How can you tell if you are buying a real r4i card?
It's a question that I get a lot from my regular readers. Many of you are wondering where to buy R4i 3DS Cards and the micro sd cards that you need to be able to use the r4i on your Nintendo 3DS.
I can tell you what to look for when you're researching stores to purchase from online. The unfortunate fact is that there are a lot of online stores that offer up the R4i Card, hoping you'll buy the r4i from them. However, many stores carry what's known as a clone card, or knock off of the actual flash card. Many times you are able to actually tell just from the product images, and the box shots themselves, which are posted online by the stores that sell them. Off colors, not a bright red box, names like R4i Upgrade or R4i III are common amongst clone manufacturers. There are however an equal number of sites that will take the official photos and offer up the cards for ridiculously low prices. I have seen them for as little as $6.99 on line, and you can bet your $7.00 that it's not a real version. Many of the clone makers will take another card, put an R4i sticker on it, and try to pawn it off as the original.
How can you tell if you are buying a real r4i 3ds card? It's actually rather easy. First and foremost, you should be looking to spend around $20 - $25 for the real cards. It's still very reasonable, but not the $7.00 that a number of sites will offer. The second most obvious sign that you actually HAVE a knock off is when you put the firmware on your card, plug it into your Nintendo DSi or 3DS system, and you get the dreaded LOADING.... message, that just won't go away. The reason for the message is that it is unable to find the chip in the r4i, to which the firmware would be loaded. If you bought one, and were stuck on this loading screen, you've got a clone on your hands. Send it back to the store you purchased it from, and demand that they give you a real R4i Card.
So when you're considering your choices on where to buy r4i cards, make sure you look at the prices, the images of the product, and as a final step, send off an email to the sellers, so you'll at least have an email record of the transaction should you receive a knock off card.