Nintendo Attempts to Kill the “R4”


Long has the R4 Revolution, or “Revolution 4 DS,” been the best known option to those looking to pick up a “flashcart” for Nintendo’s dual screened handheld. That reign could be coming to an end.


It seems that Nintendo, after literally years of relative complacency, has decided that the ease with which a flashcart can be obtained and used by owners of its phenomenally popular DS hardware has finally become an issue. According to GoNintendo, the Japanese Gaming giant (teamed up with 54 other companies) has won a suit filed against Japanese shops selling both the R4 and similar devices.

Here’s where things get a little more tenuous though, Nintendo and its pretty vast team of 54 legal allies is taking to the courts again in attempt to recoup the damages incurred by sales of the R4 (and, we’d imagine, similar devices). What’s strange is that, while it’ll be a much harder case to argue, it just might succeed, for a couple of reasons.

While most will scoff at the idea of litigating based on losses incurred by piracy, there is a relatively easy way to manage it in this case. The usual case against piracy is that X medium (be it The Pirate Bay or Mininova or whoever) has facilitated the piracy of Y copies, but there’s no way to gauge what percentage of Y is lost customers versus people who wouldn’t have bought a product.

Nintendo is in the unusual position of likely being able to calculate the average attach rate for a DS, meaning that if it can convincingly argue that those using a DS flashcart aren’t buying games it might well be able to come up with a farily convincing sum.

All that said, I will happily admit that I myself own a DS flashcart (it was a gift) that I have yet to use for a game available in Ireland… child of the Gameboy generation, I love having a pouch full of cartridges 🙂 If there’s anyone using a flashcart, I’d be curious to hear what you use it for in the comments.


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5 Responses to “Nintendo Attempts to Kill the “R4””

  1. DamoElDiablo Says:

    I have one, and use it so that I only have to carry one game cart with me at any given time, to try games before they come out here, and occasionally to try out games that I would simply not be buying in the first place.

  2. ivanrlynn Says:

    I have one also by another manufacturer, for my DSi, fortunately for Nintendo it’s the only reason I bought the console itself as I would not have bothered if I had to be ripped off by buying their extremely overpriced games, most I will pay is €10 for one… development costs can not be high like come on it is 5 years old now (the platform). Still I value games and the entertainment value they hold, if I like a game (or the idea of a game) I will buy it to insure that it will function properly on the DS. I also echo what Damo said in the first responce.

  3. Rob Allen Says:

    So here we go again. A company taking millions from the consumer to so they can conver the shelves of game stores with s**te and pedal a technology with piss poor online support has a knee jerk reaction to piracy.

    Yes Nintendo have the right to protect its sales. As do all corporations. The DSI, which I got, is a rip off. It has a SD card slot but no way to back up my games. DSIware is rubbish.

    When I was in college, we got R4 kits and c compilers so we could..shock horror..learn how to develop for the DS. So it seems we were doing somethink illegal. Interesteing. So I hope this hurts homebrew and eventually innvation. For us Homebrew people Nintendo should support us. XBOX has XNA for fecks sake !

  4. Rob Allen Says:

    And in any response to my poor spelling, well, I need to get more used to my netbook keyboard then , dont I 😦 . Apologies.

    Any hey, bang on there to DamoElDiablo, portable gaming should be the 1 device, not the device, all the cartridges , chargers etc. Nintendo make good products but jeez, they really miss the boat sometimes.

    And ivanrlynn, you know , you also hit the nail on the head. A lot of those 40 euro plus games I would not play online in flash yet alone in a console. How expensive is it to make a pocket game. Also Nintendo seem to be the only group giving a shit about games on it.

    This is why they deserve to fail. If I see one more brain training or Mario , or my little puppy I am gonna smash the thing

  5. TheChrisD Says:

    I have a DS flashcart myself. Generally I use it to download the Japanese and American versions of the latest Pokémon games, because I can’t be arsed waiting the year or so for it to come out in English in Europe.

    That and most DS games don’t justify their high prices anyway.

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