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Someone Got Windows 95 to Run on a New Nintendo 3DS

A hacker has managed to get Windows 95 running on a New Nintendo 3DS.

The key thing here is that currently we only know of the operating system itself running on the handheld – it’s not clear if the hardware is capable of also running games from within the instance of Windows, currently.

It’s worth pointing out this is simply a modification of RetroArch DOSBox, but it’s certainly interesting.

Featured above, you can view a short video of the OS booting up on the 3DS (but it runs into a few errors). When commentators asked what the framerate is like when running Windows, it’s described as “not really laggy, but definitely not fast either.”

If you’re wondering as to whether or not the original 3DS can manage this, this is currently not possible as the modified code will only function on the New Nintendo 3DS at the moment. Enthusiasts are working on a way around this, however, and you can run DOS-based games in this emulator as “anything DOS based should work.”

If you’re feeling adventurous and own a New Nintendo 3DS, you can download the Windows 95 OS/mod image here (Editor’s Note: You just need to add an image of the Windows 95 logo as this isn’t included).

Editor’s Note: The article originally speculated the hack wouldn’t run on the original Nintendo 3DS due to RAM issues – this is incorrect as it’s a programming issue. Thank you for pointing this out!

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Owner and Publisher at Niche Gamer and Nicchiban. Outlaw fighting for a better game industry. Pronouns: Patriarch, Guido, Olive, Catholic



28 comments
  1. dogmentation
    dogmentation
    January 2, 2016 at 3:25 pm

    DOOM!

  2. Heavily Augmented
    Heavily Augmented
    January 2, 2016 at 3:26 pm

    Well it shouldn’t be long to be able to play Doom on your 3DS. After all, it is playable on a Printer, an ATM and you can even play Doom in Doom.

  3. Kaleido-Ruby
    Kaleido-Ruby
    January 2, 2016 at 3:37 pm

    Doesn’t look like it gets up to the Desktop on that video. Does show it accesses ScanDisk, though.

  4. BattlerArisato
    BattlerArisato
    January 2, 2016 at 3:48 pm

    The PC Master Race will tremble when consoles will be capable to emulate PC so we can emulate other consoles on the PC emulation on the console!

    PD: It’s obviously a joke if you didn’t get it… <.<

  5. Chris Wedge
    Chris Wedge
    January 2, 2016 at 3:58 pm

    I’m willing to bet there’s a native Doom 3DS source port running around.

  6. scemar
    scemar
    January 2, 2016 at 3:59 pm

    science

  7. Chris Wedge
    Chris Wedge
    January 2, 2016 at 4:00 pm

    “I’m gonna say it doesn’t have enough ram or something.”
    Checking the thread, this is just a mod of the RetroArch DOSBox core, and the real reason that it doesn’t yet run on the O3DS isn’t RAM issues, but actually a programming snafu.

    Of course, it’ll run better on N3DS regardless.

  8. Chris Wedge
    Chris Wedge
    January 2, 2016 at 4:03 pm

    Wynaut?

  9. Megalegacy .
    Megalegacy .
    January 2, 2016 at 4:58 pm

    Good article, but it looks like you’ve barely researched.

    “The hacker who discovered the Cubic Ninja exploit (which lets you inject
    Game Boy and Game Boy Color games into your Nintendo 3DS is at it again
    – they’ve managed to get Windows 95 running on a New Nintendo 3DS.”

    FYI, the guy who made the Cubic Ninja exploit is not the same guy who got Windows 95 running on the N3DS. 2 different people. Also, something better to say other than “lets you inject Game Boy and Game Boy Color games” should be simply “lets you hack the system” IMO, but that’s just my opinion.

    “If you’re wondering as to whether or not the original 3DS can manage
    this, this is impossible as it “just crashes on an [original] 3DS,” said
    the hacker. “I’m gonna say it doesn’t have enough ram or something.””
    If you actually read the thread, you would’ve seen that there are no ram issues, Windows 95 only needs 4MB to run, and the original 3DS has access to 128MB (we only have access to 80MB of ram on O3DS, but it’s still a lot more than 4MB.) This was stated at least 5 times in that thread. The main reason it didn’t work was a problem in the code that broke O3DS support. People are currently trying to find a way for it to work on O3DS.

    Overall, good job with the rest of the article. Only problem was it seems like you didn’t research enough.

  10. dogmentation
    dogmentation
    January 2, 2016 at 5:00 pm

    I would like to run DOOM in a 3DS emulator on a windows emulator on a 3DS…see how deep the rabbit-hole goes.

