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R4 hits the mainstream media

Eric Caoili

While pirates and homebrewers alike have known about the R4 since last December, the popular flashcart received its first taste of mainstream media attention today with an article in The Times. The piece focuses on characterizing the R4 as a major threat to Nintendo's pockets, citing the slot-1 cart's cheapness (about $40) and ease of use for its popularity among pirates, dismissing its ability to run homebrew "unofficial software" as an aside.

Despite its cautionary tone, the article provides an interesting look at how shops in Tokyo's Akihabara district advertise the product without actually acknowledging its features. One shop was seen putting up a sign that read, "New R4 shipment has finally arrived! You know what it does! Absolutely no questions will be answered concerning this product ..." Some salesman even refer customers to YouTube tutorials instead of explaining the R4's features themselves.

We understand that the R4 and other similar flashcarts make it easy for people to download and play unauthorized ROMs willy-nilly, but we don't think it's nearly as popular with gamers as The Times suggests. Also, we take offense to the article's ignorance of the DS homebrew community and achievements that tools like the R4 have fostered. We're not all pirates!

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