3DO M2 dev kit on eBay

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

  1. Megadrive1988

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    well, the M2 did not contain a full GPU like Gamecube or Xbox. but it did contain rendering hardware.

    the M2's main custom chip, the BDA (BullDog ASIC) contained the graphics rendering hardware, including triangle setup engine, the pixel pipeline, z-buffering, texture-mapping, lighting, gouraud shading, perspective correction, filtering, alpha-blending, mip mapping, etc. stuff.

    one of the PPC 602s would have been the geometry processor / geometry engine / T&L unit, in the same capacity as the Vector Units in Emotion Engine or the SH4 CPU in Dreamcast.

    one PPC 602 would feed the BDA 3D matrix data (im not comfortable using the term) just polygon transform calculations, then the BDA renders the graphics. it also did audio and MPEG1 decoding (later upgraded to MPEG2 after M2 console was canned).

    the custom BDA chip contained something like, 10 co-processors (give or take). as of 1994, the custom chip, which I assume meant the BDA, contained 2.5 million transistors.


    ~circa 1997
    http://groups.google.com/group/rec.games.video.3do/msg/183bfa311df6de34?dmode=source&hl=en


    here's a nice quote by just some person:
    http://groups.google.com/group/rec.games.video.3do/msg/4276a3f588fa3412?dmode=source&hl=en





    Fox 5: I don't think Dreamcast or PS2 could've handled that at 60fps. but Gamecube and Xbox would've been the starting point, in terms of any possibility of doing it realtime. PCs by 2001-2002 certainly had the performance to do that. the quality of the rendering was pretty high, the complexity moderatly high. the framerate, at least at that part in the cave was 60fps. i dunno if it's using per pixel lighting or per-vertex lighting. definitally looked bump-mapped, though. Well i guess, hell, with the anti-aliasing it used, maybe it would've taken Xbox360 to handle it.
     
  2. swaaye

    swaaye Entirely Suboptimal
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    Heh heh heh.... what if they were planning on using sprites? Think Doom64.

    Uh oh, there's a quote from a Rob Povey of Boss Game Studios here. ERP? :cool:
     
  3. Megadrive1988

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    unless I missed it in your large collection of NG articles, there was another one, either late 1996 or somewhere in 1997, where NG is skeptical of Matsushita claims that M2 has SEGA Model3 arcade performance. NG says M2 is closer to 2-3 times faster/more powerful than N64.

    maybe that's in one of the issues you don't have.

    note: I *did* see the late 1996 article you have, where Hiroyuki Sakai of Matsushita says:
    "The M2 offers the same capabilities as Sega's Model 3 arcade board"

    [​IMG]


    edit: actually going back to the November 1995 Next Generation magazine, someone at Sega or Lockheed Real3D (one of NG's contacts) already debunked the idea that 3DO M2 could compete with the Model 3 arcade board.

    [​IMG]



    to be fair, the M2 would've been a $300~$400 console in 1996-1997, the Model 3 board cost, AT LEAST $6,000 alone. the M2 was sitting in a nice place between the Model 2 board and the Model 3 board. Also, it would've been very interesting to see comparisons of the beefier 3DO MX hardware vs the Model 3 board, vs the Dreamcast.
     
  4. Zeross

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    I was looking for some info on the M2 and I found this, I think it's interesting :

    ERP you already said that the OS was very advanced but is it true that the hardware was so abstracted that it was harmful for performance and that you didn't have low level access to the hardware ?

    MegaDrive1988>The quote you're looking for is on this page : http://www.harpgallery.com/assets/images/swaaye/ng/ng-m2hitormyth-02.jpg

     
  5. swaaye

    swaaye Entirely Suboptimal
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    Actually the "Matsushita Breaks Its Silence" developer interview talks about how it's equal in capability to Model 3.
    http://www.harpgallery.com/assets/images/swaaye/ng/ng-m2breaksilence-1.jpg
    http://www.harpgallery.com/assets/images/swaaye/ng/ng-m2breaksilence-2.jpg
    http://www.harpgallery.com/assets/images/swaaye/ng/ng-m2breaksilence-3.jpg
    http://www.harpgallery.com/assets/images/swaaye/ng/ng-m2breaksilence-4.jpg


    Heh heh I have the issue of NG which covers the first Model 3 racer, Super GT. :)
     
  6. Megadrive1988

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    thanks Zeross! that's it, and thanks again Swaaye for having scanned all this stuff ^__^

    btw, that other information about the OS and the slow nature of the way 3DO wanted games to be programmed, their unwillingness to give developers what they wanted, is indeed very interesting.
     
