The 3DO Interactive Multiplayer is a video entertainment console originally released in 1993. It was created by the 3DO Company, founded by Trip Hawkins for the purpose of creating the system. The company set the system specs and other companies actually manufactured 3DO systems. There were Goldstar, Panasonic, and Sanyo 3DO systems. Also released was the Creative Labs '3DO Blaster', which allowed a PC to emulate the 3DO system. 3DO, especially the Panasonic model, enjoyed a small amount of popularity, especially late in its existence, yet was never a mainstream success. It is mostly forgotten today, and the 3DO Company is currently best known for their software releases for other systems. Ironically, the 3DO Company is much more successful publishing software for systems such as Playstation, Nintendo 64, and the PC than it was for its own.
The term '3DO' is said to have come about as Trip Hawkins dreamed of the impact of the system. He stated that it would be the next step in entertainment. The progression would go: 'audio... video... three-deo...'
3DO died in 1996. Several causes led to its demise. It was initially launched at a price of $700 US, which was simply too much for most casual gamers to consider. Also, everything involving 3DO was liberally licensed. The 3DO Company allowed developers to release extremely bad games: Plumber's Don't Wear Ties and Shadow: War of Succession, are considered to be two of the worst games ever made, if not the worst. Once good software began to be released, and the system price became reasonable, one factor still buried 3DO. In the summer of 1995, Sega Saturn and Sony Playstation were launched with huge marketing hype. Any prospective 3DO buyer would also have to take a look at these systems, both of which had impressive launch titles.
There were several good points about 3DO that gave the owners of the system their money's worth though. For two years, 3DO was the 'most advanced video game system in the universe', as their tagline stated. With several 32-bit processors and 3MB of RAM, it was well ahead of other 'next generation' systems, such as the 16-bit Philips/Magnavox CD-I and the pseudo 64-bit Atari Jaguar. In addition, some 3DO games are truly great. For example, Star Control II, considered to be one of the greatest PC games of all time, has an updated and very much improved version for 3DO. Super Street Fighter II Turbo is an arcade perfect port of the best game in the series. Other titles were so unique, they wouldn't have been given a chance on any other platform. This is why the 3DO Company's liberal licensing practice was implemented: to promote variety. Truly great titles such as Twisted, Zhadnost, and Trip'D could only have been released on 3DO; and the fact that 3DO is so obscure is itself attractive to many collectors. The Goldstar 3DO is the only video game system ever to be made in Korea, and 3DO is the largest game console to have officially licensed pornographic titles. 3DO definitely has a unique appeal that no other system does.