U.K. 3DO conspiracy theory.

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U.K. 3DO conspiracy theory.

Post by 3DOKid » Sun Apr 12, 2009 8:42 am

The British magazines would have you believe that, unlike their American counterparts, the British game mag system is more reliable. After all, American games mags are cheap, paid for by advertisers. This model raises the spectre that the reviews are controlled by the game makers with the big advertising budgets. We British on the other hand pay a fortune for our games magazines but, so we are told, the reviews are not swayed by marketing budget. Makes sense right?

That said, in the 1990s the 3DO and the Jaguar were mauled repeatedly by the magazines and in more than just a few cases treated rather unfairly.

1. Gex 6/10? (I quote: "Unoriginal" - what? It needed more plumbers? At the time it was very original?)

2. Burning Soldier 2/10? (it's not a great a game, so why if you have limited space in a multi platform magazine do you give space to a game like this unless you have an axe to grind? - What's the point?)

3. Need for Speed 8/10? "the only real drawback is the fact you can't leave the road and explore the scenery" - "Never feel like you are in a race" Eh? Even at the time I wondered did we actually play the same game? incidentally, 8/10 was the score given to the Horde about a year earlier, when people felt the 3DO had a fighting chance.

4. AVP on the Jaguar got 6/10? WTF?

Which brings me to my point: If everyone wants a Saturn/PSX/N64 then surely if you garnering public opinion to make your money, you want to justify to the public their decisions: which was in 1995, wait for the PSX. Edge Magazine claims it loves games, as do all British game mags, but I can't help feeling that yes, unlike paid-for-mags with huge multi-page adverts, they are free from a overt bias, but no, all it means is that they are more political in the way they control your thinking and they pander to popular opinion. Like politicians.

Or to put it another way the Saturn sold 170,000 on day 1. I'm sure by 1995 the writing in terms of sales (not games) was on the wall for 3DO and the Jaguar in the UK. It was obvious, the public were going to buy either a PSX or a Saturn and not a 3DO. Better to polish your opinions on the Sega/Sony machines and dump on the 3DO minority. Right?
It's better to have 500,000 happy Saturn owners buying your mag, feeling justified in their wait, than 10,000 smug 3DO owners playing NFS.

It's all too subtle to point and cry "CHEAT!" but flicking through the magazines there was an air of negativity towards the 3DO during 1994/5. Which is weird, because the 3DO enjoyed a golden age, albeit brief, during this period. You would never guess looking at the magazines however. All they wanted was Sega/Sony. And there was one light for this pair and another light for the others.

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Post by Puggsy » Sun Apr 12, 2009 9:07 am

Interesting (and probably true).

Here in Australia, the best multi-format gaming mag at the time was 'Hyper' magazine which is still going believe it or not. It was the only magazine in Australia to do 3DO reviews and they rated the system and the games very highly. In fact, it was through Hyper that I first heard of the 3DO!

I can recall in 1995 (I think) Hyper did a comparison of the PlayStation, 3DO and Saturn - you know going through all the strengths and weaknesses of each system etc. 3DO came out pretty good!

I'll have a hunt through my old copies and see if I can find it for you all to have a read of.

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Post by 3DOKid » Sun Apr 12, 2009 9:40 am

My theory is based on Edge Magazine, which is an enormously difficult magazine to sum up.

1) It's often blatantly wrong. It's review of Raiden DX on the PSX is proof of this. Which I thought and think is a brilliant game. When Edge reviewed it, it clearly didn't know what it was talking about. Edge Magazines opinion is irrelevant, it's just an opinion, sure I get it more than most, but often it's facts are wrong too.

2) It insists it loves-games but then always steers away from being over enthusiastic. Which is very British I guess but some games do deserve a bit more RA-RA-RA than they get from this magazine.

3) It's often too willing to be negative. I'm sure the UK head of Sega, Sony, Philips, 3DO, et al., all have a love-hate relationship with the magazine.

4) All but Nintendo. Who right from issue 1 of the magazine with the SNES, then the Virtual Boy, N64 and Wii can do no wrong. Which in that list alone is clearly not to true.

