3DO M2 dev kit on eBay

Discussion in 'Consoles' started by swaaye, Jun 16, 2006.

  1. swaaye

    swaaye Entirely Suboptimal
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  2. GwymWeepa

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    How powerful was the M2 regarded as being?
     
  3. archie4oz

    archie4oz ea_spouse is H4WT!
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    I've seen one in person before. Never did anything with one though. IIRC ERP may have though...
     
  4. swaaye

    swaaye Entirely Suboptimal
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    It would've been faster than a N64 but slower than Dreamcast. It was pretty beefy.
     
  5. Megadrive1988

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    circa 1994-1995 - 3DO said the M2 was more powerful than SEGA MODEL-2 arcade board that powered
    Daytona USA and Virtua Fighter 2. in some ways, this was true, I suppose.

    circa 1995 - 3DO claimed M2 was 5 times more powerful than Saturn or Playstation,
    then extended that to 7 times more powerful than either Saturn or Playstation.


    circa 1996 - Matsushita at times claimed that M2 was about as powerful as SEGA's MODEL-3 arcade board. this was not true.
    Next Generation magazine correctly said that, what Matsushita was saying, was an exaggeration, and that the truth was closer to.... M2 was more like, 2 to 3 times more powerful than the Nintendo 64, well below Sega Model 3, but still, that 2~3x N64 was pretty damn good.

    some developers said M2 was about twice as powerful as Nintendo 64.

    Next Generation Online, in their impressions of IMSA Racing, said M2 was somewhat more impressive than
    PCs with 3Dfx Voodoo Graphics cards.

    http://www.xent.com/may97/0112.html


    I'm not going to judge the M2 hardware by the Konami arcade games that came out (i.e. Polystars, Battle Tryst ) which kinda look like Namco System12 (re Playstation1+) games.
    maybe those M2 arcade used the single-PowerPC version. or Konami just rushed those games, not really taking advantage of the hardware. (maybe PS1-arcade port jobs? )


    D2 developer Warp said in 1998 that the Dreamcast was 3 to 4 times more powerful than M2. that might've been an understatement since Dreamcast turned out to be very powerful -- DC could do *well* over 3 million textured, lit, fully featured polys/sec. somewhere between 3 and 5 million polygons for Dreamcast. the M2 could manage 500,000 such polys at the very most. but perhaps, only 300,000 fully featured polys/sec, which is about twice that of N64. thus, M2 had more or less, 1/10th the polygon rendering performance of Dreamcast.
    (300K vs 3M or 500k vs 5M) which sits nicely with Nintendo64's ~160,000 fully featured polygons/sec which is about 1/20th Dreamcast's polygon rendering performance. on the other hand, if 3DO was to be believed, M2 could handle 700,000 textured triangles/sec without other features on. that's pretty damn impressive.




    so M2, when all rendering features are turned on, was inbetween the Nintendo 64 and Dreamcast, yes -- but much closer to N64 than Dreamcast in raw performance. Still, the M2 was a much better architecture/chipset, a better machine overall (CD-ROM!) with a better OS than the N64.

    that's my best recap on M2's power.


    now, I'd like to know how powerful the 3DO MX was (M2.5 or M3 ?) a chipset that Nintendo almost used in the successor to the Nintendo 64, before going with ArtX who designed the much more powerful Flipper.

    The MX chipset and team that designed it eventually ended up in Microsoft's hands.
    It would be very interesting to compare the 3DO MX to the Dreamcast.
     
  6. ERP

    ERP Moderator
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    We did some prelim work with it, for it's time it was extremly impressive.
    It was really quite impressive even before they added the second processor. One of the better designed OS's aswell, well ahead of what Sony and Nintendo were offering at the time, some what behind what Dreamcast offered later. No one could really see how they could put it in a box at a reasonable price and in the end they didn't.

    I hated having to work on a Mac though, I threw one of these away a few years ago.....
     
  7. pakotlar

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    I remember seeing pictures of the M2 racing game, and it had round wheels :D. This was pretty cool, considering we were dealing with Virtua Racer on Genesis 32X at the time (first 3d racing game I ever played).
     
  8. kyetech

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    Iremember seeing a demo from what I could remember it was a red coloured prototype sports car on a road that accelarated off.

