292: My Favorite Mistake

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My Favorite Mistake

Being a fan of a successful console is easy, but staying dedicated to a complete failure takes true commitment.

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Oh, my beloved 3D0! I remember saving up as much of my allowance as possible, and my parents still (bless them) chipped in to knock down that ridiculous price-tag. Games like Killing Time, Road Rash, Shock Wave... even that game show "Twisted" was pretty fun... got me through those formative technological years. I loved this article. I was right there with you, watching console games grow up along side me. Great read!

Susan Arendt:
Launched in 1993 for the sky-high price of $699, the "Interactive Multiplayer" was meant to revolutionize your living room by letting you play games, listen to CDs, view photo CDs, and - maybe some day - let you watch movies all from one console,

So that's where Sony got their pricing and marketing strategy for this generation.

Also, saying that I knew about the 3DO from it's time makes me feel like some sort of historian with glasses and a tweed jacket with leather elbow patches. Maybe if I get a satchel I can be like that other type of history expert.

I still regret missing my chance to pick one up a few years back. $100 CDN. With 5 games.

BAH! Curse you Susan for bringing back those memories!

Moriarty70:

Susan Arendt:
Launched in 1993 for the sky-high price of $699, the "Interactive Multiplayer" was meant to revolutionize your living room by letting you play games, listen to CDs, view photo CDs, and - maybe some day - let you watch movies all from one console,

So that's where Sony got their pricing and marketing strategy for this generation.

Also, saying that I knew about the 3DO from it's time makes me feel like some sort of historian with glasses and a tweed jacket with leather elbow patches. Maybe if I get a satchel I can be like that other type of history expert.

The similarities are a bit uncanny, yes. Of course, the PS3 went on to be a success whereas the 3DO most certainly didn't, but the similarities are definitely there.

Back in Brazil, it became popular for game rental stores to, besides renting games, allowing players to play with their systems. You'd pay a relatively small fee to play game X in System Z for Y time period at their store. 3DO was a popular choice there since it was big and new and too expensive for anyone to own. That and the Jaguar.

I think they had a 2 player 2D fighter I really liked. Some little old man who transformed into a big giant guy comes to mind... Memory is fuzzy. And it could have been the Jaguar. It was FUN though...

Susan Arendt:
The similarities are a bit uncanny, yes. Of course, the PS3 went on to be a success whereas the 3DO most certainly didn't, but the similarities are definitely there.

Of course there's some differences with success levels. And even with the similarities I would never imply the Sony executives took all the upper managment of the 3DO team and cut their heads off, absorbing their knowledge and power and integrating it with their own in some weird synergy quickening.

I wouldn't imply it, but damn it's fun to think of.

Hilarious article, Susan. I was in college at the time of the 3DO, and working at an EB. That was the Year of the Failed Consoles - Atari Jaguar, Philips... what was it called? CDS? 3DI?

My personal 3DO memory is of the day I was minding my business at work an an enraged mother came in to complain about Night Trap. As if I'd made the game. I think she honestly believed that the people who worked retail software made games.

Do you still have your 3DO? You should hook that bad boy up and kill some ducks.

Killing Time scared the living crap out of me as a kid... I'm glad to know I'm not the only person who's ever heard of it :D

You're probably the only person I know who was a Mac User in the 90's.

Although.....no wait, I had an uncle who had one of those old colorful CRT-shaped Mac's. I remember staring at it for roughly 20 minutes, trying to figure out how this big, goofy, green monitor was working with no discernible CPU attached to it.

Anyway, Great article Susan. :)

I loved the article, it reminded me of my valiant quest for a 486.

It was an interesting time to be a gamer, when thrilling new technological possiblities opened up and game designers were stuck with the task of figuring out what exactly you could do with them. FMV games with actual actors you'd heard of granted a sort of legitimacy to gaming, however weird those games and casts were in retrospect. 3D graphics you might actually want to look at. New experiences that simply weren't possible the year before.