5) The magazine is and was chronically pretentious. You often need a PHd in English to read it, and when you do, it's often not worth it. I'd love to be a fly-on-the-wall when they interview to be an Edge writer because I think they sell you on your career after the magazine, not the job in hand. So, these people leave Edge Magazine and go on to become period drama writers for the BBC. So the magazine is full of clever prose, witty repartee and blatant thesaurus abuse when they should be saying: F**KING AWESOME.

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Post by 3DO Experience » Sun Apr 12, 2009 2:12 pm

All game mags are biased, even fanzines. There is nothing you can do. Over here it's been SONY SONY SONY because of what? The name! Everyone knows that SONY makes the best everything (unless you buy something inexpensive from them, then it'll fall apart in a month) so we must praise them even on faulty hardware and games like Carrier. Yeah Carrier got lots of praise as "the next Resident Evil" YUK.

However Nintendo Power is a bit amusing, since they only review games for their own systems they always give good reviews. So the bad games were either said to be ok and worth giving a try or just ignored by the mag. But since they had Future US take over in December of 07 (issue 222) all of the sudden we have reviews calling some games bad! In fact they even go so far as to mention old games that had already been reviewed and talk about their flaws. I have to say Future US inc.'s customer service and subscription plans may suck, but I like where the mag is headed.

PS. but I wanna kick the writer that call The Legend of Kage boring right in his nads. I love that game, everyone I've ever met who played it loves it. Yes it's repetitive but no one complains that Pac-Man reuses levels!
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Post by 3DOKid » Sun Apr 12, 2009 2:25 pm

Wow. Future US? Future, waaaaaaaaaaay back in 1993 when Edge was launched, Futre were something of a darling in the UK. (they had been around since before then) They held the official mags for most platforms, and did a fair job and they made Edge, which is, despite my endless moaning actually okay. Then they did something silly. They bought CV&G (Computer and Video Games) one of the most cherished and loved and regarded and loved and loved video games mags in the UK (I liked it too) and shut it down. Now they are demon monsters from hell who everyone hates.

They also was some dodgy reviews. Driver3-gate springs to mind? Wazzat - Driver 3 = 9/10? Methinks not.

Weird how Sony is rammed down your throat? Nintendo and Sega are rammed much further down our throats her in the UK I believe. Maybe that's why we are on opposite sides of the fence with regards Sony, MS, Sega and Nintendo but both 3DO fans?

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Post by 3DO Experience » Sun Apr 12, 2009 7:20 pm

Nintendo used to be the big guy, everywhere all the time but as soon as Sony announced they were going to make a system of their own things changed. People raved about a system that wasn't even made yet. And despite the cheap manufacturing of the first system, the poor design of the second system and the unjustified price of the third, all the mags are still clambering SONY SONY SONY when it's having it's a$$ handed to it by the other two systems. Honestly every new system after the Dreamcast feels tired to me, they praise the chipsets and ignore the games. Why should I play any new sequel to a game when they can't even come close to comparing to the original from 10 years ago?
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Post by 3DOKid » Sun Apr 12, 2009 7:49 pm

It's weird. Back in 1991/2 the industry was in a proper mess. It was in recession. Sega and Nintendo had wrapped it all up and put it there. Developers were under the Nintendo thumb, pressed by draconian licensing laws and expensive cartridges, all we had was endless 2D platformers. Plus, often, the first whiff of innovation and Nintendo would launch it's ninja lawyers on people. Particularly companies like Datel. 3Do offered a breath of fresh air, in fairness, Sonys air was fresher. I mean 3DO/Atari were doing dying fly impressions, on their backs waving their legs, Nintendo looked like they would carry on forever doing the same old boring crap, and Sega looked suspiciously like it had lost the plot (32x, MegaCD, etc) Weird thing is the tables have completely turned. Sony has done everything Nintendo did when everyone hated them. Although the ancient Nintendo ritual of being completely ignorant of Europe remains a Nintendo strong point. But you are right, that whole era 1992 - 1997 was the best. After that, it's been been down hill. Thing is, it is too expensive for innovation, and too complex for one guy. Everything is done by committee. Which while safe, is rarely very passionate. We can all argue about the PS1, 3DO, Jag and Saturn but at the end of the day, it was simply a pretty awesome time.

The more I think about it, the more I love arcade games from the 90s.

