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Frozone212

Why $700 for the 3DO? What were they thinking?

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Sorry for copping the AVGN's quote but for real, How the hell was that price justifiable. It's like sony releasing the PS1 for $900 and expecting us to bend over backwards.

It makes no sense from any standpoint. All it would serve is to lock the playerbase to the ultra rich. Kind of a stupid move TBH.

thoughts?

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9 minutes ago, Frozone212 said:

Sorry for copping the AVGN's quote but for real, How the hell was that price justifiable. It's like sony releasing the PS1 for $900 and expecting us to bend over backwards.

It makes no sense from any standpoint. All it would serve is to lock the playerbase to the ultra rich. Kind of a stupid move TBH.

thoughts?

Same can be said about modern gaming PCs... ;)

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13 minutes ago, Frozone212 said:

yup

And a New 3DO today can cost upwards to 1k + depending on the model. A 3DO Alive II, one would be lucky to find one under 2k. But as they say, for every price point above reason there is a fool who will pay it. 

 

Edited by Wing_Commander

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It was definitely too expensive.  Prohibitively expensive for a lot of people that might have otherwise bought one.  I got mine in ‘95.  The price had already dropped but i still had to trade in all of my Genesis & SNES stuff in order to barely afford it.  I’m glad i did though.  I’ve played & enjoyed my 3DO for ~ 25 years. Wow i feel old now. 

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1 hour ago, homerj said:

It was definitely too expensive.  Prohibitively expensive for a lot of people that might have otherwise bought one.  I got mine in ‘95.  The price had already dropped but i still had to trade in all of my Genesis & SNES stuff in order to barely afford it.  I’m glad i did though.  I’ve played & enjoyed my 3DO for ~ 25 years. Wow i feel old now. 

There is a shiny silver lining here too. You can now get good money for it if you cept it in very good condition, especially if you still have the box and took good care of that as well. Some selling between 200-500. Therefore it might have initially cost a lot.., but due to the collectability of this console that initial cost is either significantly nullified or entirely nullified to the point of even making a profit.  Hell, I bought Lucienne's quest from a bargin bin back then for 14.99...., it is now worth 300-500 (Sadly I did not have a box version). If I had gotten it at EB instead of Best Buy I would likely have gotten a long box for which is now worth 800-2,000 dollars depending on the condition.  Dino Tycoon even more than that. Much of my collection consists of mostly sealed copies. I only buy loose for play copies and that part of my collection is limited to just the games I want to play or enjoy.  I have no idea the worth of my entire collection. I would say about 50 percent of it was bought from the bargin bins as I sought to try and scoop them all up before they were no longer available many years ago. 
With that said, I think 3DO turned out to be a good investment that I had no idea would ever become one.  The fact it became an Iconic system due to its revolutionary leap forward, looks, and eventual failure that led to the company tanking..., is probably why it has become as valuable as it is today with a bit of help from Covid-19.. 

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The high price was an unfortunate side effect to how the 3DO ecosystem was structured. 3DO made money off licensing fees from game sales. Because they didn't need to offset the cost of console production, they could keep these fees low and attract more software developers. Panasonic did not make money off of games, at least at the beginning. Because of this, at launch they needed to make their entire profit off of hardware sales. Because the system was somewhat impressively spec'd for the time, that also meant it was expensive to manufacture. And since Panasonic had to make back the cost of the system plus profits, it made it unfortunately expensive.

 

As time went on, Panasonic started publishing games and took a cut of those sales. Combined with cost cutting of the hardware itself, it became much more reasonably priced. Goldstar also published games to offset the cost of the systems, getting their systems down to $299! But by this time, the PS1 had already taken the market by storm.

 

A recent example of a similar product that ended similarly was Valve's Steam Machines. Valve didn't subsidize the cost of the systems, so each manufacturer had to make their entire profit from the sale of the system itself. They were priced at or above equivalent PCs because of this and they didn't sell very well. Pretty much the same story as 3DO, but Valve has enough money to just keep going and try again.

 

3DO did go on to develop the M2 and Panasonic learned from their mistakes, purchasing the rights to the M2 so they could both publish the games and produce the console. Unfortunately, they cancelled the project before coming to the home market.

