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Thread: Review: M3i Zero DS DSi Cartridge SLOT-1

  1. #1
    Reviews Webmaster/Reviewer bandit's Avatar
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    NDS Review: M3i Zero DS DSi Cartridge SLOT-1

    M3i Zero DS DSi Cartridge SLOT-1
    Manufacturer: M3
    Site: Buy from ConsoleSource
    Price: $23.50

    Overview : M3 Adapter is an amazing product for those who want to download homemade games, watch movies and listen music from a PC to a NDS. You can use your PC and normal SD/TF Card Reader to transfer your movie & music files to SD/TF card. Then, insert M3 Adapter with SD/TF Card into GBA(SP) / NDS, and it will be available after boot up the console. Its feature just the same as any other MP3 Player on the market but also playing the opensource/license free games, movies instead of playing music only. eg. Support playing over thousands of homebrew games.

    One of the coolest feature of a M3 Adapter is that you can directly run homebrew software on it – that includes emulators, PDA, browser etc...

    Excellent homebrew support, create your own games or programs.

    Features :
    • Compatible with DS, DSL & DSi.
    • 100% game compatibility.
    • Supports Real Time Save function . (Save & Restore anytime, anywhere.)
    • Supports Multi-Language System (English, French, Germany, Italian, Spain, Portuguese, Dutch, Korea & Thai Language.)
    • Continue to update & frequency enhance software/ firmware.
    • Support micro SDHC (capacity over 4GB, 8GB,16GB & 32GB…)
    • Extreme simple to use, just plug & Play.
    • Super Cheat Function
    • Fully AR Cheat Code Compatible engine.
    • Support reading individual cheat code file too. (xml, cht, dht, dat-R4 format)
    • Supports software rest function.
    • Support slow motion feature.
    • Automatically detect and generate game save file.
    • Excellent homebrew support, DLDI auto-patcher
    • Robust & skinnable GUI
    • Build in PassMe.
    • Integrated least Moonshell 2.0 version.
    • Supports download play.
    • Supports rumble pack, GBA expansion pack & DS Browser.
    • Supports 4-scale-lightness adjustment.

    Quality/Usability : The M3 Team is well known with in the homebrew scene. Their newest product is the M3i Zero. It has a beautiful interface, upgradeable firmware, works with DS, DS Lite and the DSi. Like most flash carts, the M3i Zero comes in a cardboard box with a window cut out displaying the M3i Zero. When you open the box, you pull out a plastic tray that holds the M3i Zero in a plastic case, microSD reader and a USB cord. The microSD reader is really small and has M3 stamped on it. The USB cord looks like a miniUSB cord but its not. It has a USB cord on one end that connects to your computers USB port and the other end has a small thin ribbon cable strip that inserts into a small slot on the side of the M3i Zero. I love the idea but the way it was designed, the cable is flexible but can easily be damaged or bent out of shape. I dont think there is a way to get a replacement for this USB cord only unless you contact M3. However, this cable serves one purpose and thats to flash your M3i with the newest firmware when available.

    To plug the ribbon into the M3i, have the M3i logo face down on the table or surface. MicroSD slot should be on the top right side and the bottom opening of the M3i at the bottom...showing you its gold plates. On the left side there is a small rectangle slot. On the USB cord, there is an arrow. Have that face up. Insert the ribbon into the cable. In other words, plug the USB ribbon onto the other side of where the microSD slot is located. It would of been nice if the M3i had an arrow or indication as well.

    Flashing the cart is not complicated. Simply insert your microSD into a card reader and copy and paste the updated files onto the root of your microSD card. Remove the microSD and insert it into the M3i. The microSD slot is spring loaded and accepts microSDHC. Plug the ribbon on the USB cord into the M3i before inserting the USB cable into your computer. Once it is plugged into the computer, the M3i should begin to update automatically. The back of the M3i will begin to blink a red light. This will indicate that it is being updated and used and will stop blinking when flashing is completed.

    If you have used other M3 products such as the M3 Real, you'll notice that they have used the Sakura theme on the M3i Zero as well. The theme is elegant and easy to navigate. So those familiar with the Sakura will have no problems. Those new to M3 products or the Sakura theme, you'll navigate it in no time.

    The top screen consists of file navigation, date, time, control options and the bottom screen is a file browser.

    To access the GUI setting, simply press the START button. The GUI setting consists of:

    Viewing Initial Setup at boot
    Run DiskCheck on bootup
    Enable sound effects
    Enable fade transition effect
    Show the last file run after booting up
    Lock Folder Navigation
    Hide filename extensions
    Hide unsupported files
    Use dark background screensaver
    Enable FastStart movie playback
    Lock L/R during music playback

    Since the list of so big to have it fit all on the screen, as you scroll down, the top screen is also used as a viewer. So you'll be able to view things on both screens rather than the bottom and having to scroll back and forth.

    The music player is probably the best audio player for the DS. The controls are fairly to use:

    X/Y – increase volume
    R+L – Pause
    L+R – Next track
    L+Left – Bring up the MP3 Menu (a mini menu that appears on the bottom screen on the right hand side. This is viewable no matter what folder you are in and allows you to access the players controls.)
    L+Up – Pause
    L+Down – Change Mode
    L+Right – Next Track

    To view pictures or videos, this is done through Moonshell. Movies will need to be in .dpg format in order to be playable.

    To play your NDS games, you can simply highlight the game and press A or use the touch screen. This will load the game. If you highlight the game and press X, this will bring up a menu:

    Cheats (contains cheat files)
    NDS-GBA Link (allows you to connect your DS game to your GBA game)
    RTS Backup (allows you to save your Real-Time Save data. This is different from a save point saved by the game. RTS can be saved at anytime whether it be during in a middle of a fight or you walking and havent reached a save point in the game)
    Cheat Switch (set cheats to be Off, Always on, Activatable (turn on and off during a game) or “instant codes”)
    Soft-Reset/RTS Switch (You can choose to either have soft reset, or RTS. You can set the key combinations to be: Soft Reset: LR+ABX or LR+ABY or RTS: LR+Select or LR+Y)
    Play Mode (allows someone who doesn’t have the game to download it from someone else who has the game through WIFI, so that they may play together aka Download Play. This is found on games like Mario Kart, Tetris, etc.)

    Conclusion : Overall, the M3i Zero worked great and loaded up every game and homebrew I loaded. Navigation was easy to browse and was pleasing to the eyes. The way the M3i Zero updates its firmware is very unique however, I feel the design may have a flaw since the ribbon cable has a potential of being damaged if not properly taken care of. It would also help if an arrow or indication was placed on the shell of the M3i Zero to indicate where the ribbon would be inserted. If Nintendo releases a firmware that prevents a flash cart from being used, the M3i Zero is easily upgradeable when a suitable and compatible firmware is released. No need to go out and purchase a new flash cart unless it is really necessary and the developers have exhausted all possible options.

    Images via comments.
    Last edited by bandit; March 11th, 2011 at 16:15.
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  2. #2
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    Wow i have been waiting a long time for this release.

  3. #3
    Reviews Webmaster/Reviewer bandit's Avatar
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    An update to M3i Zero to work on DSi's 1.4 firmware has been released. The new F_core.dat has been released. You can download at
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  4. #4


    also keep a eye on
    this is the original site...

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