I so wish I could go back to the 1990s.

I think one of the main issues with the 3D0's sales was brand awareness. When it was out, the only reason why I knew it existed was because it was advertised in a few magazines I subscribed to, and even then I thought it was the name of a third-party developer.

I'm sure it had a good run, but it went the same path that the NeoGeo did, among other failed experiments from non-Nintendo companies.

Yes, the 3DO. I owned one, due to a series of weird circumstances. The best thing is that it came with good games (that my father picked somewhat at random, he never knew much about videogames), especially Star Control 2. The fully voiced encounters were incredible, as was the sense of exploring space.

BTW, although there was a PC version of Star Control 2 before the 3DO version, it had poorer graphics and didn't have voice, so people ported the 3DO version for the PC some years ago. I replayed it again last year, and it still is a great game. The PC port of the 3DO version is known as The Ur-Quan Masters.

Also, Gex and Road Rash. I had played Road Rash on the Genesis, but the 3DO version had a cool soundtrack.

All in all, it was a good system to have between the Genesis and the Playstation, which I only did get sometime after launch and some price drops.

msakey:
Hilarious article, Susan. I was in college at the time of the 3DO, and working at an EB. That was the Year of the Failed Consoles - Atari Jaguar, Philips... what was it called? CDS? 3DI?

My personal 3DO memory is of the day I was minding my business at work an an enraged mother came in to complain about Night Trap. As if I'd made the game. I think she honestly believed that the people who worked retail software made games.

Do you still have your 3DO? You should hook that bad boy up and kill some ducks.

Alas, no, I had to abandon it when I moved to North Carolina. I wouldn't mind picking one up, along with Twisted, Gex (loved that game), Killing Time, and The Horde.

Tried one at MagFest, it was pretty sweet. Plus it had Plumbers Don't Wear Ties, which I've been wanting to play since AVGN reviewed it.

I'd kind of like to think of myself as at least slightly knowledgeable on failed gaming systems of the early to mid 1990's.

The Jaguar, the 3DO, the Virtual Boy, and the Saturn.

Now that I look at the list, I realize that only one of those companies still makes gaming hardware.

Susan Arendt:
My Favorite Mistake

Being a fan of a successful console is easy, but staying dedicated to a complete failure takes true commitment.

Read Full Article

I'm very sorry that you choose the 11th hour as your object of desire. The 7th guest was a great title, but 11th hour was a big piece of buggy crap.

Susan Arendt:

msakey:
Hilarious article, Susan. I was in college at the time of the 3DO, and working at an EB. That was the Year of the Failed Consoles - Atari Jaguar, Philips... what was it called? CDS? 3DI?

My personal 3DO memory is of the day I was minding my business at work an an enraged mother came in to complain about Night Trap. As if I'd made the game. I think she honestly believed that the people who worked retail software made games.

Do you still have your 3DO? You should hook that bad boy up and kill some ducks.

Alas, no, I had to abandon it when I moved to North Carolina. I wouldn't mind picking one up, along with Twisted, Gex (loved that game), Killing Time, and The Horde.

I think the real question is, did you ever get to play The 11th Hour after all that? I know it was eventually released on Mac.

Edit: fixing italics tags

I'm kind of like that about the 32X for the Sega Genesis. Granted, I was a kid, so I'd never heard of it until my parents brought one home for me and my brother one day. And I don't think we got any games for it aside from the few we got with it that day. And I only remember 2 of them now (some racing game which I wasn't really good at but kept playing anyway) and Knuckles Chaotix. But I remember loving that damn thing anyway.

The Neo Geo was my great white whale when I was younger, with Samurai Shodown being the title I lusted after. But the $400+ pricetag was insurmountable, especially when I got a used SNES and handful of games for $120 instead, then graduated to computer and Playstation.

bojac6:

Susan Arendt:

msakey:
Hilarious article, Susan. I was in college at the time of the 3DO, and working at an EB. That was the Year of the Failed Consoles - Atari Jaguar, Philips... what was it called? CDS? 3DI?

