The first and only Nintendo 3DS flash cart was released last month. Here is my take on it.
It works, mostly. You can put a Nintendo 3DS ROM on an SD card and play it via the Gateway cart. If you’re used to DS flash cartridges and their features you’re going to be in for some surprises though.
As of this writing the Gateway 3DS only works on firmware 4.5. If you’ve ever updated your 3ds you’re out of luck for now.
The Gateway 3DS only allows one rom per SD card. The SD card does not need to be the exact size of the ROM.
The Gateway 3DS does not run any homebrew yet. That means no emulators for SNES, GBA, ect.
The Gateway 3DS does not run DS games. You need a DS flash cart like the DSTWO for that.
The biggest problem is that games that utilize saves do not save once you take the cartridge out. Chew on the implications of that for a bit.
Sadly, that’s a whole lot of ‘does nots.’ Good news is that the makers of the Gateway have plans to resolve all of these problems in future firmware updates as the cartridge is upgradable.
In the meantime the Gateway 3DS is more of a proof of concept than a real usable flash cartridge.
I have a Nintendo 3dS XL. I wanted to get a DSTWO flash cart to run emulators. While researching what to buy I couldn’t find a straight answer on how well the emulation works, specifically for SNES and GBA. About the one constant I could find was that the DSTWO has a CPU in it to help out with emulation. Most of what I could find beyond that went from one extreme to the other, it was horrible or it was great.
After trying out the DSTWO for about a month this is what I’ve learned.
SNES: Works very well. Games with lots of sprites moving around at one time will slow down a little, Contra 3 for instance. I remember Contra 3 slowing down a bit way back when I was running it on a real SNES though. Games that use the SFX chip are super slow and not playable. I played a Link to the Past, Ogre Battle, and Super Mario All Stars (+ World) just fine.
Genesis: About the same as the SNES emulation. The Sonics play well.
GBA: Never saw any problems.
NES, Gameboy, and Gameboy Color titles all play well.
Tip #1: If you try to load the DSTWO and you get a ‘No game inserted’, or ‘No game card inserted’ error, take the cart out and press it back in pretty hard. Its not a problem with how you formatted the card or any other some such. It’s a problem with the cart not seating down properly and the pins not making contact. Just give it a good push in.
Tip #2: The SD slot in the DSTWO is spring loaded. You push the SD card in and it clicks when it is seated. You push it in again and it clicks and the card pops out. The bits inside the card that handle the spring and the seating are cheaply made and wear out after a while. This happened after about ten in and outs for me. I’ve read on some forums about it happening sooner and of course some people never have a problem at all. My SD card will push in, but it no longer clicks and sticks. I ended up opening the DSTWO up, removing the spring and taping the SD card down. I suppose I could of (and should of) sent the card back for an exchange, but I didn’t want to be without it for that long.