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I almost purchased one, took it to the counter and they popped it into a bag, then I put in my pin for my card and the bank declined the transaction. I later called the bank and they said it was blocked because of the cost and would need prior authorisation before I went back. Back then the shop had a 40" screen with FIFA running and I thought it looked amazing. The guy even showed me an early demo of Need for Speed. Thank goodness my transaction was denied, as we all know how things quickly turned out. I wasn't so lucky with my next purchase though, the Sega Saturn, don't get me wrong. I enjoyed it, but not the part where Sega dropped it like a hot stone, effectively leaving me with an expensive door stop. But normality resumed later, once I backed Sony's PS1 and the N64.    

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On 12/30/2021 at 12:22 PM, Wing_Commander said:

There is a shiny silver lining here too. You can now get good money for it if you cept it in very good condition, especially if you still have the box and took good care of that as well. Some selling between 200-500. Therefore it might have initially cost a lot.., but due to the collectability of this console that initial cost is either significantly nullified or entirely nullified to the point of even making a profit.  Hell, I bought Lucienne's quest from a bargin bin back then for 14.99...., it is now worth 300-500 (Sadly I did not have a box version). If I had gotten it at EB instead of Best Buy I would likely have gotten a long box for which is now worth 800-2,000 dollars depending on the condition.  Dino Tycoon even more than that. Much of my collection consists of mostly sealed copies. I only buy loose for play copies and that part of my collection is limited to just the games I want to play or enjoy.  I have no idea the worth of my entire collection. I would say about 50 percent of it was bought from the bargin bins as I sought to try and scoop them all up before they were no longer available many years ago. 
With that said, I think 3DO turned out to be a good investment that I had no idea would ever become one.  The fact it became an Iconic system due to its revolutionary leap forward, looks, and eventual failure that led to the company tanking..., is probably why it has become as valuable as it is today with a bit of help from Covid-19.. 

i can’t see myself ever getting rid of it unless the value just skyrocketed to some absurd amount.  I suppose another silver lining (for me at least) to the 3DO tanking is that the games were pretty quickly worth nothing.  Back then i had a different mindset than i do now & i almost always traded games in as soon as i was done with them.  If games for the 3DO had kept a decent trade value i would have almost certainly traded them in & i wouldn’t have the collection i have today. 

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14 hours ago, homerj said:

i can’t see myself ever getting rid of it unless the value just skyrocketed to some absurd amount.  I suppose another silver lining (for me at least) to the 3DO tanking is that the games were pretty quickly worth nothing.  Back then i had a different mindset than i do now & i almost always traded games in as soon as i was done with them.  If games for the 3DO had kept a decent trade value i would have almost certainly traded them in & i wouldn’t have the collection i have today. 

Sometimes the Universe works in your favor :D  You would be kicking yourself now if you had traded them in . I personally never considered trading in because I believed that whole system was a scam. I figured  that I would make far more selling myself, and I certainly did when I sold my PS1 collection for which I would have only gotten pennies on the dollar at a pawn shop or at Game Stop etc.

 

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On 12/30/2021 at 6:49 AM, Frozone212 said:

Sorry for copping the AVGN's quote but for real, How the hell was that price justifiable. It's like sony releasing the PS1 for $900 and expecting us to bend over backwards.

It makes no sense from any standpoint. All it would serve is to lock the playerbase to the ultra rich. Kind of a stupid move TBH.

thoughts?

I did ask the gentleman responsible for the European roll out, about the high price tag. 

 

 

John Edelson: The truth about the 3DO technology and hardware was that it was rushed to market by a team using old-fashioned development techniques (the Atari team), and there were some serious technical flaws.  For instance, the chipset design had some powerful 3D capabilities, but it was architected in such a way that it couldn't really be used due to a flaw in the bus architecture design.  It was a big disappointment that was kept private.  There was also the problem of the high cost of the CD drive and RAM prices, which were very high at the time the 3DO was launched.

 

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On 12/31/2021 at 10:18 AM, Aer Fixus said:

The high price was an unfortunate side effect to how the 3DO ecosystem was structured. 3DO made money off licensing fees from game sales. Because they didn't need to offset the cost of console production, they could keep these fees low and attract more software developers. Panasonic did not make money off of games, at least at the beginning. Because of this, at launch they needed to make their entire profit off of hardware sales. Because the system was somewhat impressively spec'd for the time, that also meant it was expensive to manufacture. And since Panasonic had to make back the cost of the system plus profits, it made it unfortunately expensive.

