Posted on July 20, 2015
As most internet users know, the trade and eCommerce platform we are all used to can only be relied upon to do one thing: change. What’s on sale today is gone tomorrow, and many goods and services you would never have thought possible will appear for purchase as long as the internet facilitates it. So while we are enjoying new services, the rise of digital products, and the odd bit of wild west beef jerky (which, for the record, is tasty!), the R4 card is now sadly illegal in the United Kingdom, alongside similar products.
This is a really unfortunate situation because the entire Homebrew industry surrounding custom software for Nintendo DS consoles has been stifled quite a lot. It is also extremely similar to banning blank DVDs on the grounds that someone could place an illegal movie on them – banning the actual cards themselves does not address the root problem Nintendo were trying to eradicate. Hopefully, there will be more ways to play Homebrew games in the coming weeks and months.
How to Buy an R4 Card
Fret not, however. While R4 cards are illegal in the U.K. now, you can still purchase them from other European countries where they are not banned. With a few searches you should also be able to locate all your normal Homebrew software, such as Color It!, available for download to put onto your Nintendo DS R4 card.
There are currently (as of the second half of 2015) three main suppliers of Nintendo 3DS compatible R4 cards. They are r4isdhc.com.cn, r4ids.cn and r4i-sdhc.com. The latter has been around forever, since the original Nintendo DS days, and is a particularly trustworthy source. However, the first site (r4ids.cn) tend to update their software with the latest kernels for Nintendo 3DS firmware updates the fastest.
Avoid Updating Your Nintendo 3DS Firmware
Regardless of what kind of R4 / R4i / R4 3DS card you choose, you need to be extremely careful of one thing: updating the firmware on your Nintendo DS or 3DS console. Generally speaking the software / firmware you download onto your R4 card needs to be compatible, so you never, EVER want to update your Nintendo DS’ firmware unless you already know 100% your R4 card will work with the firmware. If you’re unsure, don’t update your console! Should you accidentally do this and your R4 card is incompatible, unfortunately there is no way to reverse this and you’ll have to wait until a new kernel is released before you can use your R4 card again.
Hope this guide was useful, please share if it was! Happy gaming