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The 3DO Story

In 1991, Trip Hawkins left the software company he founded, Electronic Arts, to seek out new challenges in the world of hardware design and marketing; more specifically, to create a new, highly advanced multi-media console, the 3DO Interactive Multiplayer. And the 3DO console was certainly ahead of its time. It had a 32-bit processor and used CD-ROMs as its primary media for software, as well as having internal memory for saving games. Another interesting idea that the 3DO utilized was daisy-chaining controllers together. The console itself only possessed one controller port, but controllers could be attached to one another to allow for multiplayer games. Aside from games, the 3DO console was able to play Audio CDs, Photograph CDs, CD+Gs, and with the addition of an M-PEG upgrade, video CDs.

Panasonic was the first company to market with the new 3DO console, the FZ-1 R.E.A.L 3D0 Interactive, in 1993, quickly followed by Goldstar. Unfortunately for the 3DO, its appearance at market was accompanied by a huge price tag. Initially, the 3DO was priced at over $700.00 USD, an extremely high amount of money at the time, especially when other game systems could be purchased for much, much less. Consumers never recovered from the initial sticker shock, and the 3DO console never sold very well, always carrying with it the reputation of being unaffordable. The liberal development polices of the 3DO company didn't help things either. Almost anyone could develop almost anything for the console, and as a result, large amounts of worthless titles were soon swarming the shelves of game stores and making it difficult for the casual gamer to find a quality 3DO software title. There are some out there, but there are a lot to avoid.

The final nail in the 3DO console's coffin came when the much-anticipated M-2 upgrade never materialized. It was to make the 3DO a 64-bit machine, capable of running software that would leave the Playstation in the dust, but instead of releasing this technology to the 3DO owners, as promised, it was sold off, never to see the light of day in a game console. 3DO console owners were left high and dry, and in 1996, the 3DO company ceased support of the console and transitioned into a software developer.

3DO Review Index

Road Rash by the Captain.

Copyright 2004-2009 Ronnie Richardson. All rights reserved.