No Nintendo DSi Homebrew

The latest version of the Nintendo DS, the DSi, has officially launched in Japan. It features larger dual touchscreens, dual cameras, and an SD card slot. The members of have decided to tackle the most important question: will it run homebrew? Current DS systems just need a purpose built flash cartridge to load homebrew software (usually stored on MicroSD). Forum members have tested at least 10 different flash carts, and none of them worked. While not completely exhaustive it’s proof enough to us that current generation carts will not work. We hope this is something that can patched with a new firmware. Most carts load their firmware off the flash, so upgrades are easy. The blocking of homebrew maybe a side-effect of Nintendo’s announced region-locking on the DSi.

We hope this gets sorted out soon. Maybe we’ll see hackers figure out how to take advantage of the SD slot instead. If you’ve got a Nintendo DS, there’s no excuse not to be playing with homebrew. It’s as easy as copying files to a card. We’ve had success with the DSTT, which you can find on DealExtreme for just $10.

[via Gizmodo]

44 thoughts on “No Nintendo DSi Homebrew

  1. I’ve bought 2 of those cards for family. I bought them from difference places, one of the cards went in the back where you regularly put your game cards, and the other went into the front in the slot with a little adapter that came with it. I certainly hoped they haven’t blocked homebrew applications, it was the best part of the DS as far as I’m concerned !

  2. All slot2 cards will not work because the slot2 was removed from the DSi.

    you get a slot1 and heavy DRM and control. it also updates it’s firmware regularly to kill the homebrew carts.

  3. @#3: do you have a source about firmware updates? I know the DS and DSL were both hardware write-protected — to update the firmware, you had to physically bridge a jumper. I haven’t seen anybody mention DSi firmware updates anywhere.

  4. coderer: The only time you had to bridge that jumper was to write to one specific area of the memory. Most of it could be written to without it.

    Believe it or not, there was at one point a rogram that would brick your DS without needing you to bridge that connection. Which is why FlashMe included recovery code that went into the area that wasn’t normally writeable.

  5. “homebrew”, riiight.

    That Dealextreme product has comments full of pirates, I laud Nintendo for cracking down on the pirates.

    As for homebrew, Nintendo has never been behind homebrew, get a clue and buy a real grown-up device like a Nokia tablet or some type of PDA. (by nature the DS and PSP are locked down platforms, cracked or not they just don’t want you on there)

    Maybe when the Wiz and OpenPandora ship you will have choice and can choose an open games machine.

    Homebrew is not the reason that cart exists for $10, piracy is the reason. This post disgusts me.

  6. nubie clearly you havent seen the wonderful stuff coming out of the ds homebrew community. here is a link to some examples of projects that deserve applause, not bashing.
    ( )
    getting that code to work on the new hardware (along with its new features) is something i hope happens, for the advancement of the community you consider juvenile. its too bad you cant see useful/hackable hardware when you see it. your ignorance disgusts me.

  7. There’s at least one card that works when updating it’s software. Anyway, you can sell your old card with the DS when buying a new DSi with new working card. I don’t see the problem. I hope to see plenty of cool homebrew DSi apps.

  8. Sorry Erhip, I will continue to think it juvenile.

    Toy status is because of the poor res, and the fact that third party hardware is necessary to even have the homebrew.

    I do respect the homebrew devs, but lets not kid ourselves, the $10 flash carts are for Pirates, they would not exist otherwise (they would be much more expensive).

    That link had tons of cool stuff, but I am still not impressed by the DS, it is for kids.

  9. @Nubie
    Sure… I’m a pirate.

    I’ve got about 80 commercial games on my $10 card. I’ve got the boxes and carts for all but one, which simply isn’t available in my country yet… and yes, I’ll probably buy the cart when it comes out. I find it much easier to haul around the DS and ONE card, than the DS and 80 cards and cases.

