How to Play Movies on a Nintendo DS
By Nick Grimes
Updated September 22, 2017
Items you will need
Computer with Internet access
Nintendo DS flash card
Flash card reader
Ever want to turn your Nintendo DS into a portable movie player? You may have noticed that many Nintendo DS games feature high-quality FMV (Full Motion Video) sequences as part of their cut scenes and wondered whether it's possible to import your own movies for viewing on the go. The answer is that this is possible, but it takes a little bit of homebrew elbow grease. However, if you're willing to get adventurous with your Nintendo DS, you could soon be watching movies and more.
Download MoonShell and Dpgtools. This is the software that allows you to convert movies and transfer them to your Nintendo DS. The software can be downloaded in one package from the link in the Resources section. Unzip the package to a convenient location on your computer.
Insert your flash card into your flash card reader. Navigate to the MoonShell directory and run the file "Setup.exe." The program will walk you through the install stages, advising you to customize the program for your language and brand of flash card. Once you have completed all stages, select "Setup" to install MoonShell on your flash card.
Convert a movie. MoonShell runs movie files in the DPG format, and Dpgtools is the software that converts media to this format. On your computer, find the movie file you wish to convert and open it in Dpgtools. The software will present you with a list of options for converting the movie. For now, use Dpgtools' defaults. Click "Apply" and you will be asked where to drop the finished movie. Select the path for your flash card. The file will be converted and sent to your flash card, which may take a while. When the process is complete, eject and remove your flash card.
Open the file on your Nintendo DS. Insert your flash card using your card's usual method and start MoonShell. MoonShell presents you with a file tree that can be navigated with the D-Pad and A and B buttons. Volume can be raised and lowered with the X and Y buttons. Play can be paused with L, and R skips to the next piece of media on the flash card. Touching the Touch Screen on your Nintendo DS will bring up a menu for onscreen navigation.
Some users prefer to convert files using BatchDPG, which offers mass conversion and different video quality standards. If you are unhappy with the quality of videos, even after tweaking settings in Dpgtools, try downloading BatchDPG from the link in the Resources section.
Nick Grimes was first published in 1998. Since then his work has appeared in the New Zealand Listener, Evening Post, City Voice, Turbine, Flicks.co.nz, and Gamesradar. He has a master's degree in creative writing from the International Institute of Modern Letters in Wellington, New Zealand.