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The 3DO Interactive Multiplayer was a game console released in 1993 with the first models released by Panasonic and other models released by other companies in 1994

The 3DO was created by EA founder Trip Hawkins, who founded the 3DO Company in 1991. Game publishers only had to pay a $3 royalty rate fee per game, unlike Nintendo and Sega that required higher royalty fees for the games.

There are four known models of the 3DO: the FZ-1 (pictured), the FZ-10, the GoldStar, and the Sanyo TRY (Japan only).

Why it Flopped

  1. False Advertising: It had a high price of $699 at launch time (just over $1,200 in modern money), though Trip claimed that the price at launch was $599, but then stated that the original launch was $699 and retailers did not sell it at that price.
  2. The real reason why the 3DO system was priced at $700 was because the companies working with 3DO were not manufacturing it, so they wanted to make back their money meaning the 3DO had to be priced at $700.
  3. Its advertising directly insulted the Super Nintendo and Sega Genesis by calling them "kid's toys" and claimed that the 3DO was "the Best Gaming Console". Ironically, it was getting killed by both consoles it claimed superiority over.
  4. The $3 royalty rate-per-game was well-written on paper, as this basically could allow anyone to create a game for the system with no quality control. This led to the creation of Plumbers Don't Wear Ties, which ended up contributing to the demise of the 3DO.
  5. While the 3DO did indeed have good games in its library (such as the 3DO port of Wolfenstein 3D), it heavily focused on FMV-style games which were a fad at the time and lacked real interactivity with gamers.
  6. The market was over-saturated with other game systems, such as Sega Genesis, Super Nintendo, Atari Jaguar and the Philips CD-i. By the time the Nintendo 64, Sega Saturn and Sony PlayStation came along, the 3DO was finished.
  7. There's only one controller input on the system for all three models. The second controller input is on the first controller, and a cord is used to daisy chain them together.
  8. The North American CD cases use unnecessarily HUGE boxes. Even the Neo-Geo cartridge cases are smaller and they use big cartridges so they have a necessary reason to make their cases huge. The PAL and Japanese games just use regular CD cases, which makes it more passable.

Redeeming Qualities

  1. The cords for the controllers are very long, so you don't have to be next to each other in order to play games.
  2. Introduced the Need For Speed series and Gex games.
  3. Due to the controller ports on controllers as mentioned above, there's no multi-tap required to play multiplayer games.

Reception

The 3DO was awarded "Worst Console Launch of 1993" by Electronic Gaming Monthly. On Yahoo! Games, the 3DO was placed among the top five worst console launches due to its one-game launch lineup and high launch price.

French YouTuber Doc Seven considers this the second worst video game console (made by well-known brands) of all time, along with the Panasonic Q - a hybrid of a DVD player and a Nintendo GameCube.

Models

Trivia

  • "Multiplayer" is as in "plays multiple things" rather than its modern meaning.
  • The 3DO had an unusual rasterizer which rendered using square polygons rather than triangular polygons, leading to some stating it is not truly capable of 3D. Sega appear to have used the 3DO as a reference when designing the Sega Saturn, as it is the only other system ever to use this method.

Videos