  11. Chensaw
    Chensaw
    January 2, 2016 at 5:41 pm

    Thanks for clarifying that out.

  12. Thanatos2k
    Thanatos2k
    January 2, 2016 at 6:58 pm

    Now you can play Tie Fighter on a 3DS

  13. Brandon Orselli
    Brandon Orselli
    January 2, 2016 at 7:03 pm

    Thank you for this – honestly I read the first three or so pages and was mostly just looking for posts from the author about its performance and such. I’ve updated the article now.

    They are different hackers though? I thought they’re using the same alias..

  14. Brandon Orselli
    Brandon Orselli
    January 2, 2016 at 7:03 pm

    I’ve updated the article – thanks! :)

  15. FlawedIntellect
    FlawedIntellect
    January 2, 2016 at 7:11 pm

    That’d only be possible if there were a means of streaming from PC to the 3DS. Which isn’t entirely impossible, given that the 3DS does have support for Wi-Fi.

  16. sanic
    sanic
    January 2, 2016 at 8:44 pm

    The future is now! HUE HUE HUE

  17. Godmars
    Godmars
    January 2, 2016 at 8:46 pm

    No.

    For…SCIENCE!!!

  18. Richard Miller
    Richard Miller
    January 3, 2016 at 1:25 am

    So can it play solitaire?

  19. Yabloko Molloco San
    Yabloko Molloco San
    January 3, 2016 at 1:38 pm

    Maybe if you push it to its limit you’ll run win98 lol

  20. pomfland
    pomfland
    January 3, 2016 at 1:57 pm

    Well, normal DOSBox can run Windows 98 so I imagine a fully functional core in RetroArch would be able to run it too.

  21. British_Otaku
    British_Otaku
    January 3, 2016 at 4:29 pm

    And you fashion yourself as a PC fan, but aren’t looking forward to 3D Pinball for Windows – Space Cadet?

    It even has 3D in the title! It was practically made for the 3DS 21 years ago.

  22. Richard Miller
    Richard Miller
    January 3, 2016 at 4:45 pm

    I was never a pinball kind of guy.

  23. Megalegacy .
    Megalegacy .
    January 3, 2016 at 5:15 pm

    No problem.
    Yes, they are two different people. The person who made the exploit that’s responsible for this (and many other things) is named smealum, and the person who made Windows 95 run on a New 3DS is named shutterbug2000. The only thing they share in common is that they use the same hack, but a lot of people use the hacks, so yeah.

  24. DizzyGear
    DizzyGear
    January 4, 2016 at 12:16 pm

    Sounds like more hassle than its worth to be honest when you can just buy a mini PC like a Gigabyte Brix for about the same price that runs circles around a PS4 specwise and has the added benefit of being able to run Windows.

  25. qchto
    qchto
    January 4, 2016 at 1:17 pm

    Of course it will be a hassle in the beginning, as any other way to load homebrew is. But while it may take some time to get drivers properly working, the difference is that the software is already there and any PS4 user may become interested into trying it out once the process is standardized and get a fully functional PC pratically for free.

    It may not be appealing now, but seeing how wide the PS4 userbase already is and how popular the PC in the living room is becoming, I’m willing to bet that if his idea gains steam (no pun intended) it will provide a good influx of “ascensions” to the “PC master race”.

  26. DizzyGear
    DizzyGear
    January 4, 2016 at 4:31 pm

    The problem is Sony will not sit still and let this happen. Queue lots of “stability updates” (and therefor newer PS4 games that wont run on older expoitable firmware) and banned consoles that lose PSN access when the network detects its modded. Or in the worst case a banned PSN account and lose access to your purchased content.
    And while i admire your optimism. Keep in mind that the average joe who buys a console bought it because they want something that ‘just works’ and is not tech savy enough to mod one without bricking it.

  27. qchto
    qchto
    January 4, 2016 at 6:55 pm

    While you’re right about sony policies, there has been a lot of advances in how to safely (and legally) bypass a bootloader, and the PS4 being an x86 machine enabled (thus making posible to get linux running on it right now to reverse engineer the drivers themselves) will only accelerate de process on find a way to dualboot (which is all there is needed to legally keep the property of your machine and use it at will while also legally using only sony OrbisOS to connect to the PSN)..

    But even if that takes too long, just imagine the posibility in the future (probably when a PS5 appears on the horizon) to transform a PS4 into a totally open and by then still supported personal server / media center / low level gaming pc AND a PS4..