    But I could have sworn it was pre-rendered and was claimed by the games mags to be a target / concept render, of what to expect. Somwthing we are getting all to familiar with nowadays !
     
  9. Megadrive1988

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    yes, the "Car Demo" of 1995.
    (thanks & credit to zappenduster on assemblergames.com for these images)

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
     
  10. Megadrive1988

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    [​IMG]


    29.9 MB video of it here
    (the guy presenting the video is a little TOO enthused, lol)

    okay, so, the M2 Car Demo was either:

    a.) completely pre-rendered, and what is now commenly called a "render target".
    same difference I think.

    b.) or it was a realtime sequence running on a highend SGI workstation costing tens of thousands of dollors or an SGI visualization system costing a hundred thousand dollars or more. either with much more performance than M2 would ever have.

    It would've taken at least a Dreamcast to pull that Car Demo off in realtime, if not a Gamecube or Xbox.
    Thus, to become realtime & gameplay, it would've needed a console generation beyond M2.
     
  11. ERP

    ERP Moderator
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    It was a render, based on supposed real polygon count targets.
     
  12. Megadrive1988

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    and those supposed real polygon count figures were between 300,000 and 500,000 /sec fully featured with texture, lighting, effects.

    still, IMO, there's no way M2 could've done that in realtime, at least not at that complexity, at that quality, and at that framerate.

    maybe MX could've, though, aye? if not, the then-nextgen consoles, would've.
     
  13. quest55720

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    A little off topic I always heard sega was in talks to buy the M2 tech and that would of been the saturn but lost out last second. If that was true do you think that would of changed history with sega having the m2 hardware?
     
  14. Megadrive1988

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    Sega was indeed in talks with Matsushita regarding the M2 chipset / technology console.

    this was in mid-late 1995 I guess, perhaps upto early 1996. well after the Saturn had launched. the M2 was never going to *be* the Saturn. since Saturn had been in development from 1990-1992, until 1994. which *almost* parallaled the development timeframe of the original 3DO (1989-1990 to 1993). the M2 was developed from around 1992-1993 until around 1996 before being canceled as a game console official in 1997.


    anyway, one proposal was to make M2 an upgrade for the Saturn, and/or to have a combined Saturn-M2 standalone console that could run both formats, including original 3DO games. I guess Sega might've been a 2nd or 3rd party to Matsushita, with sega being the main provider of top-quality games.


    Sega ultimately decided that the M2, while good, was not the technology it wanted, being that M2 was only 2 to 3 times stronger than Nintendo 64.



    http://tinyurl.com/c5rk7
    after concidering some other options (Nvidia and Lockheed Real3D) Sega turned to Videologic and 3Dfx , for each of their 2nd generation technolgies (3Dfx Banshee or Voodoo2 and Videologic's Highlander/PowerVR2) which were both well beyond M2.



    I would say though, that the M2 would've been an exellent system for Sega to quickly replace the Saturn with in 1996. Sega with M2 could've gone head to head against Nintendo 64 launch (and Sony) with a more powerful machine than either. the M2 could've handled Sega Model2 arcade games pretty well (with some upgrades even) plus, the M2 could've even handled, downgraded (but reasonable) Model3 arcade translations. the Saturn and M2 were both dual-CPU machines, but the M2 implemented dual CPUs far, far, far better than Saturn did. programming for M2 would've been, not easy, but infinitally better than on Saturn. especially since M2 had a proper 3D polygon graphics rendering system, unlike the Saturn.

    however, Sega decided to strike back, not in 1996 with M2, but in 1998-1999 with a next-gen system, the PowerVR2-based Dreamcast.
     
  15. Fox5

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    Was 3dfx's proposed tech just a banshee or voodoo2? I remember hearing it would be about performance of a banshee, but with a more advanced feature set (I remember hearing rumors that put it at rampage's feature set but minus its t&l chip, the sage), but was scrapped/pushed back when the deal fell through and 3dfx just kept reworking the voodoo architecture instead.

