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Nintendo Businesses Government The Courts Entertainment Games News

Nintendo Battles Makers of the R4 188

eldavojohn writes "A neat little device called the R4 allows for homebrew on the DS ... and as micro SD prices fall, it is becoming easier and easier to put on these cartridges binary dumps of games people don't have the right to play. Which is why Nintendo will see them in court. Note, it's not just the console maker pressing charges, it's also Capcom, Koei, Square Enix, Tecmo, Bandai Namco, and Sega. Is this truly a case of fighting piracy, or is it also an attempt to stop homebrew from stealing the market?"
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Nintendo Battles Makers of the R4

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  • Re:What is the R4? (Score:3, Informative)

    by digitrev ( 989335 ) <> on Tuesday July 29, 2008 @05:48PM (#24392477) Homepage
    Nintendo DS mod chip. Wired has a short blog post as well [].
  • Re:What is the R4? (Score:3, Informative)

    by digitrev ( 989335 ) <> on Tuesday July 29, 2008 @05:53PM (#24392573) Homepage
    Wikipedia link [] that I just bothered to look for.
  • Re:What is the R4? (Score:5, Informative)

    by Sir_Dill ( 218371 ) <slashdot@zac[ ] ['hul' in gap]> on Tuesday July 29, 2008 @05:56PM (#24392617) Homepage
    Technically its whats referred to as a flash cart.

    The gist is that you load in the roms to flash memory and then insert the cartridge in your DS and then you can access and play the games as normal.

    The R4 takes this a step further and allows you to use a microSD card.

    While I think they have a case, the lack of action of previous iterations of flash carts might end up hurting them in the long run.

  • by xtracto ( 837672 ) * on Tuesday July 29, 2008 @06:10PM (#24392795) Journal

    It is truly a case of fighting piracy. Anybody who thinks otherwise is severely delusional.

    Wow, I feel personally offended by such comment.

    I do develop homebrew programs for the DS. I am specifically developing a translator (based on the dictionaries) using PAlib.

    There are several *really good* homebrew apps for the Nintendo DS like Moonshell, DSOrganize or games like Lemmings (all the levels of lemmings for the DS, REALLY good). The DSLibris game is also a *very* good piece of software which allows you to read XHTML ebooks.

    I am also in the process of doing a TIF image "reader", with the idea of converting PDF files directly to TIF multipage (monochrome for now...) via ghostscript and then being able to read them directly in the DS. This, after having played with the idea of porting xpdf or other programs... unfortunately the PDF and RTF are too complex for the tiny DS...

    I don't have an R4 but a CycloDS Evolution and it is a really neat piece of technology.

    So, as you can see, there are pleny of opportunities for a device like the DS. It is really a neat piece of hardware, and the touchscreen makes it more versatile.

  • Re:Seriously? (Score:3, Informative)

    by kipman725 ( 1248126 ) on Tuesday July 29, 2008 @06:15PM (#24392869)
    you do know that you can play quake on a DS right?
  • Re:What is the R4? (Score:5, Informative)

    by neokushan ( 932374 ) on Tuesday July 29, 2008 @06:31PM (#24393097)

    It's one of SEVERAL different DS flash carts out there. Last I checked, there were at least 10, some of which are superior to the R4 in terms of functionality (they offer things like ingame cheats, ingame guides, even savestate functionality), just the R4 was one of the first of it's kind and thus the most well known of the bunch.
    It's a futile attempt to curb piracy on the DS, most of the technology invovled in their making is public knowledge (in terms of "you can find most of it by googlong around", not in terms of "any average Joe knows it"), hell I'm sure I seen schematics on how to build your own - Nintendo taking down this one group wont stop anything.

    It's akin to the MPAA shutting down a single torrent site - 5 more pop up in it's place almost overnight.

  • by MobyDisk ( 75490 ) on Tuesday July 29, 2008 @09:18PM (#24394687) Homepage

    The Nintendo DS is homebrew heaven. There are dozens of mod chips [] for the DS. And many, []many [] forums and libraries [] for homebrew [] applications. There's several development [] wiki's [] and some must have [] applications. []

    This is not a tool for piracy. If they want to stop piracy, they need to stop the people who are dumping roms. And you won't find tools to dump roms quite so easily. Attacking the companies that make legitimate devices lazy and anti-customer.

  • Re:What is the R4? (Score:5, Informative)

    by Tacvek ( 948259 ) on Wednesday July 30, 2008 @09:50AM (#24400797) Journal

    Indeed. The R4 was for quite a while the generally considered the best Slot-1 flashcard around. It was among the first cards to have near-perfect game compatibility, and it was low cost.

    However, when the CycloEvo came out it replaced R4 as the slot-1 Flashcard of choice. When it first came out, it had the game support of the R4, but also had perfect Download Play (A.K.A. 1 cart multiplayer) compatibility. It also had support for SDHC microsd cards, which was a market first.

    Both the R4 and CycloEvo support cheats. But the CycloEvo has an in-game menu feature to allow one to toggle cheats on and off, "Soft reset" (reset back to menu without cycling the DS power), and most recently, the ability To save or load a single emulator-like save-state. (Obviously it is slower than an Emulator's save-state, making it slightly less useful, but it still has uses).

    The CycloEvo also has some of the best support of any flash card makers. They actually listen to people in their forums, reply to them, and have implemented multiple features by user request. They have also been known to ship replacements for defective units to the purchaser along with a cash refund for the shipping costs of returning the defective one. It does not yet have ingame guide support (unless a new firmware release has been made while I was not looking), but it is programed and slated for release in the next firmware update.

    Now, the CycloEvo is probably still the Flashcard of choice, but it does have some serious competition, and may not remain that way for long.

    Oh, I should mention that while this sounds like an advertisement for the CycloEvo, I'm not related to them in any way, and do not own that card. I in fact do not any DS flash cards (or GBA flash carts for that matter). However, I've been considering purchasing a FlashCart for a long time, and the CycloEvo is currently the one I plan to get.

No amount of careful planning will ever replace dumb luck.