 

As time went on, Panasonic started publishing games and took a cut of those sales. Combined with cost cutting of the hardware itself, it became much more reasonably priced. Goldstar also published games to offset the cost of the systems, getting their systems down to $299! But by this time, the PS1 had already taken the market by storm.

 

A recent example of a similar product that ended similarly was Valve's Steam Machines. Valve didn't subsidize the cost of the systems, so each manufacturer had to make their entire profit from the sale of the system itself. They were priced at or above equivalent PCs because of this and they didn't sell very well. Pretty much the same story as 3DO, but Valve has enough money to just keep going and try again.

 

3DO did go on to develop the M2 and Panasonic learned from their mistakes, purchasing the rights to the M2 so they could both publish the games and produce the console. Unfortunately, they cancelled the project before coming to the home market.

 

This is the answer.  You can close the thread now.

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Even at $699, the system was technically a "bargain" compared to purchasing a PC at retail to play the latest PC games.  Most new PC's back then, with a monitor, cost $1500-$2000 easy.  Sure DIY was cheaper but most people didn't build their own.  However, with 3DO all you got were game playing, as the 3DO could not do any of the other functions teen/young adult PC users were just getting into (infancy of the Internet - AOL/Compuserve style chat apps - email - world processing).  Furthermore, even the FZ-1's were slashed by Panasonic to $499 within six months. 

 

The timing wasn't great, because gamers were still very leery of new players in the market.  The market was inundated with high priced offerings including Neo Geo, Jaguar, CD-i, all flopping, as well as the SegaCD for that matter.  $699 was too extreme, heck $499 too, for buyers who would have carried anxiety about spending that kind of money, and not having access to prominent publishers of the time.  I do think the timing was somewhat ripe for an alternative though, in the "multimedia range," but like I said, 3DO just didn't do it all.  I myself was in the market by fall '94 for something beyond 16-bit and arcade conversions, moving more towards simulations.  I remember seriously checking the 3DO out at Nobody Beats the Wiz that summer, but it didn't seem to be getting anything I was interested in (Lucasarts X-Wing/Tie Fighter, Papyrus NASCAR/IndyCar, EA/Janes), so I held off and dropped a bunch on an AST 486 which could play those.

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Back when it was released this was a premium quality thing....ala the likes of the Neo Geo.

 

Nobody said that you had to buy it for $699. But...man did you want it :)

 

That being said, I purchased the 3DO on launch and at the time it was really impressive. It felt like an extremely high quality piece of equipment with a high price of admission to boot. But, I was doing OK back in those days and I was able to muster the cost. Really glad I did too as there were some really great experiences on that machine that I would have missed out on otherwise.

 

 

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I remember wanting to get the 3DO myself.  Personally, I was prepared to give up my Sega Genesis and/or TurboGrafx-16 with CD-ROM to try and get one.  However, when the initial price came out it pretty much killed my desire to get one thinking it just wasn't worth it at that point.

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On 12/30/2021 at 12:49 AM, Frozone212 said:

Sorry for copping the AVGN's quote but for real, How the hell was that price justifiable. It's like sony releasing the PS1 for $900 and expecting us to bend over backwards.

It makes no sense from any standpoint. All it would serve is to lock the playerbase to the ultra rich. Kind of a stupid move TBH.

thoughts?

It doesn't make sense. I remember buying one, and the 2-card ISA 3DO-in-your-PC setup. I only had a few games for it. Nothing that wasn't better natively on the PC.

 

On 12/30/2021 at 12:56 AM, Wing_Commander said:

Same can be said about modern gaming PCs... ;)

I also remember baggiechasing the latest and greatest in PC gaming. Then'n'now it's (become) a shallow endeavor for me. I don't even like the style of today's games anyway. So much more to explore on PC besides fps and pixel-art remakes.

 

On 1/2/2022 at 1:41 AM, Greg2600 said:

I myself was in the market by fall '94 for something beyond 16-bit and arcade conversions, moving more towards simulations.

Yep same here. Not just flight or racing simulators, but so much more. Mathematical constructs, fractals, the early space-trading genre. To be fair, I would not expect fractals and the like on 3DO.