    Seems like it would have been a bit too soon. 32x was 1994, Saturn was 1995, I don't think rushing out another system would have done sega well. Even dreamcast was only accepted on the market because saturn had been stone dead for quite a while, a dreamcast in 1998 in America may have been deemed too early by the public. (the saturn was still too much in the public eye in 1998, sega was somewhat disassociated with its failure by 1999) At the very least, if they were going to bring out systems that close together (where they'd be competing with each other!) they'd at least have to include backwards compatibility. I think a 2 year console cycle could work in that case, but it would take away the standardization benefits of consoles.
     
  16. Megadrive1988

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    initial reports in spring/summer 1997 said the 3Dfx chip for Sega would be a Banshee derivative. years later, it was sort of semi concluded that the chip was some sort of Banshee2 which would essentially be a Voodoo3, or pre-Voodoo3, or lower end Voodoo3. whatever the case, Voodoo 1, 2, Banshee and Banshee2/Voodoo3 all shared the same architecture, just used different configurations of PixelFX and TexelFX units, plus a few features here an there added to each new chip.


    if you read the Next Generation magazine and TotalGames.net web articles, there was division within Sega about launching Saturn altogether. and/or replacing it quickly with a competent machine such as one based around Lockheed Real3D or 3DO M2 graphics, both of which would've also used PowerPC CPU(s).

    Next Generation
    http://img122.imageshack.us/img122/258/saturn2lmc2crop1033x13522rk.th.jpg

    TotalGames.net

    Mars / 32X should NEVER have been released. Saturn's release is questionable, but lets go with it. Saturn came out in late 1994 (Japan) and early 1995 (U.S.)... by late 1996 Sega could have and should have come out with either an upgrade for the Saturn, or a complete replacement, using either 3DO M2 or Lockheed Martin Real3D graphics and PowerPC. a low-cost machine using either could've been made with greater than Model2 arcade performance/quality, and allowing for reasonable translations of Model3 games. it would've been as I said, superior in every way to the PlayStation, Nintendo64 and if Atari dared launch it, the Midsummer/Jaguar2. Sega could've used such a console from 1996 until 2001 when it would then release a next-gen console more powerful than Dreamcast, closer to what the Xbox and Gamecube were, staying technically competitive with PS2.

    all just "what ifs", sure, but reasonable ones IMO.
     
  17. OtakingGX

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    Are you saying that Dreamcast was not technically competitive with PS2? I think it was in the ballpark, and Dreamcast's 2nd gen games definitely looked better than PS2's early games (just compare DOA on both).

    Not keeping up technically was not Sega's downfall, it was their internal management. Oh, and Sony's marketing blitz on PS2 that vastly overshadowed the Dreamcast.
     
  18. Megadrive1988

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    Dreamcast had better visual quality than PS2 for sure, but lets be honest, the Dreamcast did not have nearly the performance than PS2 had (rendering rates, bandwidth). so no, Dreamcast was not exactly technically competitive with PS2. although the best Dreamcast games could hold their own against PS2 games that did not push PS2. this is coming from a long-time Sega fan. but this is getting off topic from the M2.
     
  19. Farid

    Farid Artist formely known as Vysez
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    About that car demo

    There was also another demo, also prerendered, showing an FPS, IIRC, in a detailed green room (detailed for that time frame, of course).

    They also showed a video rendered to texture demo too, which was extremely impressive at that time, I reckon.

    Anyway, the M2 had always this dead on arrival sticker to it, nobody did believe in 3DO anymore by that time. Well, nobody other than Matsushita, that is... And the only reason for this trust was maybe the fact that some Matsushita execs were still trying to emulate, their archenemy Sony, success on this videogaming market. Obvioulsy buying the M2 technology wasn't maybe the best solution for them at that time.
     
  20. Zeross

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    Some images taken from a french magazine :
    http://hardwired.free.fr/M2p1.jpg
    http://hardwired.free.fr/M2p2.jpg
    http://hardwired.free.fr/M2p3.jpg
    http://hardwired.free.fr/M2p4.jpg
    http://hardwired.free.fr/M2p5.jpg

    Sorry for the quality I haven't got a scanner so I took theses images with my camera. I know that "Scans of magazines/publications NOT allowed in this forum" but this magazine is 10 year old or more so I'm sure that no harm is done ;)

    You could see on the 4th page some pictures of the prerendered FPS that Vysez is talking about, no way the M2 could manage such a level of detail. The funny thing is that the name of the demo was "Dungeon Keeper" it seems :D
     
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