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Post by jesus 666 » Sun Apr 19, 2009 2:43 am

To be honest dude I think EDGE always treated the 3DO pretty fairly, they never hated on it like they did the 32X or Jaguar and they still didn't completely count it out even when the M2 was announced. I've got a Top 100 Games Ever made feature from 2000 in EDGE which even then has Return Fire and Need For Speed in it (and it specifically says the 3DO version of Need For Speed)

EDGE has one of those out of ten scores were a 5 score denoted an alright but mediocre game (not an awful game as many magazines do) and they only really gave out 9/10 for really impressive games, it would've been difficult to judge what constitutes something really amazing that early in on that console generation so they may of been more stingy with their 9 scores just because they didn't know what to expect.

They did a few 3DO specials including a big article in 95 detailing many models of 3DO's and all their strengths and weaknesses as well as including some interviews with John Edelson and Trip Hawkins

I know that EDGE game Road Rash 8/10 and Return Fire 8/10 and thew noted that "the 3DO has a representative for every major genre" as I have some of those old mags.
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Post by bonefish » Sun Apr 19, 2009 6:51 am

If you want to see positive 3do reviews check out Gamepro during that time. Constant 5.0, 5.0, 5.0, 5.0. They were very fair about the 3do, at times too fair :wink:

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Post by mattyg » Mon Apr 20, 2009 12:07 am

I dont know if this weighs in on the conspiracy theory or not but its telling when a magazine from a country that never had an official release did a better job of covering it.(Hyper Australia) I believe also that it was better treated in the US sister mag NextGeneration.
I am still horrified that UK's Retro Gamer mag mentions Atari , Amiga , Neo Geo and Amstrad amongst the consoles it covers but no mention of the 3DO on its cover.
What did 3DO , Trip et al do to the British to deserve this?

Did someone mention Prince Charles' ears or Princess Annes' likeness to horses?
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3DO is dead , long live 3DO
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Post by jesus 666 » Mon Apr 20, 2009 10:20 pm

bonefish wrote:If you want to see positive 3do reviews check out Gamepro during that time. Constant 5.0, 5.0, 5.0, 5.0. They were very fair about the 3do, at times too fair :wink:
Don't they give a constant stream of 5s to every console's games they review :lol:
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Post by 3DOKid » Mon Apr 20, 2009 11:14 pm

Negativity, if done right, is an art form. No one says Edge has an in-ability to communicate, and communicate subtly. You read Edge 8 thru 23 (which ever saw Playstation/Saturn released) and there is a constant, even when they are handing out good scores, negativity against the Jag and 3DO.

Edge Magazine was pulling in the sales at that time too. These days they get, i understand approx., 20,000 a month, where as back in the day it was closer a million. Huge influence.

The whole message was: "Yeah, it's a great game but..." and this is repeated for the Saturn. That said, they are truthful about Sony/Nintendo but never negative.

It's an art.

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Post by 3DOKid » Mon Apr 20, 2009 11:28 pm

mattyg wrote:I dont know if this weighs in on the conspiracy theory or not but its telling when a magazine from a country that never had an official release did a better job of covering it.(Hyper Australia) I believe also that it was better treated in the US sister mag NextGeneration.
I am still horrified that UK's Retro Gamer mag mentions Atari , Amiga , Neo Geo and Amstrad amongst the consoles it covers but no mention of the 3DO on its cover.
What did 3DO , Trip et al do to the British to deserve this?

Did someone mention Prince Charles' ears or Princess Annes' likeness to horses?
Retro Gamer did do a piece on the 3DO. And I helped them. They mocked my comments on Autobahn Tokio (in a nice way) and used a load of screenshots from my Blog. It was done after Nintendo let them down for some reason. They haven't done anything since.

They also haven't done the PSX. But they have done the N64 and the Saturn and the Dreamcast... Which is why I don't buy the magazine, to my mind it''s a just pathetic Nintendo/Sega fanboyism for the princely sum of 6 quid, if i want that, there are Internet forums right?

Month-after-month-after-month they charge £6.00UKP to read about obscure SNES 2D platformers and Spectrum/Amstrad games. Neither of which float my boat. They rarely touch on the arcade either. They voted F-Zero on the SNES as the greatest racing game in history which is precisely the point I stoppped buying. It's just a clique. For some reason they cover 1978 - 1985 pretty good and then 1989 to 1992 pretty good, other than that it's the same rubbish belted out every month.