My personal 3DO memory is of the day I was minding my business at work an an enraged mother came in to complain about Night Trap. As if I'd made the game. I think she honestly believed that the people who worked retail software made games.

Do you still have your 3DO? You should hook that bad boy up and kill some ducks.

Alas, no, I had to abandon it when I moved to North Carolina. I wouldn't mind picking one up, along with Twisted, Gex (loved that game), Killing Time, and The Horde.

I think the real question is, did you ever get to play The 11th Hour after all that? I know it was eventually released on Mac.

Edit: fixing italics tags

You know, I think I did, but it kept crashing so I just finally gave up.

By the way, for those who are curious, way back when, if you worked in publishing, you worked on a Mac, period, the end. PCs were simply unheard of in that industry. Photoshop, Quark, Pagemaker, everything you needed to put a publication together was originally designed for Macs. Of course, this is also back in the days of Jazz drives and actual paste-up, too. It was a technological marvel when we could start backing up issues by burning CDs.

Susan, at least you didn't buy a 3DO dev kit. I didn't either, but a co-worker and good friend of mine at the time did.

It was the most expensive PC I will probably ever see, and all it ever really did was play Super Wing Commander. SO not worth ~$3000 1993 dollars.

(Here's what a Mac-hosted 3DO dev kit looked like: http://cgi.ebay.com/RARE-PANASONIC-APPLE-3DO-M2-DEVELOPMENT-FZ-DR21-SYSTEM-/220575901246?pt=LH_DefaultDomain_0&hash=item335b59263e)

Killing Time was amazing!

I was always creeped out by the "Here Boy" shouted out but the hunters, signaling that soon you were about to be attacked by dogs-from-nowhere.

Also, no matter how many times I heard it, I always think the apparitions say "shoot me," despite EVERYONE telling me they say "help me."

Thanks for the trip down nostalgia lane.

SaintWaldo:
Susan, at least you didn't buy a 3DO dev kit. I didn't either, but a co-worker and good friend of mine at the time did.

It was the most expensive PC I will probably ever see, and all it ever really did was play Super Wing Commander. SO not worth ~$3000 1993 dollars.

(Here's what a Mac-hosted 3DO dev kit looked like: http://cgi.ebay.com/RARE-PANASONIC-APPLE-3DO-M2-DEVELOPMENT-FZ-DR21-SYSTEM-/220575901246?pt=LH_DefaultDomain_0&hash=item335b59263e)

that's not a 3DO dev kit by the way, that's even more valuable.

Its a dev kit for a panasonic M2 which is the successor to the 3DO, which sadly got cancelled at the last minute (M2 prototypes do actually work, and you can go on the menu screen and everything).

Here's a video of some guy who put a m2 prototype card into his mac, and was able to emulate it.

Dev kits and M2 prototype consoles now fetch for crazy prices, even despite of no actual physical games available for it.

Some people have got their hands on some early Tech demo's which work for the debug system, but alas nothing really noteworthy.

Also the game D2, was planned to be released on the M2, but the game shifted development to the Dreamcast when the console was canned.

Don't ask me why i know all this, i just research video games far too much.

Great article, reminds me of all my gaming mistakes... like talking my dad into getting us a Uforce.

The early '90s was a great time for computer games. My focus was strongly there so sadly I missed most of the 'failed' systems. I did have a Super Nintendo that I bought with my own money but I am glad we had that 486. So much good stuff.

I feel like I did miss something with the 3DO but I got tons of games instead.

Susan Arendt:

Moriarty70:

Susan Arendt:
Launched in 1993 for the sky-high price of $699, the "Interactive Multiplayer" was meant to revolutionize your living room by letting you play games, listen to CDs, view photo CDs, and - maybe some day - let you watch movies all from one console,

So that's where Sony got their pricing and marketing strategy for this generation.

