Memories of 3DO

Danny Brown

In 1993, electronics giant Panasonic released the 3DO Interactive Multiplayer, more commonly referred to as just 3DO. At the time, this 32-bit gaming console was a huge leap over competing consoles like the SEGA Genesis and Super Nintendo, both 16-bit machines. Using CD-ROM instead of cartridges, and positioning itself as a true multimedia component for your home entertainment set-up, the 3DO was, in many ways, ahead of its time. Although it was always doomed to fail, it remains a beloved part of video game history for many. In Memories of 3DO, host Danny Brown takes you on a journey looking back at the ups and - ultimately - downs of the hardware, the games, and why it was a gaming system that should have shone had things gone slightly differently. This podcast uses the following third-party services for analysis: Podtrac - https://analytics.podtrac.com/privacy-policy-gdrp

The Genesis of the 3DO
20-11-2021
The Genesis of the 3DO
In the early 90's, console gaming was at its 16 bit peak. Both SEGA's Genesis and the Super Nintendo owned the marketplace, while other systems like the Neo-Geo offered alternatives for the hardcore gamer. But the industry was changing. While these consoles were hugely successful, they still ran on cartridges, and this limited what the consoles could do. CD-Rom was also making inroads, with systems like the CD-i from Philips and Sony showing what could be done with the disc format. I'll never forget playing the Palm Springs Open golf game and thinking, wow, this is the future. Despite being co-developed with Sony, though, the CD-i never really took off, hampered by a slow processor and an expensive price tag. With the next generation of consoles from SEGA and Nintendo still a way off, there was a gap for a new machine to go up against the Super Nintendo and Genesis, and lead the charge for the CD revolution. Enter the 3DO. In the first episode of Memories of 3DO, learn about the gaming legends behind the system, and how a new challenger to SEGA and Nintendo's dominance came from the unlikeliest of sources. Get involved: (Support the show) (Follow Danny on Twitter) My equipment: (Electro-Voice RE320) (Motu M2 Audio Interface) (Denon DJ HP-1100 Over Ear Headphones) (Podcast Pro Boom Arm by Accu-Lite and O.C. White) Recommended resources: (Captivate.fm) (Aweber email marketing) (RiversideFM remote interviewing) (My Podcast Reviews) This podcast uses the following third-party services for analysis: Podtrac -
Building the 3DO Partner Network
20-11-2021
Building the 3DO Partner Network
Throughout 1992 and early 1993, the plans behind the 3DO continued to take shape. Founder Trip Hawkins was using his undisputed influence and reputation in the gaming industry to get partners excited about the console. This included both hardware and and game developers. Since the hardware would be licensed, it meant any electronics manufacturer that were interested in being part of this new era of gaming could produce and sell their own version, and pay a royalty to the 3DO company for this. It led to respected names like Panasonic, Goldstar (who became LG), Samsung, Toshiba, and Sanyo signing up to the project (although ultimately only Panasonic, Goldstar and Sanyo would manufacture units). Meanwhile, game developers were excited about the partnership opportunities. The CD format meant more memory to explore new ideas on, while the 32-bit engine meant a huge upgrade in graphics and sound. Developers like Electronic Arts, fighting game legends SNK, iD (makers of Wolfenstein and Doom), and Capcom all signed up, with promises to bring true next level versions of their popular games to the system.  Electronic Arts in particular put their full weight behind the project, in no small way thanks to their relationship with Trip Hawkins. Indeed, they even marketed the partnership with the slogan, "EA is 3DO, 3DO is EA" With an eager gaming press showering this upcoming console with praise, gamers began to count down the days when the system would launch. But problems were starting to arise behind the scenes... Get involved: (Support the show) (Follow Danny on Twitter) My equipment: (Electro-Voice RE320) (Motu M2 Audio Interface) (Denon DJ HP-1100 Over Ear Headphones) (Podcast Pro Boom Arm by Accu-Lite and O.C. White) Recommended resources: (Captivate.fm) (Aweber email marketing) (RiversideFM remote interviewing) (My Podcast Reviews) This podcast uses the following third-party services for analysis: Podtrac -
