Summary of the R4v2

The R4v2 was the first ever card for the Nintendo DS (not just the first R4 card)! It was first produced towards the end of 2007. The original card had to be redesigned after about half a year because of a problem with the spring mechanism that affected about 5% of the cards. The new design, known as the “R4v2″, featured a push-in Micro-SD design. The R4v2 was always and still is the fastest loading DS or DSi card ever to be made, booting up in less than half a second.

The R4v2 could only take Micro-SD cards up to 2GB, however. This became a problem as games got larger, and fewer people bought it. The last official software update for the R4v2 was released on April 24th, 2008. Since then, the R4v2 became incompatible with many newer games as newer code was required to update the card. Several unofficial software updates have been released by homebrew developers since then to address some of these incompatibility problems.

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R4v2 Package Contents

The R4v2 package comes with:

  • R4v2 Card
  • Micro SD Reader
  • Blue Card Holder
  • Blue Ribbon
  • Software Disc (Optional)

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R4v2 Official Features List

  • 2nd Generation Storage Device. No booting tool require.
  • Slot 1 interface- Fit perfectly in DS.
  • Supports micro SD format card , Fat 16 and 32.
  • Supports any Micro SD card speed with no lag in game.
  • Supports Clean ROM. Just drag and drop. Work on any OS.
  • Built in NoPass.
  • Automatically detect save types.
  • Save directly to microSD card, not onto onboard chip.
  • Support Moonshell and other homebrew. Open I/O interface.
  • User friendly interface. Support touchscreen and button operation.
  • Supports rumble pak and memory pak.
  • Supports WiFi games.
  • Supports skin change for Operation Interface
  • Supports 4-scale-lightness adjustment (DS Lite only)
  • Supports Soft Reset
  • Supports Action Replay Cheat
  • Supports Moonshell. DLDI auto-patching.
  • Support Download play
  • Include high-Speed memory card reader.

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The History of the R4v2

The original R4 card was first produced in 2007, and was the first ever homebrew card for the Nintendo DS and Nintendo DS Lite. Users could put a Micro-SD card (containing homebrew applications and games) into the R4 card, and plug the assembly into their DS console. This would allow them to play multiple games and applications on their DS!

The implications of this were obviously huge – users no longer needed to carry many cartridges around if they wanted to play more than one game. Homebrew applications could also start improving the way everybody used their DS, and introduce user-developed games and virtually limitless programs that could do anything a regular computer could do.

The original R4 card ceased production in early 2008 because of a problem with the spring mechanism on the back of the card. On about 5% of cards, it was found that the mechanism could break after a few months of usage. Because the spring no longer ‘locked’ in place to keep the Micro-SD card in, these R4 cards simply became defective. The card was redesigned without the spring mechanism, so that the Micro-SD card was simply ‘pushed’ into the slot. This iteration of the card was called the R4v2. There were initial fears that the Micro-SD card could simply slip out of the R4v2 card, but this was shown to be nearly impossible without actually using a fingernail to pry the card out, as the Micro-SD card sits rather snugly inside.

The R4v2 card was produced with periodic software updates until June of 2008. By this time, many other DS cards were available on the market. These had many features, including support for Micro-SDHC cards (The R4v2 could only accept up to 2GB Micro-SD cards) which increased capacities to 32GB. Other features to come later included Real Time Save, the ability to save a game at any freeze point and continue at a later stage.

The last software update for the R4v2 was released on the 24th of April, 2008. While manufacturing itself did not stop, the R4 team disbanded and have since worked on many other cards, including the M3, M3i Zero, DSTT, and EZFlash cards. A group of dedicated R4v2 fans continued producing unofficial firmware to keep the R4v2 compatible with later games (the original software was incompatible with some newer games with different coding). This software was known as YSMenu. It could play newer games, but (initially at least) was unable to play homebrew applications.

These days, while still the fastest loading card of all time, the R4v2 does not tend to be bought nor offered for sale – simply because users who play newer games demand larger capacity for storage space, and compatibility with new games.

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R4v2 Official Website

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Download R4v2 Software / Firmware

You can download the R4v2 software from the official website. The latest kernel, v1.18, was released on the 24th of April, 2008. Most old games work completely fine, but many newer applications and games do not work. A group of DS programmers continued making software, called YSMenu, to fix incompatibility problems – but YSMenu appears to not work with homebrew software. Therefore, homebrew users are still recommended to stick with the 1.18 kernel, while game players can use YSMenu.

A link explaining everything you need to know (including downloads) about YSMenu can be found on the GBATemp forums here.

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