128GB 3DS Memory SDXC Upgrade

Oct
16

128GB 3DS Memory SDXC Upgrade

So I happened upon a dilemma in which I needed a 32GB SDHC card to upgrade a woefully ancient camera today (at least 114 in internet years), and of course in recent eBay travails I just happened to have already acquired a few SDXC 128GB MicroSD cards for a song about 14 bucks each.  Lo and behold, I just happened to have a 32GB SDHC card in my 3DS XL!  But what internet resource could possibly point me from here?

Grandma_Meme_FB

What’s a goo-gull? It sounds yucky.

A pretty comprehensive article on DeKay’s Low-Fi Gaming, actually.  Turns out a 3DS firmware update that most everyone should have had awhile ago updated support beyond SD and SDHC cards (up to 4GB and 8GB to 32GB, respectively) such that you can now use 64GB and 128GB SDXC cards, which are widely available and pretty darn cheap.  Of course, this may be a bit overkill unless you own basically every downloadable title currently available for the 3DS family of hardware, but given the price ranges I found between $6 and $15 for 8GB to 128GB, I figured I might as well use the larger one and probably be well-positioned for potentially larger data sizes for the (new) 3DS  (already available in Japan), scheduled for a release date of ‘whenever 2015’ in the US.

new-nintendo-3ds

You damn fickle mistress.

Now you didn’t think it would be as simple as copying the data over, right?  Well actually, pretty much, as long as you have a computer with an SD card reader available.  The new XC card will likely need a slightly custom formatting job of FAT32 with a 32K cluster size, but once that’s done just a few copy-paste ops will get you all set in a few minutes (or longer, depending on how much data you have on your existing card).

I followed DeKay’s guide (as linked above) and it worked fine for me.  After loading up the new card, checking out Software Management, you should see the following:

IMG_3753

Can’t quite count to infinity

Both my old and new SD cards were Class 10, which should support a minimum of 10MBps read / write, and I can’t say I noticed a difference in loading speed using either card with downloaded titles, Miiverse or anything else.  I’m not sure if the current 3DS hardware / firmware can take advantage of greater speeds offered by some SDXC cards of 30-40MBps or higher (can’t seem to find a definitive answer), and so far as we know, the same memory card standards are supported on the new 3DS family as well.  Since these cards are most often available as MicroSD with adapters for the standard SD form factor, though, you’ll be good to go come upgrade time early next year.

miyamoto_3ds

Its specs?  But it’s got ‘new‘ in the title!  Visa or MC?

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The Red

Editor at RoPo
Erik 'The Red' grew up with classics from the 80's and has been gaming ever since. Settling mostly on PC titles over the years, The Red still enjoys occasional console rolls in the hay, and works in tech for his day job in between being logged into Steam every other waking moment.