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Someone got Windows 95 to boot on a Nintendo 3DS, because why not?

Windows 95 may be over 20 years old, but some people are still finding new ways to hack into Microsoft's old operating system. But with some ingenuity and elbow grease, somebody's apparently managed to get Windows 95 to boot to the desktop on a Nintendo 3DS handheld console. Because that's totally a thing that normal people too.

Windows 95 desktop Nintendo 3ds

That somebody goes by the handle "shutterbug20001", and posted an image showing the Windows 95 desktop booted on the 3DS on the GBSTemp message boards, and posted a video showing the Windows 95 start screen actually running on the console. The code to get the operating system running on the 3DS has been shared online, in case you're feeling enterprising enough to try it yourself. Obviously, this is something that is not exactly a project for the casual or novice programmer, but it's both darned cool and a demonstration of the great lengths some will go to to do things simply because they can.

That, or the Nintendo 3DS is the next great portable productivity tool.

Source: shutterbug20001 (YouTube). GBATemp.net; Via: MyNintendoNews

79 Comments
  • That is actually really awesome.
  • Yeah, talk about running x86 apps on a handheld portable device
     
  • 16 bit is more like it
  • Windows 95 is 32 bit. I don't see how you could run x86 applications if this thing runs natively. Is it perhaps a virtual machine with CPU emulation, like QEMU or Bochs? In that case, sure, it could totally work. In either case, I have used Windows 95 on old computers. My first own PC ran it, lol.
  • Nice!
  • Cool!
  • Fake!! Lol
  • Not fake. It's shared so anyone can try.
  • That internet explorer in first image :D :P
  • No, that's the W95 splash screen. Originally W95 touted IE as a feature on the packaging and the splash screen.
  • I wonder how far they would get with that strategy today lol
  • Last version of IE that Windows 95 supported was 5.5....I have  a VM with Windows 95.(that I built from scrach). and even with Win 95 OR2 (final release/update for 95), that is the max IE will go. It has no .net support so 3rd party options are not much better.
  • Win 95 OSR2 I believe.... I don't think the original one mentioned IE in the splash screen. Posted via the Windows Central App for Android
  • Yup! Win95A and B did not include IE in retail packages, but the OSR updates (sort of like service packs, I guess) included IE, as well as "Plus!". Wikipedia has a lot of interesting tidbits about it: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Windows_95 If you ask me, IE was not usable until IE 5.5 came out, integrated with Windows Millennium Edition, so in my view, the whole antitrust deal with Windows 98 IE integration was slightly exaggerated. It did not exactly make people forget about Netscape (or Opera), but I do realise that they were scared of what it meant to lose relevance over time - which they eventually did. 5.0 was okay, but I really liked IE version 5.5. Up until 5.5, I usually preferred Netscape Communicator to browse the web. When 6.0 came out, I didn't use it for too long. Probably installed it in Windows ME!. I skipped Windows XP altogether. Then, IE got bad again and just continued to break the web. Edge is excellent, but still feels like a stable beta product to me.
  • Awesome
  • Now THAT is cool!
  • No worse than some of the WinCE devices from back in the day.
  • Who needs w10m haha :)
  • Dreamcast
  • Had an emulator for x86 and DOS on my NDS already. (With old DOS games running. ;)) With the power of the 3DS, this is not that surprising.
  • Except could it run the Dreamcast wince(with a little tweaking)
  • The power of the 3DS? lol it has 256mb of ram and a 268 MHz CPU.
  • Composted to a normal DS though? And compared to the PCs in 95? That's pretty good lol Posted via the Windows Central App for Android
  • Okay, but lets compare it to today's hardware :) When you can buy a $40 phone that comes with a 1 GB of ram.  I would like to see someone try to get Windows XP on the 3DS though.. that'd be less useless, and the 3DS does meet Windows XP's system requirements.
  • what? Windows XP? Support has ended, lots of security holes (kidding lol)
  • Now if someone can just get Windows 10 Mobile to work on 950XL. Just kidding! Happy New Year everybody.
    But it was such an open door ;-)
  • Good one
  • Made my day
  • You just read my mind
  • No joke xD
  • You mean Windows 10 on 950XL?
  • The sentiment was to have the OS operating at a level comparable to the hardware.
    It's getting there, sometime this year I think it's going to impress everybody.
  • Hahahhaha i thought the same thing.
  • Great.
  • Wow it is for real?
  • Productive like a boss!! :D
  • Oh look DOS-Box, some homebrew hacking right there
  • I bet it is more stable than w10m
  • Fake
  • Note: It's only for New3DS and it just runs RetroArch DOSBox, meaning that Windows 3.1 would be possible, too!
  • That's damn cool! Posted via the Windows Central App for Android
  • That's cool. People like this guy bring progress in IT.
  • Backwards progress by putting unsupported OS on a portable games console? This isn't progress at all, it's boredom and "because I can" at its finest! Still love it though.
  • Lol I could run win98/dos6.2 on nforce2 Athlon xp but its the question of if I should
  • It's not about win95, but rather about tech entusiasts.
  • Talk about retro gaming! Very cool.
  • Very cool can you update it though to 7/8/10? Posted via the Windows Central App for Android on my Frost Nexus 6P
  • No way. The 3DS, even the new one, isn't very powerful, you know?
  • The 3DS has lower specs than the Lumia 520 (about half the specs), it would not run Windows 7/8/10.
  • Surface phone, confirmed.
  • LOL
  • Umm we were able to do this on the original psp like 8 years ago. With dosbox. I put 98se on mine.
  • Oh and it actually booted
  • Yea, I know, it's not that big of a deal.... the 3DS was hacked over a year ago now, so running 3rd party programs are not too hard, I know there was effort to run this but, not shocking..
  • Seems to run as fast as Windows 95 did too...... ;) Posted via the Windows Central App for Android
  • Wen in India?
  • :D :D
  • Napster worked so well :)
  • nokia n95 runs it better
     
