Developer shutterbug2000 demoed Windows 95 running on a 3DS, yesterday. This is achieved by running a windows 95 image file from the DOS Emulator DosBox, on the 3DS.
Windows 95 on the 3DS – compatible with N3DS only?
The port takes a while to start for now and doesn’t do let you do much for now. But once things are shaping up and a proper on-screen-keyboard is added to the build, this could be used to run old windows 95 games. Anybody who’s old enough to have used windows 95 though will remember that most games from this era actually ran on DOS itself rather than Windows 95. It’s also likely that the layers of emulation involved here could mean no game will ever be playable through this.
Nonetheless, this is great to see such boiling activity on the 3DS scene.
People have mentioned that the Dosbox port used here does not run on the O3DS, only on he N3DS. Some people have claimed this could be because of lack of RAM on the O3DS: these claims are complete BS. Windows 95 used to run on the PSP (through dosbox again. update: the DOS emulator running on the PSP was actually Bochs, thanks to everyone who corrected me on this) with its 24MB of Ram, and the minimum RAM requirements for Windows 95 is 4MB. The reason this does not run on O3DS has nothing to do with available RAM, and people are already looking into fixing this.
Win 95 on 3DS – How it was achieved
Windows 95 booting on the 3DS
To achieve this magic, Shutterbug2000 ported the libretro dosbox core to the 3DS. Confused? To sum it up, the 3DS is running Retroarch (a popular meta-emulator), itself running the DosBox module (a popular DOS emulator) which then starts windows 95 (a popular GUI for DOS :P).
So, in other words, Shutterbug2000 made Dosbox compatible with the 3DS by tweaking the dosbox Retroarch module, and added a startup script to automatically run windows 95.
The sources for shutterbug2000’s changes can be found here. The actual code changes (the diff) from the original libretro dosbox core can be found here.
Windows 95 for 3DS – Download
You can download the files to run Win 95 on the 3DS here. Keep in mind that this is an early build, and more recent files might be found in the days to come on the original thread. you’ll also need an image of Windows 95, which is not provided in the release build for copyright reasons.
Windows 95 on the 3DS – Screenshot by @RetroRampage37