to the games requiring a special method of saving involving the NAND.
    Miscellaneous Notes:
    According to the reviews of several colleagues, such as Devin and PharaohsVizier, and based on information I already have, this cartridge can be a competitor to the Gateway 3DS. As of this moment, both cartridges are almost identical in terms of features. The unit is slightly cheaper, but it comes at the cost of an inferior plastic shell. It has come to light as well that the team's firmware is a derivative of the original Gateway work.​
    (1/14/14) Users are reporting that their consoles have been rendered inoperable and irreparable due to corruption in the launcher.dat that may be due to using software that has been modified off of the Gateway coding. Code that is activated by a random number generator has been discovered to brick consoles beyond repair.​
    Please note that all 3DS chips come with two different chips, one to play 3DS games (v4.1 to 4.5 only) and a chip to play NDS games.​
    Firmware Features
    Update Information
    3. 3DSLink
    [​IMG]
    The 3DSLink flash cart is a derivation of the R4i 3DS Gold Deluxe Edition. This cartridge was announced at a similar time as the R4i Gold 3DS Deluxe. Confirmation from GBAtemp's Devin has revealed that the internal PCB of this flash cartridge are identical to that of the R4i Gold 3DS Deluxe. In essence, the features of this chip and that of the R4i Gold 3DS Deluxe should be very similar, if not identical.​
    With the release of the new v3.0 firmware, emuNAND has been released for the 3DSLink.​
    Unit behaves and functions almost exactly the same in comparison to the R4i Gold 3DS Deluxe Edition.​
    (1/14/14) Users are reporting that their consoles have been rendered inoperable and irreparable due to corruption in the launcher.dat that may be due to using software that has been modified from the original source. A hardware kill code has been found in the firmware that is set to execute on certain date(s) that renders the console unusable!​
    Please note that all 3DS chips come with two different chips, one to play 3DS games (v4.1 to 4.5 only) and a chip to play NDS games.​
    Firmware Features
    Update Information
    [​IMG]
    The Orange 3DS is a variant of the R4i Gold 3DS Deluxe edition and the 3DSLink flash chip. According to rumors, the chip is more similar to the 3DSLink flash chip. The website shares resemblances to the 3DSLink website. With this rumor, it is more than possible that the chip circuitry should be very similar if not identical.​
    Please note that all 3DS chips come with two different chips, one to play 3DS games (v4.1 to 4.5 only) and a chip to play NDS games.​
    Firmware Features
    Update Information
    5. MT-Card
    [​IMG]
    A new player has emerged from behind the curtain, the MT-Card. The details of this product are starting to poke into the wild a little bit more, and it appears this team is working independently from the Gateway team. A video was released, below. Features are as follows:​
    • Updatable USB functions, built in CPU
    • Multi-ROM support, SDHC card support
    • FAT32 Drag and Drop without need of flasher.
    • Save directly without need to press home
    • Save editor
    • NAND emulation up to v7.1
    • Card Dumper
    • eShop support
    Firmware Features
    Update Features