  • I had an old 33MHz computer running Windows 95
  • It's cool and all that but, can you actually use it for anything these days ? Last IE version was 5.5 (this site wont even load any more), it does not have .net so, no modern software/browsers or drivers would work on it (No you cant get a updated browser). Maybe if they got XP running, you could do productive things with it but, although I am a HUGE Windows 95 fan...still to this day (even still have a Windows 95 mouse pad here and have a very solid VM running it with the plus! pack) but, besides brining back some cool memories...it's almost worthless... and my XV4700 (Windows Mobile 6.5) ran it flawlessly, a 3DS would run it fine... the 3DS has been hacked a while ago, so this is not shocking by any means...
  • Anyone have an image of Dreamcasts os
  • Maybe there are some emulators that might work. Could play classic NES/SNES games.
  • NES/SNES, should be no problem, the tricky one used to be the n64 but, even that is easy with modern hardware. I actually believe there are NES/SNES emulators avaiable for the 3DS now, of course in the hacking world (you need to hack your 3DS or keep it at a early firmware) If the OLD PSP could do it great (I have one hacked and able to place SNES, NES and N64 games flawlessly). You want NES/SNES on the go, just get a hacked PSP and do it that way, WAY Cheaper than a 3DSXL and you can play every game from that time.. and I think the PSP did controls on a handheld right...so very confortable to play.
  • Plot twist: the 3DS actually runs on Windows 95
  • Affirmative! Surface Phone will be running full Windows via Continuum.
  • Full Windows 95 though. No stupid metro apps, no NT kernel overhead. Yay!
  • The surface 3ds, the tablet that can replace you game console
  • Ha yes why not
  • And to think an old Nintendo device could provide a more satisfying and modern experience than a Windows 10 device.
  • Oh come on, that's a ridiculous statement.
  • Define 'normal'
  • More horsepower in that DS than in the Intel 286 (pre Pentium) systems when this was out.
  • Windows 95 required at least a 386 CPU... talk about old school.... https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Windows_95
  • cool. I can play command and conquer on it.
  • That Win95 boot up jingle hits me in the feels!
  • I can't say this is something that's gonna have mass appeal, or be all that useful - but darn it, it's really cool anyway! Especially if the touch screen has a keyboard and the joysticks are used for mouse stuff.
  • Just to clarify, only the New Nintendo 3DS can run this at the moment (A fix is coming for other models). Pretty much anything that runs on DOSbox can run via this hack (Windows 3.1 and 98 included!)
  • Brilliantly awesome... But what purpose could it serve though...