3DS flash cartridges barred from import in Japan

Friday, 23 November 2012 05:36 GMT By Brenna Hillier

The Japanese government has cracked down further on flash (R4) cartridges for Nintendo handhelds.

According to 47 News, as translated by Kotaku, the importing of flash cartridges for use with handheld consoles is now strictly illegal.

Prior to the import ban, it was already illegal to sell the devices at local retail, meaning Japanese residents keen to use one are left with little legal recourse to acquire one.

The flash-powered devices, commonly referred to as the near-generic R4 cartridges, allow users to load custom software on Nintendo portables including the DS and 3DS. While homebrew users often have harmless intentions, the cartridges are more widely used to pirate software.