3DO at the head of the pack?

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Martin III
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3DO at the head of the pack?

Post by Martin III » Sat Nov 05, 2016 2:51 pm

It's funny how, when recalling console war history, gamers tend to remember the results as if that was all there was to it. I'm generally an exception to this rule, but I myself was just struck by something pretty obvious that I'd overlooked.

I was reading a late 1995 issue of Next Generation in which they review all the fifth generation consoles. (Well, almost all... Curiously, the Apple Bandai Pippin is omitted. It wasn't due to be released for a while yet, but they did review the M2 and Nintendo 64, both of which were even farther away from their planned release dates. Also, given how often Next Generation reviews imports, I half-expected them to cover the PC-FX. Anyway...) Their review of the 3DO says that one of the console's advantages over the Saturn and PlayStation is that thus far it has a greater number of good games and a larger installed base than the other two consoles combined.

In retrospect, this makes perfect sense; the Saturn and PlayStation had only been out for a few months each. But somehow it had never struck me before that for a few months, the 3DO had outsold every other console of its generation. They cite 750,000 3DO units sold at this time, which is several times what the Jaguar sold over its entire life, and almost twice what the PC-FX pulled in. My sales figures for the Neo Geo CD are a little spotty, but at the time of this article it couldn't have sold more than 200,000. Bizarrely enough, the 32X was probably close (Next Gen lists 400,000 sales in the USA alone), but while I can't conclusively prove it, I doubt it had passed the 750,000 mark at this time. And they number just 40,000 US sales for the Virtual Boy. The only real competition at the time was the Saturn and PlayStation, and they still needed a few more months to catch up.

It's interesting to think about, and to me the fact that the 3DO had all but completely lost its chance of winning the console war at this point just makes it funnier.

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Re: 3DO at the head of the pack?

Post by MathUser » Tue Nov 08, 2016 7:30 pm

I guess for a while it was ahead due to releasing before the other ones. Saturn had about 2 games at launch so they couldn't catch up for a while.

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