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COULD HAVE BEEN A CONTENDER -- 3DO

 

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You sound vaguely familiar, something to do with video games I seem to remember?

 

Not so fast, Iím not dead yet, I still have a loyal following here and abroad, though I admit market domination is an unlikely prospect

 

So are you a video games console or not?

 

Yes, and five years ago I was the great white hope, a powerful new concept in optical disc-based multimedia entertainment, backed by some of the most powerful names in the business

 

Thatís right, something to do with Panasonic wasnít it?

 

Yes, and no; 3DO was the brainchild of the 3DO Company. Panasonic have a licence to manufacture 3DO products, other companies producing consoles or holding licences include Sanyo, Samsung, Goldstar, Toshiba and AT&T, though not all of them did, and only Panasonic launched a system in the UK.

 

So what does 3DO stand for?

 

Opinions vary, some say it means three dollars only, which was the disc licence fee payable to the 3DO Company. Others contend its something to do with three-dimensional objects, but my favourite explanation is that itís the third Ďde ohí after video and audio, geddit?

 

Yes, unfortunately, so tell me your story, and how did you get to become just a contender?

 

Cast your mind back four years, before Nintendo N64, Sega Saturn the dratted Sony Playstation and fast, cheap PCs. At that times video games consoles were riding high and there was a demand for faster, more demanding action titles. 3DO used a fast 32-bit RISC processor, it could handle up to 8 controllers, 3DO consoles could play audio CDs, Photo CDs and Video CDs, with a plug-in MPEG cartridge

 

Yes, yes, but what went wrong?

 

The timing was bad, CD-i was coming onto the market, causing real consumer confusion in Europe, the cost of PCs was just beginning to fall, and rumours were beginning to circulate that Sega, Nintendo, who already had all the best games and characters something pretty spectacular up their sleeves. At about that time Sony were hinting they were hoping to be a big player in the games market and the lack of backing from other companies meant sales were poor.

 

Gone but not forgotten?

 

Certainly, and as I  have said I still have many loyal fans but if Iím realistic I have to acknowledge that Iím on a one-way trip to that great video games arcade in the sky. The supply of software titles has dwindled and my once lightning fast processor and smooth graphics are being left far behindÖ

 

 

WIDESCREEN TVS FOR GROUP TEST

 

JVC                 AV-32WP

Hitachi            C32D2TNB

Panasonic            still waiting on the buggers, will phone thru asap

Philips             32PW9763                 

Sanyo              28WP1

Sony                KV-32FD1

 

---end---

 

„R. Maybury 1998 0204

 

 

 

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