R.E.A.L 3DO Interactive Multiplayer [Model FZ-1]

The Console by Panasonic

Emulated in MAME !


[MACHINE] Console

R.E.A.L 3DO Interactive Multiplayer © 1993 Panasonic.


R.E.A.L 3DO Interactive Multiplayer [Model FZ-1] the  Console
Click to enlarge
(members only)
[Model FZ-1]

- 32-bit 12.5 MHz RISC CPU (ARM60)
- Custom Math co-processor (It does not use the stock ARM FPA unit.)
- 32kb SRAM

- Resolution 640×480, 320×240 60 Hz for NTSC version, and 768×576, 384×288 50 Hz for PAL version with either 16-bit palettized color (from 24 bits) or 24 bit truecolor.
- Two accelerated video co-processors capable of producing 9–16 million pixels per second (36–64 megapix/s interpolated), distorted, scaled, rotated and texture mapped.

- 50 MB/s bus speed (synchronous 32-bit @12.5 MHz bus)
- 36 DMA channels
- 2 MB of main RAM
- 1 MB of VRAM
- 2 expansion ports

- 16-bit stereo sound
- 44.1 kHz sound sampling rate
- Supports Dolby Surround sound
- Custom 20-bit Digital signal processor (DSP) – 20 bit accumulator with 16-bit parameter registers for extended precision

- Double-speed 300 kB/s data transfer CD-ROM drive with 32 kB RAM buffer
- Multitasking 32-bit operating system


The FZ-1 3DO model was released on:
- October 04, 1993 in North America, Initially priced $699.99.
- March 20, 1994 in Japan.

R.E.A.L 3DO Interactive Multiplayer (often referred to as 3DO) is a set of technical specifications created by The 3DO Company. The 3DO Company was the result of a partnership between Matsushita, AT&T, Time Warner, MCA, Electronic Arts, Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers (a venture capital firm) and the New Technologies Group (NTG). None of these companies ever manufactured a single console. Other manufacturing companies (in the end only Panasonic, Goldstar and Sanyo) could license the rights to create their own console and label them as 3DO, by simply fulfilling the required specifications.

The system was conceived by Trip Hawkins, the man who created Electronic Arts in 1982, and its technologies were originally designed by Dave Needle and Robert J. Mical of New Technology Group, which already designed the Atari Lynx.

Technically, a 3DO system can run 3DO Interactive software, play audio CD's (including support for CD+G), view Photo-CDs and even play Video CD's by using a special add-on MPEG1 FMV cartridge (this cartridge was only available for the American Goldstar and Japanese Panasonic 3DO systems).

Despite a highly-promoted launch and its advanced technology, 3DO never met the expected success. The main reason for this has probably to be sought in the system's high price, not balanced by high quality titles, neither at launch nor immediately after. For sure, few titles exploited the full potential of the console, and the most well-received titles were often ports of games from other systems. This prevented any real 3DO penetration in the console market.

3DO Company's official position about the price was that 3DO was a high-end audio-visual system rather than a simple videogame console, so the price was fair. Only in 1996 they announced a price drop, probably to help the diffusion and popularity before the launch of the promised next-gen console M2, but it was definitely too late.

The 3DO system was eventually discontinued at the end of 1996 with a complete shutdown of all internal hardware development and divestment of the M2 technology. 3DO restructured themselves around this same time, becoming a multi-platform software company until its bankrupt in 2003.

Machine's ROM.

Page last modified on June 05, 2016