Trip, despite what he may have done in the past, is always reasonably responsive to the UK games press from what I understand. They guy who i spoke to about the 3DO coverage in the mag said he interviewed Trip for the same article and found him to be a nice guy.

The other reason I don't buy the magazine is because they have Stuart Campbell as a contributer, and he is a cock and I refuse to line his pockets with my gold.

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Post by mattyg » Tue Apr 21, 2009 4:30 am

yeah I get the impression its a bit of a boys own club - my thoughts on Mr Campbell are ditto
Let them consider me a non customer from here on in - I never saw the 3DO edition but he who mocks the Kid shall be shunned from the village
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Post by Trev » Wed Apr 22, 2009 2:36 am

Any chance you could scan the article that you helped with 3DOKid?

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Post by 3DOKid » Wed Apr 22, 2009 7:57 am

Now there is a good idea. A bit later.

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Post by jesus 666 » Fri Apr 24, 2009 2:14 am

3DOKid wrote:Negativity, if done right, is an art form. No one says Edge has an in-ability to communicate, and communicate subtly. You read Edge 8 thru 23 (which ever saw Playstation/Saturn released) and there is a constant, even when they are handing out good scores, negativity against the Jag and 3DO.
There is no negativity at all, what did you expect them to say? the console was obviously selling poorly, they would've known by that stage that it had failed in the US, and more powerful machines with loads of 3rd party support and money behind them were on the horizon, they were hardly going to say it was an amazing console and that people should buy it when pretty much everyone already knew it had no future by the end of 1994 anyway just by looking at the market in the rest of the world, at the end of the day EDGE kept covering the 3DO, the good games got good reviews for the most part, they carried on with articles and interviews about the 3DO even when the writing was on the wall and in their reviews they say stuff like "another game for 3DO owners to be proud of" and "the 3DO game library represents all genres well"

EDGE did not mince words with people in those days, they pretty much say the 32X stinks straight to Kalinske's face in one of their interviews from the time, when he says there are good games they tell him to name them, they tell him to drop it and concentrate completely on the Saturn so as not to spread Sega's resources too thin and confuse people on where Sega's hardware focus was.

The only other UK magazine I've got with 3DO stuff in it is Games Master who were relatively fair, When all the 32-bit consoles had arrived they did an article looking at each specifically stating that 3DO's price had dropped to a very fair level and the quality of the software had risen saying that the 3DO had become "the fly in Sony and Sega's ointment" if you think EDGE were bad on the 3DO then you would be appaled at some of the stuff in Games Master, a lot of the reviewers there would really support some games (such as Need for Speed) but others would constantly bad mouth 3DO games, when they were ported to other systems they would often say things like "this was alright for the 3DO but we're talking about a real system that people expect more out of the games of now" or "this was one of the only worthwhile 3DO games and now you'll be pleased to know you can get it for your playstation"

To be honest the 3DO never had any chance of succeeding from the beggining, a new name brand succeeding with their 1st console without a proven track record to their name is difficult enough already even if you don't make any mistakes, but apart from that it was ludicrously expensive when it arrived and squandered it's head start by taking way too long to build up a quality software library. By the time the 3DO was a good console in it's own right the PS1 and Saturn had pretty much arrived, even with a big gaming name brand behind it the Saturn failed.
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Post by nintendoman » Sun Apr 26, 2009 2:01 pm

Yes, but 3DO tried very hard in UK, bu in the end it was to expensive for the British market.
Edge and Games Master weren't the only 3DO coverage magazines:
There was Ultimate, C&VG, and even a 3DO magazine was launched.
You guys are right about Edge, they made huge mistakes straight from the beginning, and were clearly sitting on the Nintendo side. I have 140 issues of Edge, and boy the mistakes. I have writtten to them like 20 times and I think I am the 'readers letters' most printed person in Edge (up to year 2004 at least).
Retro Gamer makes huge mistakes too, and SC is an idiot who doesn't even know video games (Read about him at DP under Frogger 2 Threeedeep). He didn't even know that in the game Lode Runners Rescue you play the part of Lode Runners daughter, trying to free Lode Runner himself. In the mag he prints you play 'some sort of dog'. (OK maybe she was!). He was actually working for a UK Amiga magazine in the past, would you believe it.

