Revolution for DS

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The Revolution for DS (most known as R4DS or simply R4) is a series of flash cartridges for the Nintendo DS handheld system. It allows ROMs to be booted on the Nintendo DS handheld system from a micro SD card. This allows the user to run homebrew applications, to store multiple games on a single memory card for convenience, or more commonly, to play games that have been backed up by the user. It uses a Micro SD card with the firmware and everything installed to work. They are known for playing games like Dscraft, etc. The R4 flashcard's original developer stopped producing the R4 Card that plays ROMs for the Nintendo DS, however, there are still a new line of R4 clones like; R4 3DS (which is for the Nintendo 3DS), R4 Gold, R4 DSi, R4 NES, which are used to play ROMs from different Nintendo platforms (Consoles) like; Nintendo DSi, Nintendo DSi XL, Nintendo Entertainment System etc.

Original cards[edit]

There is only 1 original R4 card lineup, however they are out of production.

Original R4[edit]

There isn't a real R4 DS Series because the manufacturer of the R4 stopped producing them, but there are other cards that are of similar quality made by other companies (and thus are clones). The R4 3DS is also a genuine card, developed and manufactured by the same team that designed the R4 DS cards (which are no longer in production). There are however various clones of the R4 3DS as well with a limited feature set and oftentimes a lack of firmware / kernel updates rendering the card incompatible with new 3DS updates.

R4 3DS[edit]

The R4 3DS or R4i SDHC 3DS is an R4 clone, that works with the Nintendo 3DS, Nintendo 2DS and Nintendo 3DS XL handheld consoles from Nintendo. The R4i SDHC 3DS cards has become one of the most popular R4 flashcards because it is compatible Nintendo 3DS, Nintendo DSI, and Nintendo DS. It also has the ability to play pirated Nintendo DS games using a method that is similar to the original R4 flashcard. The R4 3DS flash has an extra ability that allows it update wirelessly via WI-FI.[1]


It is now banned in most countries because of lawsuits from Nintendo. In late 2007 Nintendo began a legal crackdown with a series of raids against R4 merchants.[2]

United Kingdom[edit]

In 2010 the company Playables Limited, the importers of R4 flashcards was ruled against by the London High Court. The ruling outlawed any sales, importation, or advertising of the R4 flashcards. The defense of Playables Limited claimed that the R4 flashcards were legal because it uses a homebrew application. However, going around Nintendo’s security system is against the law in the United Kingdom. After the news broke, Nintendo released on a statement saying that they do support game developers that create their own applications legitimately. In the United Kingdom 100,000 copying devices such as R4s were seized in 2009. Nintendo also claimed that the cards were not only seized for the benefit of their own company, but the benefit for over 1400 video game companies that depend on the sales of their games.[2][3]


In October 2011 the R4 cards were banned in France. An official release by the Paris court of appeals ruled against five R4 sellers and distributors. The sellers and distributors were fined over €460,000, and some were sentenced to jail.[2] Stephan Bole, the managing director of Nintendo France released a statement saying “Nintendo supported this criminal action not only for the company’s sake, but for the interests of its game developer partners who spend time and money legitimately developing software for Nintendo’s game platforms, and customers who expect the highest standards and integrity from products bearing the Nintendo name.” [4]


In 2009 the government of Japan outlawed the sales of the R4 flashcard.[5] In 2012 the Japanese Minstery of Economy, Trade, and Industry revealed that the importing of R4 cards, and similar devices were now punishable by law.[6] In 2013 Nintendo won a court case against two R4 card distributors in Japan. The Tokyo district court ruled that the sellers of the R4 cards owed Nintendo and 49 other video game developers ¥95,625,000.[5]


In 2009 Nintendo lost a lawsuit against a seller of flashcarts, however Nintendo won the second and final instance. Since December 2014 flashcarts are officially illegal due to Germany's copyright law. The seller and distributor of the R4 flashcarts was fined over 1 million euro.[7]

Other countries[edit]

Other countries that have banned the R4 flashcards include Australia,[8] Italy, Belgium, and the Netherlands.[2]

See also[edit]