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Monday, May 14, 2007
  Hacking the Nintendo DS

My son asked for a Nintendo DS (aka NDS) for his birthday, so here's a quick rundown of how to hack it up so you don't actually have fork out hundreds of dollars on games...

Quickly, what is a DS?

<- Here's a picture, it's basically Nintendo's latest 'Gameboy', a portable , handheld gaming unit. Feature-wise it's pretty cool: Ok, so a neat little toy, retails for $150.

Alright, so how to hack-it-up.

1) Visit http://www.gamersection.ca - I found this site just via Google, but it seemed pretty slick, and I read a few external reviews, so I bit the bullet, and it was fine, paid via PayPal, shipping was quick, packaging very professional.

2) I purchased the R4DS - (Official site - ) For $40USD + Shipping, this is essentially a cartridge into which you can plug a MicroSD card. A MicroSD card is just like an SD card that you probably have for you digital camera, only it's smaller... About the size of your pinky finger nail. You download games (ROMs), stick them onto the MicroSD card, pop the MicroSD card into the R4DS, and pop the R4DS into the NintendoDS! :^)

3) Downloading the Games - Check out your favorite BitTorrent tracker site - I like PirateBay and MiniNova - and search on NDS. The games are all there - I downloaded a single .RAR file that contained hundreds of games.

4) Setting up the MicroSD Card - I purchased a Kingston 1GB MicroSD Card from TigerDirect ($23.99). It comes w/ a SD Card adapter, basically an SD Card that the MicroSD card fits into. So you pop that into an SD Card reader - most new PC's have them built-in, you can get one for $20 or so... Anyhow, you then transfer over the software that comes w/ the R4, just drag & drop that into the root of the SD, and then - You literally just copy the games onto the MicroSD card and you're good to go.

5) How does it look on the NDS? The NDS starts up and you have 3 icons, the first takes you to a game menu, all the games you have loaded on the MicroSD are displayed, you scroll through them pick the one you want and hit A to load it. The 2nd icon starts up a 'homebrew' application called MoonShell, which is a mediaplayer application, I guess you can play Movies & MP3's and stuff - haven't played with that yet.

Anyhow, so there you go, with about $80 once the dust settles and perhaps an hour to download the games and set everything up, you're good to go... Enjoy!
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