If you’re nostalgic for the days of MS Paint and Internet Explorer 1.0, one aficionado has discovered a method to run Windows 95 on your Nintendo 3DS. In a post to a Game Boy forum, the retronaut posted screenshots and a video showing Windows 95 booting up and running on the handheld console.
“Why did I do it?” said the hacker, who goes by the name Shutterbug2000. “Well, I just really like to program, and I find it fun to see if a system can do what it was never made to do.”
Pressed for details by other posters on the forum, Shutterbug2000 said that he or she had done it using an x86 emulator to run Windows 95, which runs on top of MS-DOS as a sort of graphical shell.
Shutterbug2000 uploaded a YouTube video that shows a Nintendo 3DS displaying the cloudy Windows 95 boot screen and running Scandisk, but that ends before the desktop appears.
The incomplete video led some readers to question the method’s veracity, so Shutterbug2000 uploaded the code needed for other users to run Windows 95 on their own 3DS units. Other posters verified that it worked for them as well.
For the moment, that strategy leaves certain features lacking. Some posters complained about poor frame rates and performance. Even more fundamentally, at press time nobody on the thread had figured out how to map the 3DS’s touch screen to Windows 95’s mouse cursor—a crucial feature in Windows 95’s graphical environment.