    I’ve also got about two dozen pieces of homebrew (both games and apps), music, and a couple of movies. This thing has replaced my PDA, my mp3 player, and for some things (email+chat, basic browsing, telnet, wardriving), even my computer.

    Yes, I am a pirate. Probably a tad more ethical than usual pirate, and I’m almost thirty, but I’d guess you’d label me a thieving little kid.

    People like the DS. People like to hack. People like homebrew. Deal with it.

  10. …And Ninty just lost my purchase. I was waiting for a DS refresh for a long time, but this multi-tasking monstrosity is atrocious. No slot-2, and flash-cart barring. Bah, if my Phat DS croaks, I’ll just get a DSL.

  11. well no matter how tight the supposed “security” is on these new devices, they will be hacked in a matter of time. that is a fact. i once heard (i forgot where) this well stated observation: the only secure system is the system that is disconnected, powered off, locked in a vault, buried underground in encased by cement and guarded by armed guards.

    that being said, nothing can stop shear determination. I think someone here said that you could wait for the compatible carts. It couldn’t be too hard to take an actual game cart and load alternative software on it.

    Also, you can call hackers and pirates childish, but there is a real pleasure in creating things. it’s kind of like an unorthodox art form. it takes skill and talent and creativity. a lot of people just enjoy taking an electronic product (which is about impossible to produce on our own) and exploiting its unintended capabilities for their personal use and curiosity. yeah, the TI-83 plus is pretty much useless for all purposes outside of mathematical calculation (it has like 16Kb ram), but people continue to develop homebrew software for it in ASM. call it childish, but there is much more to it.

  12. ds cart to boot software off sd card = epic win. of course people will eventually find a way around this: it’s human nature. also, with an sd card slot, there really is no need for a gba slot. gba software, with a homebrew emulator running off the sd card, would work great. when i see the DSi, i see a lot of different technologies crammed into a small package, and i see plenty of potential. if i had the funds, i would get one. it seems much more capable than my ti-83 plus. ;)

  13. @cyrozap:
    don’t be too sure about that. If that were true, there would be a run-GBA-games-directly-from-slot-1 solution, which as any non-n00b knows, is a technical impossibility for the DS (ie, more than just a simple challenge that can be hacked around by a talented developer). Unless the DSi hardware architecture is *radically* different, I don’t see this changing. I’d bet that playable GBA on DSi will never be seen.

  14. NOBODY CARES ABOUT YOUR DAMN SPELLING PREFFERENCS! GET A LIFE—–tard ass. Pick that grammar to the b0ne. Get the info and get lost, dont crap up the pages. Bitchfag.

  15. Hello, My Name is Kyler Loudermilk. I am currently developing a team of coders to work on a Nintendo DSi Homebrew channel, for the Nintendo DSi. Our goal is to provide DSi users the capability to download 3rd party software into their console free of charge. If you would like to help please send me an email back.
    Kyler Loudermilk

    PS. We will have donations open to earn some money

  16. I’m very much looking forward to dsi homebrew. it looks to me like theres a whole ton potential here. I dnt Know long it will take to get it working, but i have great confidence in the comunity and i’m sure a way will be found.

  17. Well I have been thinking this may be possible. There has to be some sorta ‘back-door’ thing.

    When you download a patch, it updates your system. If you could tamper with the script then, while your system is in the downloading process and make it so you can change the script when you want to. But once you do this, it violates the contract with Nintendo and YOU WILL NOT BE ABLE TO UPDATE YOUR SYSTEM. But assuming they sniff your system for any programs to tamper with the script, you would just do it when they update your system. It is logical that to download something, you have to allow it in. That is what Nintendo is doing, they are allowing people in to update the system. So they may just leave the doors open and WALLA!! New script, homebrew working, and your good to go.

  18. everyone is speaking about cads for the dsi, but i have a different problem. I have downloaded a dsi enhanced game for my ds lite and it wont recognise it at all. It shows a pic of a nds console in the menu instead of the icon for the game. what am I doing wrong?

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