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Nintendo DS's Compatibility With GBA FlashCards

Zonk posted more than 9 years ago | from the more-ds-touching dept.

Portables 19

zetasmack writes "I know that since the arrival of the Nintendo DS I (and i'm sure many other /.ers) have been anxiously awaiting some news on dev kits. Well, unfortunately no flash kits are available (to my knowledge) for the DS yet, but the folks at have tested the DS's compatibility with all of the available GBA flash cards. From the article: "At this point there is NO NDS Flash Card or Linker made specificly for backup of Nintendo DS Roms so we have tested the compatibilty of Gameboy Advance Backup devices with the NDS. At this point we looked at the most simple and at the same time the most important things. Can you play Games from "GBA Flash Card name...", and Does the Card & Linker backup set works with Nintendo DS""

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Summary: Most Work OK. (2, Interesting)

pkhuong (686673) | more than 9 years ago | (#10954318)

Looking at the list quickly, we see that ~1/3 work flawlessly, while nearly as many need physical modifications.

Great.... (4, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10954355)

Now I won't have to worry about backing up my legitimately purchased games. What a great product those flash cards are, if only they could be used for other purposes as well....

Re:Great.... (2, Informative)

zetasmack (741760) | more than 9 years ago | (#10957358)

they can be used for lots of other things. there are countless homebrew apps available, not to mention the amazing Pogoshell or all of the available emulators, picture viewers, ebook readers, etc.

not very reliable (3, Interesting)

colle (647750) | more than 9 years ago | (#10954358) is not the most reliable source of information about any Nintendo handheld console imo. They are the ones that by comparing cpu-frequencies declared it possible to emulate all snes-games on the GBA. Check out they have a quite good forum with lots of info about flashcarts and the DS.

Re:not very reliable (4, Informative)

Ayaress (662020) | more than 9 years ago | (#10955736)

I find their thing about the SNES emulation to be very iffy, though. Sure, many games should work just fine, you could emulate them with sound on a 486 after all, but there are some serious sticky points. There are a few SNES games that have never been playably emulated ever, even on high end PCs.

The other big one is SDD-1 emulation. There are dozens of addon chips that need to be emulated, but the SDD-1 (Used by Street Fighter Alpha, Star Ocean, and so forth for graphics compression) has proven to be one of the most elusive, and takes a great deal of horsepower to emulate. A PC considerably more powerful than the GBA (or even DS), running Snes9x in real-mode DOS (without Windows running at all) still can't handle SDD-1. ZSNES can do it with the pre-decompressed graphics packs, but you'll get some serious slowdowns on low-end PCs (On a p2 266, I had bad slowdowns with Star Ocean if there were multiple characters and effects on screen at once).

Anyway, aren't these also the same people who were talking about flawless PS1 emulation on the DS? Sorry, keep dreaming. Again, that's something that is still elusive even on the PC. Lots of games aren't working completely, and a great many require extensive settings tweaks to get running correctly.

And need I remind you of the current state of NES emulation on the GBA? It's one thing to say that it can emulate the SNES and PSX and Genesis and Atari and your toaster, but it's another to even get it emulating the NES.

Re:not very reliable (1)

Fred Or Alive (738779) | more than 9 years ago | (#10956190)

Which version of SNES9X are you using? I just checked, and v1.42 runs Street Fighter Alpha 2 perfectly on my Althon 1500+ (Windows version, running Windows XP). I think it's fine with Star Ocean as well. They've cracked that problem AFAIK, at least with SNES9X (ZSNES still uses graphics packs), now if only someone would emulate the Sega Virtua Processor...

Not that you'd actually want to play the SNES version of Street Fighter Alpha 2, when I have the arcade version in MAME (or the Saturn version in reality, apart from it's load times from hell).

Re:not very reliable (1)

Jagasian (129329) | more than 9 years ago | (#10963423)

Yuck, SNES9x emulates DSP games such as Super Mario Kart really poorly. Just look at the backgrounds and ground texture. Compare it to a real SNES. Yuck.

Give me a $10 used SNES + a $70 SNES Flash Cart to a $1000 gaming PC anyday, when it comes to playing SNES games.

Re:not very reliable (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10956858)

Re-read the post to which you replied.

Now, re-read your post.

Do you make irresponsible comprehension mistakes like this in everyday conversation too? :)

Re:not very reliable (1)

Jagasian (129329) | more than 9 years ago | (#10963505)

Even the NES emulation isn't perfect on the GBA. There are resolution differences which either result in aspect ratio distortion or cropping parts of the screen off. Not only that, but the NES has the most special chips in carts. There are some games that don't even play on the GBA, good games too such as "Elite".

GB Bridge (3, Interesting)

Dwedit (232252) | more than 9 years ago | (#10954369)

Am I the only one who thinks it's idiotic to test the GB Bridge? The GB Bridge is not a flash cart, it converts a GBA cartridge into a GB/GBC cartridge. The Nintendo-DS's cartridge port is not shaped to accept GB/GBC games, which Nintendo themselves claim are not compatible.

Re:GB Bridge (1)

Firehawke (50498) | more than 9 years ago | (#10955640)

Yeah, not the brightest of moves. They might just blow the thing with the voltage difference between the GB and GBA. It's already been confirmed that GB stuff just doesn't WORK on the DS, so the Bridge won't work.

It's nice to see that Nintendo didn't do anything to wreak compatibility on the flash carts, though. I use PocketNES quite a bit with my flash cart since my old NES has gotten flaky in its old age.

Re:GB Bridge (1)

geminidomino (614729) | more than 9 years ago | (#10960632)

I never had any luck with the bridge anyway. It can't seem to play any of the Final Fantasy Legend (SaGa) or Final Fantasy Adventure (Seiken Densetsu), Metroid II and a bunch of other games, mostly the kind that save, tend to screw up shamefully, even when I waste a whole 64mbit card with just one of them.

Annoying as hell, making me carry those bulky GB carts around after dropping $25 bucks on the bridge.

Conclusion (1)

kuwan (443684) | more than 9 years ago | (#10954442)

Since it wasn't mentioned if you could use the Flash cards with the Nintendo DS, here's the conclusion from the article:

From our tests you can see that most of the GBA Flash Cards can be used on Nintendo DS. If you have bought a backup device for GBA - don't trow away your gameboy as chances are you will have to use it for writing roms - no link port on DS. If you have NDS and want a flash card for GBA, GB Color, SNES, NES roms etc. - look at the Sets with the External Writers!

Free Nintendo DS []

That's new... (1)

St. Arbirix (218306) | more than 9 years ago | (#10955027)

That's the first time I've seen a news post to Slashdot that literally requires you to RTFA.

Re:That's new... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10959623)

probably why theres no comments

Re:That's new... (1)

neumayr (819083) | more than 9 years ago | (#10987883)

Luckily, the posts filled in the gaps :)

my roms work fine! (2, Interesting)

garfunkalow (191126) | more than 9 years ago | (#10955045)

for my undergrad degree i wrote a simple demo using affine transformations on a sprite. I am pleased to see it working just fine on the DS from an EZFA cart.

It is always nice to have it loaded up and having some one ask how i got my face on the screen :)

tested it myself (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10955734)

Posting anon because Im paranoid.

I tested this myself. Buddy came over to brag about the DS, and the first thing I did was toss in the gba cart that I run an NES emulator on.

Worked fine.

That is all.

All my ROMs!!! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10961200)

Cool... now I can play all my GBA warez... er... I mean my homebrew games on the DS.
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