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Member since May 2011 · 2485 posts · Location: Brisbane
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Subject: Remembering the 3DO
Over on his blog, Kendrick remembers the 3DO quite fondly.  He professes a certain admiration for the first-gen Panasonic model, and is impressed at the fact it's still running today, and is better built than modern consoles.

Unfortunately he's wrong.

The original 3DO was a horrible piece of junk, with a failure rate beaten by few consoles before or since.  For a while, we wouldn't even take them in trade at my store 'cause they'd die all the time and we'd be stuck with doorstops.  They were the Xbox 360 of the 32-bit age.  Everyone knew someone whose 3DO had died.  The second-gen FZ-10 model was far more reliable (but still played the same old shitty 3DO games, and came with a controller best described as rubbish.

Modern consoles are still pretty bulletproof, if you don't consider the staggering failure rate of the 360.  I've never heard of a PS3 dying, though I'm sure they do.  The Wii, the GameCube, the Dreamcast - all basically indestructible.  The 3DO doesn't even compare.  In fact, of all the mainstream systems, it's probably #3 for being most failure-prone (360 and SegaCD being #1 and 2 respectively).

That Kendrick found one that still works is the exception, not the rule, and there's every chance it still works 'cause the original owner never played it.  =)
BLEARGH
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Member since Oct 2007 · 316 posts
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This is why I don't do commenting on my blog, because people come along and spoil my memories. :) I do have to admit that of all the game console repair I've ever done, I've never been asked to fix someone's 3DO. I've provided care for dozens of Saturns and Playstations, I've made Jaguar CD units work again, and I even brought a Neo Geo CD unit back from the dead. But nobody ever put a 3DO in front of me, telling me that they couldn't live without it. That's probably telling.

There's a piece missing off of the front panel on my particular unit. I have a suspicion that this might not be the original CD drive, and when I find some time I'm going to open it up and look for evidence of part replacement.
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Member since May 2011 · 2485 posts · Location: Brisbane
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On the bright side, your 3DO is likely to last forever now, since it's one of the lucky ones that didn't die in its 3-week burn-in period that most new owners went through before either retiring it by choice or because it stopped working.  ;)

I have an FZ-10 unit that I prefer over the front-loading FZ-1, primarily because it's not prone to failure, but also 'cause it's a bit smaller.  It's definitely true that tray-loading systems are awesome, but the three 3DO games I own (Need for Speed, Return Fire, Street Fighter) never get played anyway...  ;)
BLEARGH
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Member since Oct 2007 · 316 posts
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My main unit happens to be an FZ-10, which I prefer because you don't need an extra disk to configure the save memory. I'm actually quite enamored of the limited library, as the 3DO has some of the best PC-to-console ports and an interesting array of exclusives. The 3DO also has an interesting multiplayer mechanism, in that each controller has a male connector on its cable and a female connector in its housing. That means you daisy chain each controller together, rather than plugging several cable into the console. My first exposure to the six-button Capcom Soldier Pad was in its 3DO form.

Back to the games though? Battle Chess sports a higher resolution and better sprite scaling than its PC counterpart. CPU Bach is another 3DO title I can't shut up about, since it's one of the earliest examples of AI music generation. I'm very fond of Guardian War, a chibi tactical RPG somewhere between Bomberman and Shining Force. And I'm still working my slow way through Dragon Lore, one of the earliest FPS/RPG hybrids that would later be perfected by Bethesda in the Elder Scrolls series.
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