The 3DO Hits America and Japan Awaits
06-12-2021
The 3DO Hits America and Japan Awaits
Leading up to its North American launch in October 1993, while the 3DO still had problems (including a much-reduced launch line up due to developers getting to grips with the new hardware), excitement was still growing. Multimedia was the future, as multiple video games and entertainment magazines were loudly screaming from their pages. News programmes were also talking about a future where a set-top box would be the hub of your entertainment set-up: from TV to movies, sports, videogames, and more. As such, 3DO was ideally placed to be at the forefront of this next wave. However, as the months played down, it became clear that the launch wasn't going to be everything 3DO needed it to be. Because of the hardware and chips being used, the cost of the console was going to come in at an astronomical $700 (although manufacturers could set their own price, which would see a reduction soon after launch). There was also only one game available, Crash 'n' Burn from Crystal Dynamics. While it wasn't a terrible game, it was in no way an example of the jaw-dropping graphics gamers had been promised in the months leading up to the launch. However, Trip Hawkins and his partners were nothing if not savvy marketers, and they kept interest in the system piqued over the holiday period. Sneak peaks and trailers of the games to come looked to show 3DO owners they had made the right choice, as did upcoming accessories like the modem and expandable memory. And there was also the bonus of a surprise success in an unexpected market... Get involved: (Support the show) (Follow Danny on Twitter) My equipment: (Electro-Voice RE320) (Motu M2 Audio Interface) (Denon DJ HP-1100 Over Ear Headphones) (Podcast Pro Boom Arm by Accu-Lite and O.C. White) Recommended resources: (Captivate.fm) (Aweber email marketing) (Boomcaster remote interviewing) (My Podcast Reviews) This podcast uses the following third-party services for analysis: Podtrac -
1995: A Banner or Swan Song Year for 3DO?
30-01-2022
1995: A Banner or Swan Song Year for 3DO?
If 1994 was the year that the 3DO finally got the quality games that had offered the promise the machine held, 1995 was when it truly solidified its reputation as a serious piece of kit. Owners of the system were treated to excellent games like: Killing Time, a photo-realistic take on the first person shooting game Return Fire, an excellent multiplayer war game, where vehicles and strategy played a huge part Slam 'n' Jam, an awesome and super fun basketball game BattleSport, a futuristic sports battle game, and a forerunner to this generation's Rocket League Space Hulk: Vengeance, a hugely atmospheric shooter based on the popular board game and Demolition Man, a movie tie in that offered scenes from the Sylvester Stallone movie alongside a multi-genre platformer.  These were just some of the games that helped the 3DO company enjoy their best sales since launch. Coupled with the ongoing teases of the upcoming 64-bit upgrade, the M2, and other hardware partners releasing versions of the console, 1995 looked as if it was going to be a banner year for the machine. However, there were storm clouds on the horizon, from both a gaming and a financial viewpoint. On the gaming front, while Sega had released the Saturn at the end of 1994, it was industry newcomer Sony who was making the biggest noise with their PlayStation, also released in Japan at the end of 1994. Back at the 3DO company, despite the excellent games lineup the company published throughout the year, it was clear things weren't looking good. The Sega Saturn and the Sony PlayStation had essentially stalled sales of the 3DO console, and the licensing model that the 3DO company hoped would change things in the industry hadn't made the impact the company hoped for. Get involved: (Support the show) (Follow Danny on Twitter) My equipment: (Electro-Voice RE320) (Motu M2 Audio Interface) (Denon DJ HP-1100 Over Ear Headphones) (Podcast Pro Boom Arm by Accu-Lite and O.C. White) Recommended resources: (Captivate.fm) (Aweber email marketing) (Accusonus audio plugins) (Boomcaster remote interviewing) (My Podcast Reviews) (Reel.so audiogram creator) This podcast uses the following third-party services for analysis: Podtrac -