Lack of identity the 3DO's downfall?

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mattyg
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Lack of identity the 3DO's downfall?

Post by mattyg » Fri Apr 24, 2009 1:12 pm

I've often wondered if one of the major contributing factors to the systems poor sales was its lack of identity? I mean US consoles were not readily accepted in Japan (and still aren't) and hardcore Japanese consoles considered too Eastern for the US market. So where did the 3DO sit? It was an American design from an American company with an American name but was manufactred by the Japanese and Koreans with their branding?
All the articles and talk about the difficulties of XBox cracking the Japanese market simply got me thinking.
What do you guys reckon?
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Post by Traegorn » Fri Apr 24, 2009 1:18 pm

I still think it was just price.

Everyone I knew who was into video games thought the 3DO was awesome in 1994... just that no one could afford it.

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Post by mattyg » Fri Apr 24, 2009 1:21 pm

yeah but so was the Neo and it held its own in its niche market for years.
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3DO is dead , long live 3DO
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_K2kuP_anAc

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Post by 3DOKid » Fri Apr 24, 2009 5:36 pm

I think 3DO did better in Japan than the original Xbox because of the local knowledge Panasonic/LG had of Japan/Korea.

For all the times we (westerners) laugh at Japanese/Korean translation to our languages, I think our translation to their language is much-much worse. I think the 360 has been pretty guilty of this even in recent times.

If the Live!/PSN service was all spelt wrong with really bad grammar you probably wouldn't be too impressed right? It would look shoddy.

Think about Xbox:

X marks the spot - right?
Press X to continue - right?
Generation X - right?
We westerners don't see anything bad in X. Almost cool eh?

Not in Japan. O = go, X = stop, X = wrong

Xbox = Wrong Box, Stop Box, No-go Box... not so cool right? The Japanese fan boys must have had a field day.

Imagine a Japanese firm releasing the following in US/UK

- Small cock adventures.
- Gayly coloured circles game.
- Sad car fast is.

The other mistake that western developers make is thinking they know what Asian markets want rather than knowing/asking. (Just because it's a cutsy, with big purple hair RPG does not guarantee success.)

3DO didn't make these mistakes. That said, 3DO didn't have a mega-RPG, a mega-arcade game racing game or a mega-3D fighter. Or any SHUMP ports.

Despite this, 3DO had moderate success in Japan. But it was never going to stand up to Daytona, Ridge Racer, Tekken, Virtua Fighter...

3DOs other failures were in part pricing, in part timing, in part stamina.

Too expensive (but not in the end)

Too early. 3DO made the mistakes for everyone to follow. PSX/Saturn learnt from the 3DOs errors. (Right up until the PS2/DC) 3 years in hardware is a long time.

No Stamina. 3DO bailed on 3DO before the 3DO was dead. 3DO studio started making games for other platforms before M2 hit the shelves and before the FZ1 was buried. It didn't look/feel good.

PS1/Saturn/N64 buried the 3DO ultimately.

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Post by mattyg » Wed Apr 29, 2009 2:34 am

What's in a name?

Was the Sega Genesis more popular in regions where it was named the Mega Drive?

The oral translation of the Wii is "yes" in French but "urine" or "small" in English.

"C'mon Grandma come and play the Nintendo urine with me!"

yet it still sells bucket loads

I just don't know - it was just a theory
"purge with fire Bretheren"

3DO is dead , long live 3DO
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_K2kuP_anAc

"The greatest games in the world take seconds to learn but months to master. The worst take months to learn and minutes to finish."...MattyG

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Post by PowerPie5000 » Wed Apr 29, 2009 9:18 am

Wii or "wee" can mean urine in English (amongst other names for it) but it definitely does not mean small.... thats Scottish 8)

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Post by Silanda » Wed Apr 29, 2009 2:22 pm

I remember things pretty much the same as Traegorn, it wasn't its image it was the price. Everyone I knew was blown away by the 3DO when it first launched, but by the time it was down to a reasonable price level the Playstation and Saturn had arrived. Despite its rep of being ugly, I also remember people thinking that the FZ-1 looked cool at the time.

It was 3DO's broken business model that doomed the 3DO.