    Miscellaneous Notes

    Several of the highly lauded features did not make the initial release, the only major one being multi-ROM support. With the development of the 1.1 firmware and having been set for public release, the cartridge is showing some promise of independent development. More features have been added to give this cartridge a better standing in terms of a chip with better features.
    The Winner?
    -As of this post, the winner is not clearly defined. Each chip has its own features and price range that can suit many. To say that one cartridge is a clear victor over another at this point would be premature, especially with the release of the emuNAND firmware update so close at hand. The best that can be done at this point would be to buy the cartridge that suits your budget, and play the games that you want. At this moment, homebrew is not compatible with any of these units. Please also note that your console must be within the range of the 4.1 to 4.5 firmware, with the prospect of higher firmware support unknown. (11/25/13)​
    -With the addition of the Orange 3DS by popular request, the above verdict still stands: there is no clear winner until the new firmwares with emuNAND and multi-ROM support are released. (11/26/13)​
    -With this post, I'd love to title it the war between clones, but that's unprofessional of me. With new firmware being released by Gateway 3DS, the R4i Gold 3DS Deluxe, and the 3DSLink flash kits, it is clear that the winner would be the original team, the Gateway 3DS. The R4i Gold 3DS Deluxe and 3DSLink merely took Gateway 3DS's firmware and adopted a skin over, essentially, creating a carbon copy firmware that shows little to no change. The same limitations and problems of the Gateway 3DS beta 2.0 firmware are present in all carts. The winner, again, I would have to declare is the Gateway 3DS for being the one team that could push forward with all the revisions. The only reason to consider the R4i Gold 3DS Deluxe at this point would be for budget issues. While the R4i Gold 3DS Deluxe is backed by a great and reputable team of the past, the kit's carbon copy firmware proves that the Gateway 3DS is by far the chip to own, despite a slightly pricier tag attached to it. (12/9/13)​
    -With the release of the MT-Card, or I should say the limited information, it raises interesting possibilities, but the key concern is whether or not this chip is a standalone device or copying off of the Gateway 3DS. I would advise caution and patience until a qualified reviewer gets their hands on the chip first. (12/19)​
    -With the news that 3DS consoles have been rendered inoperable due to clone device usage and modification of the launcher.dat, it is highly recommended to proceed with extreme caution or avoid purchases of said devices until more information is provided. [1/14/14 4:43PM PST] Gateway has reported that 3DS users only using the Gateway will not be affected. Please do not mix and match or use clone software in conjunction with the Gateway 3DS.(1/14/14)​
    -Gateway having offered to help customers who have suffered legitimate bricks definitely could restore faith, but time will be needed to determine the full extent as to how the process will be conducted, and whether or not the follow up is successful. (1/16/14)​
    -The MT-card released a new firmware a week or so back, and with the new release of version 1.1, the MT-card has almost all the features that made the Gateway chip a celebrated card. With this, Gateway needs to reveal it's 2.0 final hand to possibly tip the scales back in their favor. At this point it could either be Gateway or MT-Card, with both having similar, if not identical features at this point. The good news is, there's another team out there that is showing promise and initiative. And of course, I apologize for my delay in updating the thread. ;) (3/7/14)​
    -Gateway team came back this week with guns blazing, a new private beta and a turnaround release for the public. I was definitely impressed with what the team had to offer on this update set, and as of right now Gateway has secured the throne for themselves for the time being. This update has not had any reported issues of bricking, leading to a hypothesis that the bricking mechanism has been modified or removed. And again, apologies for my slow updating of this thread. I'm never doing an update on my phone again. :angry: (3/30/14)​
    -With MT-Card's new update they seem to be closing the gap with what Gateway had accomplished with their OMEGA firmware release. Gateway still seems to be the better option here though. (4/3/14)​
    -Honestly, I'm not quite comfortable saying one cart over the other. The two clear standouts are Gateway and MT-Card, but each one has its merits and pitfalls. To choose one is a matter of personal preference, with one of the main impediments being price. If it were me I would choose Gateway, merely because they've done a lot of work, but my advice is to do some research and pick one that caters to you. (5/13/14)​
    -Clones playing catch up with Gateway features, minor updates to the OP regarding this new information. Winner(s) still standing as of 5/13/14 update.​
    Thread Rules
    • You may use this thread to speculate and discuss about later firmware features/announcements and information.
    • You may use this thread to ask questions about the respective features of these flash kits outlined above.
    • You may use this thread to compare with your own opinions and experiences with the chip.
    • You may not use this thread to bash, flame, or troll another member for their opinions.
    • Myself or any of the thread moderators have the right to remove your post should it not follow the guidelines set forth above.
    • You may not use this thread to bash a flash card team for actions committed.
    Please keep the discussion clean! We do not want the GBAtemp staff to be more overworked than they already are. :) If there is a particular feature that I may have missed, please let me know, these do not include the actions of these teams thus far. Meanwhile, speculation and moralities can go in the appropriate threads located around the 3DS Hacking and Homebrew section.​
    Credits and Resources
    I'd like to take a second to thank Cyan of GBAtemp for his assistance in providing information and compiling all data into the thread you see, and for the flash cart teams I have been in touch with for making things like this possible, and of course the GBAtemp community. This article has my expressed permission for use by DSGamerworld.com.

    For the moment, this thread is on hiatus. I've been in a hellishly crazy situation these past few months, and lately, I haven't really had the opportunity to really keep up with the scene and its developments as much as I would have liked. In fact, the life situation has gotten far worse, and I really need to take the time to work things out. I'll work on this page when I am in full capacity, but it's not quite going to happen for quite some time. I apologize for the inconvenience! ~Ryu (9/3)
     
  2. Tom Bombadildo
    This message by Tom Bombadildo has been removed from public view by Costello, Nov 26, 2013, Reason: not the EOF. careful, you are reaching the maximum warn level, next warn you get a suspension.
    Nov 26, 2013
  3. kyogre123

    kyogre123 Mexican Pride

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    But R4i hasn't said anything about Card2 games support; it even seems that they'll release their next firmware only with the EmuNAND feature (and a menu), or am I wrong?
     