 

On 1/2/2022 at 1:41 AM, Greg2600 said:

 

I remember seriously checking the 3DO out at Nobody Beats the Wiz that summer, but it didn't seem to be getting anything I was interested in (Lucasarts X-Wing/Tie Fighter, Papyrus NASCAR/IndyCar, EA/Janes), so I held off and dropped a bunch on an AST 486 which could play those.

I got my 3DO from CompUSA. I visited the store 2-3x per week. But I quickly realized it was not getting the titles I wanted. Since I'm still on my Stellar-7 kick I'll say that was one game I did like on it. But the follow-up Nova-9 was nowhere to be seen.

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On 1/2/2022 at 2:41 AM, Greg2600 said:

Even at $699, the system was technically a "bargain" compared to purchasing a PC at retail to play the latest PC games.  Most new PC's back then, with a monitor, cost $1500-$2000 easy.  Sure DIY was cheaper but most people didn't build their own.  However, with 3DO all you got were game playing, as the 3DO could not do any of the other functions teen/young adult PC users were just getting into (infancy of the Internet - AOL/Compuserve style chat apps - email - world processing).  Furthermore, even the FZ-1's were slashed by Panasonic to $499 within six months. 

 

The timing wasn't great, because gamers were still very leery of new players in the market.  The market was inundated with high priced offerings including Neo Geo, Jaguar, CD-i, all flopping, as well as the SegaCD for that matter.  $699 was too extreme, heck $499 too, for buyers who would have carried anxiety about spending that kind of money, and not having access to prominent publishers of the time.  I do think the timing was somewhat ripe for an alternative though, in the "multimedia range," but like I said, 3DO just didn't do it all.  I myself was in the market by fall '94 for something beyond 16-bit and arcade conversions, moving more towards simulations.  I remember seriously checking the 3DO out at Nobody Beats the Wiz that summer, but it didn't seem to be getting anything I was interested in (Lucasarts X-Wing/Tie Fighter, Papyrus NASCAR/IndyCar, EA/Janes), so I held off and dropped a bunch on an AST 486 which could play those.

 

Yeah, it wasn't just the high cost of a 3DO that killed it but way too many 32/64-bit systems to choose from. Realistically the market can only support up to three console platforms and the ones that came out early (3DO, Jag, 32X) got pushed aside for the latcomers like PSX & N64.

 

Too be honest, at the time I didn't even think Sony would have had a chance being "newcomers" and the existing companies were having a helluva hard time of it.  So I only looked forward to having a PC for all my gaming (and other) needs.

 

But PC's were too expensive and a couple years later I picked up a Playstation after seeing Final Fantasy 7...

 

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Posted (edited)

The low licensing fees and how they expected to make money off of the insanely high price, which with inflation factored in, would likely be more than $1000 today for a 3DO when it was launched...It was nuts of course! They never were going to get a large installed base at that price and I am sure they knew it but had vain hopes of being able to quickly combine chips to get the cost down some. That did happen but it was way too late when it did, with the Playstation just months away and especially after it was released. 

 

I always liked the system though, it seems like the hardware was very easy to program and that helped it to get early-Psx looking games out there. Plus it was decent at texture mapping and that was the rage then. If it was released at $399 and then lowered to $299 after half a year, then I think they might been able to carve out a decent enough niche to hang on until they could get the M2 out and build upon that, the console seemed "next gen" enough minus the cost at release to do it.

Edited by Jagulator
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On 1/1/2022 at 5:17 PM, Lostdragon said:

I did ask the gentleman responsible for the European roll out, about the high price tag. 

 

 

John Edelson: The truth about the 3DO technology and hardware was that it was rushed to market by a team using old-fashioned development techniques (the Atari team), and there were some serious technical flaws.  For instance, the chipset design had some powerful 3D capabilities, but it was architected in such a way that it couldn't really be used due to a flaw in the bus architecture design.  It was a big disappointment that was kept private.  There was also the problem of the high cost of the CD drive and RAM prices, which were very high at the time the 3DO was launched.

 

I heard a similar story about the N64.  The system should have been a lot more capable than it was, but because of a flaw in the chip design, it didn't have the expected performance.  SGI told Nintendo about the issue, but because it would have caused an even further delay in the already late machine, they decided to go with it as is.

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This has probably been answered already but the high price point was to make up for the cheaper royalty fees. 3DO had much lower royalty fees than Nintendo and Sega and thus were able to get a shitload of 3rd party support for the platform.

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