Windows 10 on Nintendo Switch? Almost...

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Published by Danny 2 months ago , last updated 2 months ago

There appears to be a growing scene around the concept of getting Windows 10 to run on a Nintendo Switch, something that isn't beyond the realm of possibility now that Microsoft create a SKU of Windows 10 that will run on the Nividia Tegra processor found with the console, and it seems one man is now pretty close to making that dream a reality.

@imbushuo on Twitter, real name Ben, cheekily posted an image to the Windows team and Nintendo asking them if they knew how to fix his issue getting the OS to boot on his console. From what we can see from the image, he's managed to get the console to boot into the Windows 10 setup experience and recovery menus, but has fallen short (as yet) of booting into the OS proper.



It's unlikely either company are thrilled at the prospect of this becoming a possibility, however even if the OS is able to be fully booted on the device, there would be many obsticals in the way that would preclude it from being a practical machine, especially for gaming. Firstly there's not going to be any driver support for touch screens or inputs, or other hardware in the device, and these would need to be reverse engineered and written. More importantly, even if it was able to work with the appropriate drivers in place, because the Nvidia Tegra is an ARM based chip, it won't run traditional x86 / x64 PC games very well at all. 

Surprisingly, the latest versions of Windows 10 to target the ARM platform CAN at least run traditional Win32 PC applications,  that most PC games are compiled as, it is done so via an emulation layer which, while impressive, would add more slow-down to the already pretty tiny specs of the Nintendo Switch, in PC terms.

Still, the prospect of playing Forza Horizon 4 on the go is pretty appealing to yours truly.

Ben says that he still needs to clean up a lot of bugs and add additional ACPI and USB support before he can progress any further, but we'll be watching this one closely.

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