Acekard entered the flash cart scene with the release of their namesake cart in 2006, initially exclusively for the Chinese market, although later sold internationally, with a full English menu. The Acekard required users to format their MicroSD cards (up to a 2GB maximum, as the SDHC standard was not supported) with the proprietary AKFS file system, using the Windows-only client software the team provided, which was also necessary for copying files to the card.
In 2007, Acekard released its second flash cart, the Acekard+. This improved version of the original Acekard used the standard FAT file system common to other flash carts, and supported in most modern operating systems directly (without the need for proprietary client software). The Acekard+ was offered as a free upgrade to all purchasers of the original Acekard in addition to being offered as a separate purchase for new users.
Toward the end of 2007, Acekard released yet another flash cart, the Acekard RPG (standing for Real Play Gear). The RPG was the first card on the market to offer both internal flash memory (1GB) and external memory (microSDHC cards, with a theoretical maximum of 32GB). Acekard also open-sourced the loader for the RPG, another first in the DS flash market. However, the device's premium price and niche interest prevented it from reaching deep penetration.
In early 2008, Acekard returned with a new flash cart, the Acekard 2. Its release was made controversial by the abandonment of updates for the Acekard RPG, whose open-source loader provided the basis for the closed-source Acekard 2's. Additionally, early production runs were plagued with hardware faults, and Acekard were forced to replace many failed units with the corrected "Acekard 2.1". Despite this, the Acekard 2 became very successful due to its budget pricing and the development of custom loaders which improved upon those provided by the Acekard team.
By the end of the year, Acekard was releasing another flash card, a version of the Acekard 2 capable of booting on the Nintendo DSi, which included measures to prevent previous generations of flash cards from running. The Acekard 2i was the first card with DSi support to hit the market, however users have once again reported hardware failures with the 2i, and there is a risk of losing DSi support through crashes or running loaders not designed for the new card. Additionally, the Acekard 2i needed an update before it would work on DSis set to languages other than English or Japanese.
Acekard's current series of flash devices, the Acekard 2/2i, is the only one still receiving official updates from the Acekard team. The RPG, along with the Acekard 2/2i and to a lesser extent the Acekard+, are unofficially supported by the custom loader AKAIO, which is updated far more frequently and which adds a number of features over the official firmware. It is generally the preferred option for those devices which support it, including those still receiving official support from the Acekard team.
|Flashcarts||Acekard/+ • Acekard RPG • Acekard 2/2i|
|Software||AKAIO (Compatibility - How To - F.A.Q - GlobalSettings)|
|Official website - Acekard2 review|