There are numerous Nintendo DS Slot 1 Solutions on the market today. With two of the most notable ones being the R4 DS slot 1 solution and the M3 DS Simply. The favorite of the two it would seem is the M3 DS Simply. Often out of stock at many online retailers. A little known fact however could have you up and playing without worrying about the item being 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 virtually identical to each other in both features and functions.
Both the M3 DS and the R4 DS Slot 1 solution are manufactured by the same people – or at the very least – the same factory. What this means for gamers and homebrew enthusiasts is that they can get their hands on the R4 DS and know that they’re getting the exact same product they’d be getting if they bought the M3 DS Simply at another shop.
You see, the R4 DS and 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 boot up your Nintendo DS or DS Lite. Functionality, features, even firmware upgrades and updates are released at the same time, and it seems all of the features and functions in each update are identical to the other. Whether you get the M3 DS Simply, or the R4 DS Slot 1 Solution, you’re going to essentially get exactly the same things – everything you need to load games, homebrew and applications is included in the box.
The R4 DS Slot 1 Solution Package
It’s almost a dead giveaway here, except for the fact that the R4 DS comes in it’s own R4 DS Box. But you’ll 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 colored keychain / carry case that comes with the M3 DS simply. You get everything you need, right out of the box. This includes the R4 DS slot 1 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 the software CD.
Setting up the R4 DS is easy
Setup is as simple as can be. The included instruction manual (which is located on the CD itself) details exactly what you need to do in order to get your R4 DS working. The first thing you’ll have to do, is insert the microSD Card (not included – but you can buy this anywhere) into the micrSD reader / writer and plug it into any free USB port on your computer. It will instantly come up as a portable drive / flash drive. Here, you can do one of two things. You can either copy the software from the CD, as stated in the manual to the microSD card to put all of the system files on it. I would recommend though that you go to the R4 DS firmware page, and download the latest drivers, as they are often updated there.
Once you’ve copied your system files to the micro SD Card, it’s time to load the games and homebrew applications you’d like to play. Again, this works the exact same way with the M3 DS simply, no difference between the two units at all. Simply copy and paste the files from your PC that you want on the microSD card. A simply drag and drop is all that is needed. The games and homebrew applications work without any patching or fixing or compression. They work as they are, right out of the box so to speak.
Now that you’ve copied your system files, and the files you’d like to use and play, it’s time to put your microSD card into the slot on the top of the R4 DS cartridge. The R4 DS Cartidge is the same size as any standard Nintendo DS or DS Lite game cartirge, so there’s no bulging or sticking out once it’s inserted into the cartridge slot on your NDS. The micro SD slot is located on the top of the R4 DS and it is actually spring loaded. The microSD card inserts into the slot with the SD label on the opposite side of the actual R4 DS Cartidge label. You’ll hear a CLICK sound once you’ve inserted the microSD Card into the slot, this is to let you know that it is in place, and you’re set to turn on your Nintendo DS console. The microSD card fits perfectly flush against the R4 casing.
Once you’ve 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. It takes about 2 seconds for the main menu to appear, with the R4 DS logo on the top screen, and the menu on the bottom. On the bottom screen you can select one of 3 options.
1. GAME MENU – When you select this menu, you’ll be instantly taken to a list of all of the game files, homebrew applications, etc.. that you’ve stored on your microSD card. You can use the controller pad on the NDS to select the file you want to load. If you’re loading a game for the first time, you’ll be prompted, after selecting the game, to confirm that you want to create a save file for the game. This is needed if you want to save you game. Your game saves are stored on the same microSD card as the game files themselves – this is fantastic if you want to delete those games later, to replace with other files, as you can copy your save game files back 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, you’ll launch the multi media player / moonshell. Within this menu, you’re able to look at digital photos stored on the microSD Card, listen to your favorite MP3 Songs, watch movies that you’ve converted from DVD with the included software, as well as read ebooks in TXT format. This essentially turns your Nintendo DS or DS Lite into a full blown multi media entertainment unit.
3. BOOT SLOT 2 – This menu option allows the R4 DS, just like the M3 DS, to boot the GBA Slot, or Slot 2, in your Nintendo DS / DS Lite console. This is for those of us that 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 boot NDS files, as long as you use the R4 DS as a PASSME / PASSCARD solution.
All in all, no matter which one you get, both the R4 DS Slot 1 Solution as well as the M3 DS Simply are excellent accessories for the Nintendo DS / DS Lite. Which one you get should only depend on which model is in stock. As stated earlier in this article, the two units are identical in every way. The only difference being the box packaging and the logo that appears when you first boot up your Nintendo DS console.