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Post by Trev » Wed Apr 29, 2009 9:21 pm

yeah but so was the Neo and it held its own in its niche market for years.
SNK had arcade revenue to back it up though.

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Post by 3DOKid » Fri May 01, 2009 10:20 pm

The more we talk about an SNK CD NEOGEO the more I want one. Viewpoint was rubbish on the PSX and ... :D

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Post by mattyg » Fri May 01, 2009 11:36 pm

forgive me Kid for I have sinned again!
I have a SNK Neo CD but refuse to play it as it is still sealed aaaaaaargh!
"purge with fire Bretheren"

3DO is dead , long live 3DO
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_K2kuP_anAc

"The greatest games in the world take seconds to learn but months to master. The worst take months to learn and minutes to finish."...MattyG

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Post by PowerPie5000 » Sun May 03, 2009 11:12 am

mattyg wrote:forgive me Kid for I have sinned again!
I have a SNK Neo CD but refuse to play it as it is still sealed aaaaaaargh!
That Neo Geo really needs to be played!! It is not good to keep a console or any computer unused for years :?

The electrolyte in the capacitors dries up over the years making them useless.... or you may find when you start using the console the capacitors may just pop and leak all over the motherboard.

People may think that keeping a computer or console in it's original "unused" condition for years makes it more valuable but in reality it does nothing but deteriorate the capacitors.... they can pop, leak, bulge or just go lumpy.... and no longer be very effective.

I play all my consoles every once in a while to keep them healthy :wink:

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Post by 3DOKid » Sun May 03, 2009 2:18 pm

My grandad used to say the same about cars. He said that if you only ever used 60% of the cars potential, that remaining 40% would rust. Of cause he did die in a 167Mph car crash*






















*may not be true.

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Post by bonefish » Thu May 07, 2009 5:15 pm

If I remember correctly the early Panasonic advertising was very tame, high end electronics pron at best. Then came the the Goldstar advertisements which were interesting, the flying eyeball one comes to mind. The Panasonic ads followed suit. If I remember correctly they had a distorted twenty something dude, Road Rash style... But I'm not so sure if the personality thing helped as the price had already damaged the brand. I think many people put the system out of sight out of mind after launch as a result, pre-internet lack of communication FTL.

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Post by NikeX » Thu May 14, 2009 10:29 pm

Have a look at the console itself.
On top of the FZ-1: PANASONIC.
What? Panasonic. Just Panasonic. In front some small symbols.
What does it mean?

What's the name of this... is it a console? Yes, so, what is the name
of this console?
Super Nintendo? Genesis?
No? It reads: PANASONIC.
Or, on the FZ-10: REAL

Nintendo didn't call their Super Nintendo just NINTENDO.
or FZ-X98 or what not.
Then the name of the console: 3DO.

It has a number in it's name: 3.
3 is usually not the 1st place or the 2nd in a game, or a sport event.
So that's also bad.

With M2 - they would have had a chance. 2 is better than 3 and the name would have been also shorter.
But BullDog would have sounded better.

Then the licence model: GoldStar, Sanyo, Panasonic...
very confusing.
Imagine Nintendo or SEGA would have done that.
"Hey, cool, do you have the new SEGA Genesis?"
"No, I have the SANYO Genesis?"
"..."
"?"
!
I think 3DO sounds cool. But it wasn't market compatible.

Then, think of the 3DO sampler CD - short clip from a batman toon.
Then the horrible games and a very very confusing save manager system. Accesable via sampler CD and limited.

Then the games itself: No recognizable corporate identity just
as the console itself (REAL, PANASNONIC, btw.): There is education,
there are shooters, not much sport, then toons. What?

What was the name of the console?

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Post by Traegorn » Thu May 14, 2009 10:51 pm

We were in the age of the Sega Genesis and Super Nintendo though, no one had a problem differentiating Genesis and Sega from each other, I doubt the Panasonic being on top of the FZ-1 3DO was really an issue.

The only confusion that I actually remember was just the "R.E.A.L." thing with the Panasonic models... but that lasted about two seconds. Pretty much because (at least where I'm from) Goldstar 3DOs were rarely around.

No, identity wasn't really an issue. It was PRICE that killed it.

