3DO

The 3DO Interactive Multiplayer (most commonly referred to as 'the 3DO') was a line of video game consoles released in 1993 and 1994 by Panasonic, Sanyo and Goldstar. The consoles were manufactured according to specifications created by The 3DO Company, and were originally designed by Dave Needle and RJ Mical of New Technology Group. The system was conceived by entrepreneur and EA Games founder Trip Hawkins.

Despite a highly-promoted launch and a host of cutting-edge technologies, the system's high price ($699.95 USD at release) and an over-saturated console market brought 'the 3DO' to a speedy demise.

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The consoles had very advanced hardware features at the time: an ARM60 32-bit RISC CPU, two custom video co-processors, a custom 16-bit DSP and a custom math coprocessor. They also featured 2 megabytes of DRAM, 1 megabyte of VRAM, and a double speed CD-ROM drive for main storage, Up to 8 controllers could be daisy-chained on the system at once. In addition to special 3DO software, the system was able to play audio CDs (including support for CD+G), view Photo CDs, and Video CDs with an add-on MPEG video card (released in Japan only). However, few titles utilized the console's full potential.

A noteable feature of the console is that it is one of few CD-based consoles that feature neither regional lockout nor copy protection, scoring it points amongst import gamers and software pirates alike, though reports have suggested that the Goldstar model isn't particularly durable when used for either of those purposes.

It was often said that the 3DO software library exhibited many of the worst aspects of home video gaming at the time. This was the dawn of CD-ROM gaming, so cutscenes of pixelated video footage dominated many titles at the expense of good gameplay. The most well-recieved titles were commonly ports of games from other systems, such as Alone in the Dark, Myst, Out of This World, and Star Control II.

Other notable titles include Need for Speed, Jurassic Park Interactive, Crash N' Burn, Slayer, Killing Time, and the first console port of Super Street Fighter II Turbo, which exceeded the original with its CD-quality audio. Game series that started on 3DO by Electronic Arts, Studio 3DO and Crystal Dynamics established themselves on other 32-bit consoles.

In addition to the consoles, a 3DO Blaster ISA peripheral card for PCs which offered all the features of the home console was manufactured by Creative Technology.

The 3DO Company also designed a next-generation console called the M2, which was to use a PowerPC 602 processor, but the company abandoned the console business and sold the technology to Matsushita who never brought the system to the market.

By the early 1990s, the video game market had become overcrowded. Philips, Sega, Nintendo, Commodore, SNK, and Atari each had a video game system on the market. By 1995, most of these systems had fallen out of the loop and were discontinued. Nintendo's SNES and Sega's Mega Drive/Genesis were the most successful systems. Many consider the final blow to be the overwhelming popularity and affordability of the Sony PlayStation, which not only forced out other CD-based systems like the CD-i, but also laid Sega's Saturn to rest by the end of 1998.

Despite heavy promoting on the YTV variety show It's Alive, and the potential expandability behind the 3DO Interactive Multiplayer, third-party support was lacking, and the 3DO system was discontinued in 1995. The 3DO Company then became a software publisher, producing such games as the Army Men franchise, until it filed for bankruptcy and liquidated its assets in 2003.

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Need for Speed

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Revolutionary 3-D graphics Dolby Surround Sound and superbly accurate physics models combine for white knuckle racing in the world's slickest super cars. Choose from eight of the hottest exotic cars, three demanding courses and multiple real time racing views. And relive those bone shaking collisions from any of six instant replay camera angles.

Night Trap

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Real actors. real video. You direct the action! What if you could control your favourite movie? If you were a part of the action? If you made the difference between success and failure, life and death? Night Trap is the first CD ROM that makes you the most important character in a real movie. You direct the action. You control the outcome. Night Trap is 100% continuous live action video, just like a movie. With instaswitch video, it has all the challenge of a video game, but with real people instead of computer generated characters.

Mind Teazzer

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Welcome to Vivid Interactive's world of puzzle gameplay, where your mission is to solve the different puzzles including the game of concentration in varying degrees of difficulty. Once a puzzle is complete, sit back and watch as your vivid girl of choice comes alive in a classic Vivid feature. High quality videos, fantastic graphics and the beautiful women of Vivid make Mind Teazzer a most intense and stimulating game of the senses.

Myst

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Converted from the award winning PC title, Myst thrusts you into an intriguing and beautiful computer generated land. Left alone it's your task to solve the taxing logic puzzles and mystery which enshrouds the complete virtual island. Breathtaking rendered scenery, CD quality sounds effects narrated story and a game save option ensure this is an adventure you'll never want to leave!

Mazer

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The Semag-Resal, a vicious alien race from the Nacirema system, have conquered and invaded the Earth. In order to maintain their rule, they have established numerous military bases manned by combat drones. These bases secretly double as research facilities for the development of human cyborgs. When completed, these cyborgs will be indistinguishable from normal humans, so that they can be used to infiltrate and destroy any remaining pockets of resistance. Scattered bands of rebels are Earths last hope of breaking the Samag rule. As one of the volunteers, your mission is to free the humans stored in stasis at each base and destroy the sentient 'Boss' robot.

Mega Race

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Hi! I'm your MegaHost. Lance Boyle! I'm here to tell you that YOU have been targeted to star in the world's top rated TV show of all time. People stop whatever they're doing to watch MegaRace! They can't fight it. And Mega Race Wants YOU!!!

Lost Files of Sherlock Holmes

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London. In the year of our lord, 1888. A young actress has been brutally murdered in the alley behind the Regency Theatre. Jack the Ripper appears to have struck again. Inspector Lestrade turns to London's most famous detective to provide the proof. He turns to you. Sherlock Holmes.

Kingdom the Far Reaches

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Long time ago in a land of five kingdoms, an amulet known as The Hand was shattered into five pieces and hidden throughout the far Reaches. Dark magic spread over the land and the evil wizard Torlock began his reign of terror. Now the fate of the Five Kingdoms rests on Lathan, the last of the Argent Kings. To restore freedom, he must first seek the shards of the Hand; danger and evil forces await as you guide Lathan on his quest of power and magic.

Killing Time

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There seems to be no way out of this dark, oppressive 3D world of evil. Surrounded by the restless undead, you have to use your mind and your entire arsenal of weapons to penetrate this terrifying secret. Killing Time outdistances all the other labyrinth games! The new streaming technique from 3DO enables non-stop action!

Jurassic Park

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The power is out. the Dinosaurs are loose. and only you stand between the guests and their certain demise! Take your place in the control room and use the computer systems and security cameras to locate those guests and help them to safety. But be careful. So prepare to enter a world of spectacular computer rendered graphics and live action video sequences including scenes from the most popular motion picture of all time. Jurassic Park.

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