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Post by 3DOKid » Sun Apr 26, 2009 4:25 pm

If Edge wasn't negative about 3DO, why did they go to so much effort to find negativity even when there wasn't any? Why review Burning Soldier 2/10? What's the point? Honestly? Was anyone thinking of buying at the time? Probably not. Were there better games on other platforms? Probably yes.

The review of the Need for Speed springs to mind time and time again. That game defined racing games for the past 16 years... But they criticized it for 'lack of freedom'. That said they couldn't see the repetitive boredom in Super Mario 64? I mean, more Mario? If Edge had reviewed SM64 with same eye they reviewed NFS or WCIII they would have marked it down for having Mario in it. Like wise the pretty awful translation of Daytona on the Saturn, with it's atrocious pop-up, and shallow arcade style, managed to equal NFS. And Ridge Racer, with it's 1.5 tracks and 12 near as damn is to swearing cars all identical, scored higher? On either game you can't explore the track or the scenery, but only 3DO gets punished. C'mon...

Sure, in the early days of the magazine they were full of joy for 3DO. First whiff of the PSX/Saturn/N64 all that changes.

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Post by jesus 666 » Tue Apr 28, 2009 4:18 am

nintendoman wrote:Yes, but 3DO tried very hard in UK, bu in the end it was to expensive for the British market.
The 3DO wasn't really too expensive for the UK market, it was launched at around £400 with a game as opposed to the £400 without a game that the Saturn was released at a year later, and once the Saturn/PS1 were released and the big consoles were competing with each other the 3DO was, I believe always at least £100 cheaper than them.

The 3DO had no chance in the UK market because it had no name brand behind it, I never heard anyone talk about the 3DO before it came out, the average schmuck never saw it as a major player worth keeping an eye on, at that time everyone was eagerly awaiting the new Sega console as the Master System and Mega Drive were both popular, then when Sony's specs were released people started to take notice of that too, everyone knew that Sony were such a massive company that any serious attempt from them to make a gaming console shouldn't be taken lightly which meant that even without an illustrious career in video gaming they were given a proper chance. People in the UK were never very interested in Nintendo consoles in those days and Nintendo were generally stygmatised as being "too kiddie" so the N64 was pretty much always going to go into a niche market as every other Ninty console had done here previously.
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Post by 3DOKid » Fri May 01, 2009 10:35 pm

jesus 666 wrote:
nintendoman wrote:Yes, but 3DO tried very hard in UK, bu in the end it was to expensive for the British market.
The 3DO wasn't really too expensive for the UK market, it was launched at around £400 with a game as opposed to the £400 without a game that the Saturn was released at a year later, and once the Saturn/PS1 were released and the big consoles were competing with each other the 3DO was, I believe always at least £100 cheaper than them.

The 3DO had no chance in the UK market because it had no name brand behind it, I never heard anyone talk about the 3DO before it came out, the average schmuck never saw it as a major player worth keeping an eye on, at that time everyone was eagerly awaiting the new Sega console as the Master System and Mega Drive were both popular, then when Sony's specs were released people started to take notice of that too, everyone knew that Sony were such a massive company that any serious attempt from them to make a gaming console shouldn't be taken lightly which meant that even without an illustrious career in video gaming they were given a proper chance. People in the UK were never very interested in Nintendo consoles in those days and Nintendo were generally stygmatised as being "too kiddie" so the N64 was pretty much always going to go into a niche market as every other Ninty console had done here previously.

Is the correct answer.

Nintendo was kiddy, Sega was kiddie but given a bit of life thanks to Pirate TV, which was awesome and my only reason to watch TV in late '80s (Aside from Sledge Hammer and Married with Children obviously)

We paid £399 for the Amiga. £399 for the Saturn. £499 for the ST. £399 wasn't breaking any new ground for us. The PSX was £299 which was, in my view, a bargain. I mean it was the most powerful (I believed) but the cheapest.

One of thing to mention is that UK games consoles shifted demographic from the 15-16 year olds in the mid-80s (older people used the ST/Amiga) to 20somethings in the the early nineties. The 3DO was viewed by my social peers as a cutting edge multimedia device. That gap that was filled by 3DO between the SNES demise and the rise of the PSX, well the core age group shifted a lot.

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