  7. ERP

    ERP Moderator
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    As I said one of the better designed Console OS's I've seenm Sony could probably still learn something from it :p

    Back then people were more used to being able to directly attach to interupts, and the M2 OS was much more in line with the original 3DO OS where you use messages and threads to accomplish the same thing. The N64 OS was in a similar veign.
    3DO did provide more documentation than any other Console OS I have ever seen, it was multiple large volumes, but that was more to do with documentation quality than OS complexity.
    Prior to the Matsushita buyout they also had the best tech support I have ever experienced.

    There was very little abstraction of the useful hardware, you could do all the vertex work yourself in assembler and just build a commond queue for the hardware if you wanted. You had to explicitly manage the Texture Cache ala N64 aswell.
     
  8. Megadrive1988

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    that reminds me, the M2 had 16K texture cache, right? thats four times the amount N64 had.


    on another note, gawd what I would give to be playing on the 3DO M4 right now, had it been developed. the M4 would've been an Xbox360/PS3 generation machine, I believe.

    the MX was basicly the M3, actually.

    http://groups.google.com/group/rec.games.video.3do/msg/fef7d59332c430cf?dmode=source&hl=en

    thus, I guess MX was a DC-PS2-GCN-Xbox generation machine. MX started out I think with maybe just twice the performance of M2, but as M2 was delayed, the MX had more development time it seems. some version(s) of the MX had, or were to have embedded memory, with claims of 15-20 million polys/sec performance, according to Intelligent Gamer Fusion magazine in 1996. a different and later report, from Next Generation Online, in 1997 or 1998 said MX was in the 4 million pps range.

    regardless of edram or no edram, the MX feature-set added hardware anti-aliasing (which was missing in M2 yet present in N64), clipping and maybe, anisotropic filtering. MX CPU was supposedly a PowerPC 604, or maybe twin 604s. that was before Nintendo almost got ahold of MX and tried to monkey around with it by having MX re-built around a MIPs CPU for the N2000 project.
     
  9. Urian

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    PowerPC 602 was a non-superscalar PowerPC (only 1 instruction per cycle) that was created for embedded products. Today version is the PowerPC 405 or 440.
     
  10. swaaye

    swaaye Entirely Suboptimal
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    Thanks for the info. That's what I was thinking after seeing the wonderful MIPS ratings in the mag. 1 MIPS per clock cycle.

    I scanned the Model 3 Super GT article and that issue had another M2 game preview. Some more D2 screens, albeit tiny.
    [​IMG][​IMG]
     
  11. Megadrive1988

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    you rock. way above & beyond the call of duty :D
     
  12. Jabjabs

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    I love this quote from the "World Champion Racing" article in the link.

    Appartently they are round!
     
  13. Megadrive1988

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    yes they were!

    [​IMG]
     
  14. Megadrive1988

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    interesting post from 1999 about WHY M2 never came out


    http://groups.google.com/group/rec.games.video.3do/msg/e44a0abde83a5f60?dmode=source

     
  15. swaaye

    swaaye Entirely Suboptimal
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    Thanks for the quote. I read the entire thing. Absolutely nuts how everything can go wrong like that when parts of the project are totally in the green. Would be a good case study! lol. Truly a bummer that the console never was given a chance.
     
  16. swaaye

    swaaye Entirely Suboptimal
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    BTW I never saw more in the "Mit mapping" thing than just a phonetical mis-spelling. Next Gen was dead on with the hardware of the other systems. Especially N64. I should post an early Ultra 64 look-at, the specs are higher than were finally released but very similar.
     
  17. Megadrive1988

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    I agree. I think Next Generation was dead on accurate with their articles on the M2. they noted all of the hype and balanced that with the reality of what the machine was mostly likely capable of.

    it was magazine like GameFan that had overblown (IMO) their own hype of M2.
     
  18. Urian

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    Are you talking about the 105Mhz version?
     
  19. Megadrive1988

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    welcome, I read that some years ago but had forgotten about it.

    there's a ton of golden nuggets on the M2 and every gaming platform, released or unreleased, on usenet.
     
  20. swaaye

    swaaye Entirely Suboptimal
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    In May 1995, Next Generation published these specs for Ultra 64:
    • 64-bit R4200 or R4300 @ 105.8 MHz
    • 500 MB/s bandwidth
    • 64-bit RCP @ 80 MHz in "enhanced" mode
    • 320x224 - 1200x1200 res (up to HDTV std) in 24-bit color
    • 64-bit sound DSP @ 44.1 KHz - 64 channels (referring to the RSP as if it's a separate chip I imagine)
    • 100,000 realtime texture mapped poly/s
    • AA, ray tracing (LOL!!!), tri-linear mitt-mapped interpolation (heh heh), load management
    Obviously Nintendo decided that yields at those clocks weren't going to get them their profit margin, so they cut it down a little. R4200 is way faster than NEC VR4300 though. I think.
     
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