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Post by 3DOKid » Fri May 15, 2009 7:14 pm

I think price killed it in states, and we in Euroland saw the Japanese weren't interested and the American were chocking on the price. So, I guess we knew it was doomed. It lack pizzazz too. I still reckon it's a big factor.

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Post by mosul210 » Wed May 20, 2009 1:31 pm

Traegorn wrote: No, identity wasn't really an issue. It was PRICE that killed it.
I totally agree. Everyone who played my 3DO loved it. They just could not afford it. They did lower the price, but by then the market was flooded with 32/64bit machines (Saturn/PS1/and to some extent Jaguar).

Had they released the unit at an affordable price ($399) they would have guaranteed themselves a decent user base. To a lesser degree Sony made a similar mistake, their PS3 was priced higher than their competitors and thus they went from the #1 spot to the #3 spot behind Wii and 360 sales.

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Post by awbacon » Wed May 20, 2009 3:34 pm

The PS3 is this generations 3DO. Does everything, costs a ton, and is in last place.

Except 3DO had better exclusives! haha

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Post by Tears of Ash » Wed May 20, 2009 8:54 pm

I think back in those days, people didn't grasp the concept of using a game machine for more than just games. It wasn't worth the price for this "newfangled hi-end media thing". As far as mainstream acceptance goes, I think.

I don't think people really warmed up to the concept of a console doing more than gaming until the PS2 came with a built-in DVD player.

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Post by awbacon » Wed May 20, 2009 9:07 pm

I think another large issue was the following

The 3DO played games, video, and audio. In Japan, VideoCD was big. In the US, VideoCD was never popular

Even if it was, the VideoCD unit for the 3DO never even made it wide release in North America. I personally have never seen a unit in person.

So already 1/3 of the promised features cant be used.

As far as audio, cd players were pretty widespead back then. I know my house had a cd player while having a 3DO.

So basically, much like the PS3, alot of the possible uses for a 3DO just were never used, so the price was never justified.

Thats where I think the issue came from.

It was like buying a Porsche that had a engine governor at 100 mph. High cost, high potential, but the muscle under the hood was never used

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Post by PowerPie5000 » Thu May 21, 2009 4:33 pm

Yes it was definitely the hefty price tag that made the majority of people look the other way! and then the saturn and especially the playstation banged the final nails into the 3DO's coffin :(

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Post by Trev » Fri May 22, 2009 3:42 am

Saturn was not an overly sizeable threat during 3DO's run in the states w/it's early botched launch, high price tag & small and spotty library. I know Japan was a killer, but 3DO was done by the time Sega hit their groove here. PSX didn't have near as many growing pains ... sad news for 3DO fans. :(

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Post by Traegorn » Fri May 22, 2009 5:24 am

Well, the Saturn WAS very successful in Japan

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Post by mosul210 » Fri May 22, 2009 5:28 am

Trev wrote:Saturn was not an overly sizeable threat during 3DO's run in the states w/it's early botched launch, high price tag & small and spotty library. I know Japan was a killer, but 3DO was done by the time Sega hit their groove here. PSX didn't have near as many growing pains ... sad news for 3DO fans. :(
True. I still say had they released the FZ1 at an affordable price say $499, 3DO would have had a large enough installed base to secure its existence.

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Post by CRV » Sun May 24, 2009 2:20 pm

I think the 3DO could have limped along if the PlayStation hadn't steamrolled everybody right away. Wasn't it brought up here that 3DO sales (in the US, anyway) picked up in that period between the Saturn's surprise launch and the launch of the PlayStation?

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Post by 3DO Experience » Sun May 24, 2009 2:52 pm

mosul210 wrote:True. I still say had they released the FZ1 at an affordable price say $499, 3DO would have had a large enough installed base to secure its existence.
When I bought mine the 3DO was $700, eventually it went down to $500. Even at $500 and with lots of great games by then it was too much money for a console.
CRV wrote:I think the 3DO could have limped along if the PlayStation hadn't steamrolled everybody right away. Wasn't it brought up here that 3DO sales (in the US, anyway) picked up in that period between the Saturn's surprise launch and the launch of the PlayStation?
3DO's life support had ended before the PSX even came out. Most of the games that came out were just companies finishing up their projects.
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