February 27th, 2007, 05:27 Posted By: bandit
R4DS R4 Revolution for DS SLOT-1
Replacement Shell Buy from DealExtreme (white) / Buy from DealExtreme (black)
R4DS Only: Buy from Homebrew Dev (R4i) / Buy from ConsoleSource / Buy from DealExtreme / Buy from Acekard.ca
R4DS with microSD: Buy from ConsoleSource (1GB) / Buy from ConsoleSource (2GB) / Buy from DealExtreme (1GB) / Buy from Acekard.ca (2GB)
Overview : The R4DS is the current top-of-the-line in DS SLOT-1 flash carts. It is just an amazing little device like original DS cart size, it is a complete solution with no need to purchase any additional components or deal with any messy software and truly the easiest media enhancer you have ever done; To simply put it, this is a must have peripheral for any regular DS/DS lite owner.
- 2nd generation storage device (no booting tool required)
- Flush fitting slot 1 card
- Uses MicroSD card, FAT16 or 32
- Supports any MicroSD card speed with no lag in game
- Supports Clean ROM, drag and drop. Works on any OS
- Built in NoPass
- Automatically detect save type
- Save directly to MicroSD card, not to onboard chip
- Supports Moonshell and other homebrew. Open I/O interface
- User friendly skinnable interface. Touchscreen or button operation
- Supports rumble pak and memory pak
- Supports the WiFi game, DS Rumble Pak, DS Browser
- Supports changes of the background of Operation Interface
- Supports 4-scale-lightness adjustment (DS Lite only)
- Supports the Soft Reset.
- Moonshell 1.6 support Software Reset function (Press START key back to the R4 menu)
Quality/Usability : There have been alot of SLOT-1 carts being released these days. What each card varies is the operating system and the support provided by the developers. The R4 and M3 Simply (review) are produced by the same manufacturer and have almost identical hardware and firmware (non-interchangable). There is no difference when it comes to functionality. The only difference is the sticker and packaging. The R4 (Revolution for DS) uses a MicroSD card to store all the necessary data, from ROMs and music to the operating system files. For this review, I tested it with a US Modular 1GB and PNY 1GB microSD. There are some online sites that sell the R4 with a microSD (usually 1GB) but price will be higher.
Originally, the R4 included two shells (white and black) but due to production costs, R4 has now included 1 shell (white) instead of two. Included in the latest packages are:
1 x USB microSD card reader
1 x White R4 SLOT-1 cartridge
1 x Mini installation CD
1 x Silicone DS cartridge keychain holder
The included installation CD has instructions and all the necessary files to set up the MicroSD card ready for the R4. I personally went to R4's website to download the latest files. The included USB microSD card reader allows the user to connect it to the computer and be able to transfer files/data easily. The DS cartridge keychain holder lets you hold the R4 cartridge on one side and another DS game on the other.
Setting up the R4DS is fairly simple. If you downloaded the latest OS from their website, all you simply do is download the file, extract is and transfer the files onto the microSD and thats it. You may also use the included CD but its best to get the latest files from the official website as the CD may be out of date. The CD also includes helpful files such as a save converter which lets you convert saves from other flash carts to the format that R4 uses. There is also a ROM trimming tool that you can download online.
The R4 cartridge size is identical to that of the original DS cartridge. The microSD card is inserted through the top of the cartridge and fits flush with the cartridge. The R4 microSD slot is spring loaded. Unfortunately, the spring mechanism isnt that good. When you press down on the microSD, the card is suppose to pop up. Although it does, it doesnt pop up much and feels like its stuck. Occasionally it does pop up completely. Luckily, there is a small groove on the R4 cartridge allowing easy removal of the microSD card.
Adding ROMs and Homebrew is simple. Once you have the microSD card inserted into the card reader and the card reader connected to the computer, its a simple drag and drop. You'll need to setup a folder called "ROM" and "HOMEBREW" with files going into its respective folder.
The operating sytem (OS) is easy to navigate and easily skinnable. Upon startup, user is greeted with three options; GAMES, MULTIMEDIA and BOOT SLOT-2. When GAMES is selected, the file browser is located on the top screen. This is where all your selecting is done. To navigate through files or to select a file, you use the directional pad to move up and down. Too bad that you cant use the touch pad.
All it takes to change the look of the OS is four simple images and placing it into the "_system_" folder:
- logo.bmp -- Background of the Top Screen of R4's startup.
- icons.bmp -- Background of the Bottom Screen of R4's Startup.
- bckgrd_1.bmp -- Background of the Top Screen of R4's Explorer.
- bckgrd_2.bmp -- Background of the Bottom Screen of R4's Explorer.
Do not change the picture's name;
Make sure the picture is .bmp format, 8-bit/24-bit;
Make sure the picture is 253*192 pixels.
I have tested the R4 with commercial ROMs of games I actually own. The R4 worked perfectly with all the games I tested and tried. All games ran at full speed without any slowdowns and saving of games worked. WiFi also worked on games that supported this feature such as Mario Kart DS. Playing against others with only one cart or multiple carts worked flawlessly as well. There was no problem with connected to Nintendo's WiFi with the R4. For an updated list of compatibility list, go here.
Testing of homebrew worked flawlessly for most programs. There were only a couple that I encountered that did not work for me. I dont know if it doesnt work in general or I did something wrong.
R4 includes Moonshell which allows you to play multimedia files on your DS. In order to watch movies, you must use DPG tools (PC Software) to convert the files to a format Moonshell will recognize. Playing a movies is a nice feature to the R4 but the quality will not compare to that of the PSP. Playing MP3s is a nice addition as well and plays flawslessly.
Conclusion : Overall, the R4DS Revolution for DS does what it is intended to do. Booting of clean NDS games and homebrew work flawlessly. Setting up the OS and placing of files is done with a simple drag and drop method. The ability to customize the look of the OS is a neat feature. MicroSD prices have dropped dramatically within the past year. You can purchase a 1GB for as low as $10! To find the best deals, visit our Online/Store Deals.
You can also download the latest files HERE.
Please note that none of the "upgrade" products listed in this site are endorsed by Nintendo, Sony and/or Microsoft. DCEmu Reviews and DCEmu Network does not condone piracy. The primary functions of a "modchip" and/or "flashcart" are to allow you to play imported games and homebrew software that you legally own or simply just for experimenting with hardware. We in no way endorse piracy, and encourage all users to do the right thing and support the developers/manufacturers that support them. We do not take any responsibilities for any use outside of these parameters or where the use of such a device is illegal.
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