Also, saying that I knew about the 3DO from it's time makes me feel like some sort of historian with glasses and a tweed jacket with leather elbow patches. Maybe if I get a satchel I can be like that other type of history expert.

The similarities are a bit uncanny, yes. Of course, the PS3 went on to be a success whereas the 3DO most certainly didn't, but the similarities are definitely there.

IDK.
The way you feel about your 3DO, I often feel the same way about my ps3: like it's a big shiny expensive box full of potential that will never be met.
It may not be a complete failure, but I'm certainly disappointed in the support it gets.

vxicepickxv:
I'd kind of like to think of myself as at least slightly knowledgeable on failed gaming systems of the early to mid 1990's.

The Jaguar, the 3DO, the Virtual Boy, and the Saturn.

Now that I look at the list, I realize that only one of those companies still makes gaming hardware.

How can you compare the Saturn with that terrible trio?. Thereīs a big difference between obscure and bad.
Itīs like saying that the NEOGEO or the DUO were failed gaming systems.

I bought a 3DO just to play SSF2 turbo and Samurai Shodown. After that, I played some great fighter gems (key on sarcasm here) such as Sailor moon and Yu Yu hakusho... but I also played a strange title called Strahl...anyway, a couple of years later, I traded my 3DO for a bunch of N64 games, to this day, Iīm still missing that big black piece of crap.

I personally would kill for a 3DO or a jaguar, but getting those two in the wild would be a huge stroke of luck, it's even hard just to find a Dreamcast and Saturn in the wild let alone that.

Jazoni89:

SaintWaldo:
snip

that's not a 3DO dev kit by the way, that's even more valuable.

Yeah, I know, but it's the closest thing I could find. The actual dev box was a full tower AT case with 3 or 4 huge (and obviously awesome) 3-pole chrome toggles on the front. That M2 is also awesome because it's in a Quadra. ;)

Thanks for the backgrounder, though. I truly enjoyed being fully corrected here. That stuff takes me back to the go-go CD-ROM Nineties so hard.

Susan Arendt:
It was big, ugly, and not nearly as amazing as I thought

I've been described the same way.

But seriously, I find it funny we live in a time now where a good segment of the adult population won't know about things like the 3DO. It doesn't make me feel like a historian, it just makes me feel old. In any event it was a nice article. I never owned a 3DO but the local FEDCO was pretty lenient about letting me stand all day playing it. In retrospect maybe the system would have done that much better if people with money were allowed to play it but that didn't bother me at the time, I was only a kid of 12 or so and didn't think about such things. I never beat Killing Time, it scared the heck out of me, but I did manage to beat a lot of games from The Horde to Way of the Warrior. The Horde was my absolute favorite and I'm so happy you mentioned it. I seriously don't know why there's never been a re-release of that game or a spiritual sequel.

As another marker of my age, I now have a Sheryl Crow song stuck in my head.

Moriarty70:
Of course there's some differences with success levels. And even with the similarities I would never imply the Sony executives took all the upper managment of the 3DO team and cut their heads off, absorbing their knowledge and power and integrating it with their own in some weird synergy quickening.

I wouldn't imply it, but damn it's fun to think of.

High five for using the word "Quickening". Man I was actually looking forward to that Highlander game.

ah yes reminds me of when i got my only failed system the Virtual Boy with its only good game Wario Land

god i love that system

I believe I still have my Saturn in a box in the attic. The wife always questions my packrat nature, but I never throw anything away related to gaming. It's in the same box with my Genesis / Sega CD / 32X (Doom anyone?). We had a Jaguar in our office and played the crap out of Alien v. Predator. Sad to see what Sony did to all those other companies.

Surprisingly enough, looking through all of my boxes of old hardware, I missed the 3D0 experience, but I think that is because my boss at the time had one.

Dammit! Why no love for Star Control 2?

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