DS "modding" - what's the current state of the scene?

Discussion in 'NDS - Console and Game Discussions' started by HashimA, Nov 14, 2016.

  1. HashimA
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    HashimA Newbie

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    Hey there.

    My sister has a Nintendo DSi that she wants to be able to download games for and play them on. This was pretty easy a few years back when we had a household full of DS Lites; as far as I can remember, all that was needed to copy some ROMs over were R4 cards, but doing some cursory research, it looks like the DS modding scene now involves something called flash carts that I've never heard of before, and the scene generally seems to have gotten a little more complicated.

    With that in mind, I'd really appreciate it if someone could give me a rundown on where the current DS modding scene is atm, and what's going on with it. What exactly are flash carts, and how do the older cards like the R4 now fit into the equation, if at all? Is it still possible to use R4-like cards without the use of a flash cart, and if so, which is currently the best on the market?

    Would really appreciate being brought up to speed. Thanks!
     
  2. azublazer

    azublazer GBAtemp Regular

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    R4 cards are flash carts. There are R4 cards out there right now which will work on any DSLite, DSi, and 3DS.
     
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  3. xtheman

    xtheman GBAtemp Guru

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    Flashcarts are r4 cards.
    r4 is just one brand of a flashcart which every ds flashcart stole in its name.
    You need a more recent flashcart because the older ones don't work on dsi
     
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  4. Nirmonculus

    Nirmonculus GBAtemp Advanced Fan

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    Any r4 cards should work on the dsi.
    There are others, and I think it doesn't matter much.
     
    Last edited by Nirmonculus, Nov 14, 2016
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  5. HashimA
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    HashimA Newbie

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    Ahh, now that makes a lot more sense. So I can pretty much choose any DSi-compatible flash cart on the market atm and I'll be able to transfer games over like I used to on the DS? What about the ROMs themselves - are DS and DSi ROMs different? Will the older ROMs work when copied to the DSi?

    Also, what flash cart would you guys recommend? It doesn't need any advanced features, my sister just needs the ability to play as many games as possible and possibly some homebrew ROMs, keeping the price down is the priority really.

    Lastly, does the DSi have any limitations that the older models don't? For example, when doing my reading up, I remember coming across something (think it was from Lifehacker) saying the DSi can't be used to back up (i.e. dump the ROMs from) the physical games, and that you'd need an older version to do this. Is that still true?
     
    Last edited by HashimA, Nov 14, 2016
  6. MeixDev

    MeixDev Member

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    I don't know about the dump of physical cartdriges, since if you really need to "dump" a game, you can find a copy somewhere on Internet, even tho it will not be that legal and all.
    DS and DSi roms are the same, still *.nds extension, working the same. DSi games sometimes get more features if played on this advanced system, but that's it.

    About the Flash Cart, I understand that you want to keep the price low, but I will still suggest you the SuperCard DSTwo (The original one, the "Plus" edition is meant to play 3DS games, and isn't that interesting.)

    Never had a flaw with my DSTwo. It can run any DS Game, features (not that interesting, but still) an ingame menu letting you setup your cheats, or savestates and all.
    The cartdrige contains some hardware, which reduces lags from some games that may have a hard time on Flash carts, and it features GBA and SNES emulators built-in. If your objective is to let your sister "play as many games as possible", it seems like the best option.

    Again, it's a bit more expensive. But I like it, and I think it's worth the price.
    Have a good day !
     
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  7. HashimA
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    HashimA Newbie

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    That's true, there's always that option.

    Does that mean the 3DS ROMS are different to the DS/DSi ones, and 3DS ROMS/games wouldn't normally work on the DSi?

    ...And that getting a DSTwo would allow me to play those 3DS ROMs on the DSi?
     
  8. Nirmonculus

    Nirmonculus GBAtemp Advanced Fan

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    The Supercard DSTWO doesn't play 3ds roms, neither does the Supercard DSTWO+ (You have to install it like Gateway Emunand before it can play 3ds roms and it can be a lot of work for someone who don't understand it much, it is not like Sky3ds) but even so, the Supercard DSTWO (without plus) plays GBA roms. It still cost more than $30, rather expensive.

    You can get a decent r4 flashcart for $10 to $15 that can also be played on the 3ds should you wish to upgrade from ds to 3ds in the future.
     
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  9. HashimA
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    HashimA Newbie

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    Would that be the R4i 3DS Gold?
     
  10. Nirmonculus

    Nirmonculus GBAtemp Advanced Fan

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    There is also the r4i dual core which is colored white or silver. It has a white box as well. This is pretty good. They update their firmware when the 3ds's firmware gets an update and if it were patched on the latest 3ds update. I find this one to be more common than the gold one.
    r4i 3ds gold, yes, same price range and can be used for ds, dsi, 3ds. The gold one just have some unnecessary extras that the white one don't.
    Both r4s can be played on the 3ds. I think they are not expensive. I'd go for the white one though.
     
  11. MeixDev

    MeixDev Member

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    No Flash Cart will let you play 3DS games on a DS/DSi family device.
    They do not work on the same operation system at all, and the 3DS launches DS games with a kind of Virtual Machine (even tho it's a bit more complicated than this)

    And even more, if you upgrade to a 3DS one day, hacking it through A9LH would be a better solution.

    As of now, I think Nintendo stopped trying to block old flash carts, so an old one, like an Acekard 2i, an old R4 or a DSTwo should not be blocked one day.
    I'm not a huge fan of any kind of R4 linkers, but they may be the cheapest linker you can find, indeed.
     
