A Nintendo 3DS Hacked to Run Windows 95 is a Wonderfully Useless Thing

By Gerald Lynch on at

Christmas came and went without any real big Nintendo 3DS releases to speak of, so rather than letting the handheld console gather dust, GBATemp user Shutterbug2000 set a rather demanding challenge for the dual-screen machine. Could Mario's pocketable home run a hacked port of Windows 95?

You bet it can.

Related: New Nintendo 3DS Review: New and Vastly Improved

Using one of the newer, more powerful New 3DS XL consoles, the console tinkerer managed to get Microsoft's decades-old operating system running using a RetroArch DOSbox container. Here it is booting up:

There are even photos of users having managed to get Windows 95's desktop view working, too. So what's the plan for Windows 95 on the Nintendo 3DS? A big game of Excel spreadsheet X-Com perhaps? The world's most fiddly way to tap into a Microsoft Word document? Obviously, no – it's hoped that booting up Windows 95 on the 3DS will be the first step towards playing classic Windows PC titles from yesteryear on the console. And that's a feat that's not without precedent – old Lucasarts adventure titles could be played on even the old DS using a hacked cartridge and the SCUMMVM emulator, and there's enough power in the 3DS to theoretically pull off even more impressive emulated feats.

For now however, it's little more than a neat party trick, with little really working usefully once the OS boots up. Hardware compatibility is already the bane of modern PC gamers looking to revisit classic titles, so you can imagine the potential headaches with the ARM-based 3DS. Still, if you've ever dreamt of reading Encarta 95 on the same machine as you play Super Mario 3D Land, head over to GBATemp to offer your services. [GBATemp.net via Kotaku]

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