  4. logon

    logon GBAtemp Regular

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    I Guess I will voice my opinion here to

    Both Gateway 3ds and r4i gold (deluxe) have showed videos of emunand
    For anyone thinking of buying one of the 2 cartridges I would wait for whichever one releases the emunand first.
     
  5. Ryukouki
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    Ryukouki See you later, guys.

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    It's not necessarily about "who releases what first." It's more along the lines of, which cart can better suit your features based on budget? As they are (mostly) identical, it can go either way.
     
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  6. tranfeer

    tranfeer GBAtemp Advanced Fan

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    But R4i hasn't said anything about Card2 games support; it even seems that they'll release their next firmware only with the EmuNAND feature (and a menu), or am I wrong?

    Are you from the gw team?
    All features metioned by them are nothing before they release the new firmware.
    You can only judge them according to the firmware already released.
    ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    I completely agree with you on it.
     
  7. Ryukouki
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    Ryukouki See you later, guys.

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    I know they released a video on it, which can be used to essentially assuage customers that work is still being done. ;)
     
  8. dezmen
    This message by dezmen has been removed from public view by Cyan, Nov 26, 2013, Reason: keep this thread clean.
    Nov 26, 2013
  9. kyogre123

    kyogre123 Mexican Pride

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    Hey, you should stop with the pointless replies already.

    All of the features I listed yesterday have been announced by the respective teams; I'm not infiltrated in anything whatsoever.
     
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  10. LurkerA

    LurkerA ㊣New3DS

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    Great Job Ryukouki ! I respect what you've done for building a fair and rational platform to compare this two competitors.
     
    Ryukouki likes this.
  11. tranfeer

    tranfeer GBAtemp Advanced Fan

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    You should stop pointing out the meaningless features annouced by anyone.
    All features are nothing before released.
     
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  12. kyogre123

    kyogre123 Mexican Pride

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    lol, chill out. Why does this bother you a lot? If this angers you a lot it's your problem; there's no reason to censor or hide information just because it's annoying you :lol: and now that we are on it, I'll quote that post of yesterday:

    Nothing wrong with it actually.

    Sources: gateway-3ds.com, #157.
     
  13. Ryukouki
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    Ryukouki See you later, guys.

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    Hey, we may have had our differences earlier, but I'm glad that the guide could help a few people. I'm sick and tired of the bickering that I've been seeing the past few weeks.
     
  14. LurkerA

    LurkerA ㊣New3DS

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    Hopefully this thread can kick out those meaningless attack / fighting to both side, really sick of them...
     
  15. ipwndeveloper

    ipwndeveloper GBAtemp Regular

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    First to release a working C/C++ SDK gets my vote...
     
  16. RickBruiser

    RickBruiser Advanced Member

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    Get online play working and it's a T.K.O. for me.
     
  17. dezmen

    dezmen GBAtemp Regular

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    Btw asked r4i about 4.5+ fw support, reply came pretty fast:
    So I guess GW won't show that too... I think 6.3.0 support would be insane deal breaker for tons of people.
     
  18. Ryukouki
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    Ryukouki See you later, guys.

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    That's just a placeholder to gauge interest at this point...
     
  19. octopus

    octopus Member New

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    An insight on the NDS cards which come bundled would be useful too.
    E. g. Blue Gateway is 6.1 compatible only (and is not updateable so far) and R4i 3DS Gold Deluxe’s card is compatible with the latest firmware, AFAIK.

    Gateway has an SD-slot with a spring and AFAICS R4i don’t. I think all the small bits of info matter and will be useful for someone.
     
  20. Ryukouki
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    Ryukouki See you later, guys.

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    I'll add that stuff in future, but the main focus was for the 3DS features.
     
  21. ginryu

    ginryu GBAtemp Regular

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    You forgot to mention the orange 3ds. It even seems they are updating they website, maybe cause no one really talk about it. :lol:
     
  22. Ryukouki
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    Ryukouki See you later, guys.

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    I will be waiting for more information but anything I say on it is premature at this point. I knew it existed, but I have heard close to zero about it. :/
     
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