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  12. Nirmonculus

    Nirmonculus GBAtemp Advanced Fan

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    No 3ds can install/emulate ds games yet. That's why I keep a ds flashcart.
    Aparently the white r4i sdhc dual core is not even $10, it's only $8.99.
    http://www.nds-card.com/Prolist.asp?P=1&ProSortID=547

    If the Supercard dstwo is a bit less expensive, I would get one, but I already have two ds flashcarts. One from Gateway and one from a 2nd hand ds lite I bought for a steal price of $15. The latter was an r4 clone but it does the job XD.
     
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  13. HashimA
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    HashimA Newbie

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    Thanks for the link, I think the Dual Core will be the one that I go for in the end. That site looks like it's the most reliable reseller out there atm, but I 've been looking around trying to find somewhere that ships from the UK, as nds-card.com ships from HK and according to their website it could take a while. Have you bought from them before, and how long did it take to arrive?

    The DSTWO is just way too expensive - all the ones listed on that site are over $50. o.O
     
  14. HashimA
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    HashimA Newbie

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    Sorry about this, but I have some more questions. :S

    What about the micro SD card itself? What space should I get? How big is the average ROM and how many of those would you able to fit on an 8GB micro SD?

    Secondly, I've heard of something called a "timebomb" that bricks certain flash carts in 2018, and that this timebomb affects flash carts created by r4isdhc.com, which is the brand of the Dual Core that nds-card.com sells. Anyone got any idea on whether those cards are affected by this?
     
  15. Nirmonculus

    Nirmonculus GBAtemp Advanced Fan

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    We don't know if the timebomb is real unless observed. I think it only works on r4s that have dates on them <2014 but I also think that updating their firmware, come 2018 would stop the timebomb. My r4 clone has a date, it says 2012. I'll let you know if it explodes in 2018. XD

    8gb is good enough. Game files range from 1mb to 50mb. Average is 10mb I guess?
     
    Last edited by Nirmonculus, Nov 16, 2016
  16. HashimA
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    HashimA Newbie

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    Haha, sounds like a case of Schrodinger's Timebomb. True, there's always the chance it'll get patched up before then.

    1-50MB sounds a little off to me, you sure about that? I just went and fished out the old NDS ROMs that I used to use on our old DS Lites, they were in an external HDD. 31 ROMS in total, all games, ranging from 16-128MB. The average, based on some very crude maths, seems to be about 48MB, though the more popular games - The Simpsons, Professor Layton, LEGO Harry Potter - tend to be about 100MB. Still, you're right though - 8GB is moree than enough. 8GB / 48MB = 137 games, that's more than my sister'll ever play in her lifetime. Compared to PSP games, NDS ROMS were always tiny. Maybe you're right about the low ranges, maybe the newer games are smaller or the compression when ripping from the original cartridges has gotten a lot more efficient.

    Speaking of PSPs... I see you have a VITA - what's the PSP CFW scene like nowadays? I was much more into PSP CFW than I was NDS a few years ago. I still have an MMS and Pandora battery lying around somewhere, along with two PSP Slims that need fixing up. Is it as easy to CFW the VITA and PSP Go as it was the 1000 and 2000 series, or have Sony caught up to the game a little more? Also, what's the best community to go for PSP CFW stuff - still this forum, or is another one more active? This forum seems primarily based on Nintendo.
     
    Last edited by HashimA, Nov 16, 2016
  17. Nirmonculus

    Nirmonculus GBAtemp Advanced Fan

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    I really like playing psp games on my Vita, like Final Fantasy Type-0. It looks so beautiful. Right now, I still have TNV just to play PSP games, but the new Henkaku hack will allow the Vita to play Vita games for free but I would have to sacrifice my TNV, which means no psp games through hacking. I can get Henkaku but I would have to backup all my saves from my PSP games on the Vita first and I'm too lazy. Hehe...

    TNV hack is hard to setup because you will need a PS3 for it. But Henkaku hack is very easy. You just need to go to the browser, like browser hack on the 3ds. Wololo I think is more active when it comes to PS Vita hacking.

    I have a PSP 1000 but I'm thinking of trading it for a PSP 3000 at the gray market here in my area. I only have a 32gb PS Vita mmc and if I want PSP portability, the psp is still the best handheld for that. I don't like tablet emulation of the psp. But I'm still waiting for them to port TNV or even Ark to 3.60 and work with Henkaku... the only problem I have is that I have a limited mmc space so it means I won't be able to put a lot of psp games still on 32gb with vita games.
    If I trade my PSP 1000, which is broken, I can get the PSP 3000 for roughly $25. So I guess it's not that bad...
     
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  18. HashimA
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    HashimA Newbie

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    So there's currently no CFW method to play both Vita and PSP games on the Vita?

    Interesting. What happened to the PRO-CFW team, that released the GEN-B and GEN-D CFW versions? Are they still around and big?

    I'd be careful with the over 32GB memory stick thing. According to this, there are no Pro Duos over 32GB, and the only way to get more than 64GB in a PSP 3000 is to use one of these adapters: https://www.amazon.com/PhotoFast-MicroSDHC-Adapter-Converts-MicroSD/dp/B001B6EAOY/PSPs with two 32GB Micro SD cards.
     
  19. Nirmonculus

    Nirmonculus GBAtemp Advanced Fan

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    My 32gb is for the Vita, I have a PSP MMC adapter where I just insert a micro sd.
    Yeah, there is no way to play back up psp and vita games at the same time on the Vita as of now. But I think they are developing it. :)
    I'd like to wait a bit more for Vita's development.
     
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  20. koffieleut

    koffieleut GBAtemp Fan

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    Back on the DSI topic :P
    Is it possible to play dsiware with a flashcard?
    I'd love to play 4swords multiplayer with a friend but I only have it on my a9lh n3ds, not on my DSI.
     
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