The invention of the R4 cards has been a fantastic development for Nintendo gamers around the world, turning the games console into an all-encompassing multimedia machine. However, the success of the R4 cards and the development of the R4i cards has led to confusion for many of the less technologically aware gamers out there. Many mistakenly believe that the two are the same and both will work just as well whilst some believe that the two are completely different and may not work with their particular console. With this in mind we have put together a short article discussing the pros and cons of the two different cards and how they compare.
The R4 card, often referred to as R4DS, was the original card for the Nintendo DS that was launched in 2007 to a captivated market of Nintendo gamers. This allowed them to play their multimedia files whether in the form of films and videos, photos, music or eBooks and worked with SD cards with as much as 2GB of storage. Unfortunately for Nintendo gamers they stopped making them in 2008 following a series of legal disputes between the manufacturers and Nintendo themselves. R4DS cards were the original card so many of the older Nintendo users continue to use them with very few problems, but they aren’t compatible with the DSi or DSi XL consoles - meaning that they are very unlikely to work with future models either.
The R4i cards however are the newer version, designed for the newer Nintendo models and to succeed the discontinued R4DS cards. There are several different types of R4i cards but all of them start with that prefix (R4i) such as the R4i Gold which remains one of the most popular amongst gamers around the world, particularly Europe and America. The R4i works with all of the versions of the Nintendo DS, both the older ones that also work with the R4DS cards but also the newer DSi and DSi XL consoles. The memory capacity capability is also significantly higher for the R4i cards allowing as much as 32GB in SD cards to be used with your Nintendo DS - 16 times more than the original R4DS cards.
From a cost perspective, the R4i is understandably more expensive than the R4DS. Even forgetting the fact that the R4DS cards are no longer manufactured, they are likely to become obsolete in the not too distant future as more and more versions of the Nintendo DS console with which they would not be compatible. They remain a good tool for users of the original consoles but when buying new cards to use with your Nintendo DS - whether old or new - it is generally advisable to purchase the R4i cards that will work with all current models as well as having the higher spec and memory capacity.