R4 Revolution or M3 DS Simply – 4 Cool Things You Can Do With Your Nintendo DS
The Nintendo DS is an amazing gaming machine that offers a unique interface, a huge range of awesome games and a stylish, compact design to satisfy all your portable gaming needs. The introduction of flash media cards for the DS has opened up a world of new uses for Nintendo’s flagship portable, allowing it to run homebrew games and applications.
This introduction allows you to play MP3s, watch movies, play games from older consoles through emulators, and play ROM backups of your games.
The R4 and the M3 DS Simply represent the latest in the development of flash based memory cards for the DS. The two cards are essentially the same and differ in name only, both utilizing microSD memory cards and plug into Slot 1 (The DS game slot). Both feature drag and drop support for ROMs and Homebrew (meaning no fiddly patching of files, you literally just copy the files to your micro SD card) and have an easy to use interface with Moonshell built in as default, allowing playing of MP3s and movie files. Both can be used without having do dangerous mods to the system or use buggy pass cartridges.
The following are 4 cool things you can do with your DS using the R4 or M3 DS Simply.
1. Play ROM backup files - Contrary to popular belief, flash memory cards for the DS are not simply for playing pirated games (although it certainly is possible, and is a question of your personal ethics whether you do or not) and can be used in a variety of legal ways. Putting backup ROMs of games you own on the R4 or DS Simply is a great way to make your DS even more portable, as you won’t have to carry your game cartridges around with you. This is also a great option if you have young kids, who can easily lose the DS’s tiny cartridges.
2. Play MP3s and Movies – By using the excellent program Moonshell (Which comes bundled with the R4 and M3 DS Simply) you can turn your DS into a portable media player, able to play MP3s and DPG movie files. This is great for those like myself, who previously walked around with bulging pockets trying to carry my DS, Ipod, phone and PDA. A set of good headphones gives sound quality rivaling the iPod for MP3 playback, and The DS Lite’s super bright, high resolution screens are great for watching Simpsons episodes on the train. Moonshell will play MP3s natively, and a small free-to-download application called DPG Converter will quickly and easily convert your movies and shows to Moonshell’s DPG format.
3. Turn your DS into a PDA – Using the excellent homebrew program DSOrganize, you can turn your DS into a full featured PDA, utilizing input via the touch screen. Among it’s many features it contains a Scheduler, Calender, Notes, Drawing application and reminders, and my favourite of all the uses of DS Homebrew, the ability to play streaming radio off the internet through the DS’s wifi connection.
4. Run Homebrew Applications – Homebrew software, which is software created by programmers and hobbyists for the sole purpose of experimenting with the system, has exploded since the release of the new, easy-to-use R4 and M3 DS simply. Ranging from simple games to full fledged applications, there’s a universe of homebrew available for free download from the internet. Some of the newest software allows wonderful new uses for the DS, such as using the DS as a VOIP phone (through the built in microphone), a wifi hotspot detector, a web browser and the above-mentioned DSOrganize PDA software. There are also a series of emulator programs that allow one to play games from the NES, SNES, Gameboy, Sega Master System and Sega Genesis.
For more info on the Nintendo DS, The R4 Revolution and where to get yourself an R4 and Homebrew games and programs, check out Welcome Distractions – Nintendo DS