* The biggest question that remained unanswered was when consumers were
* be able to buy the system and unfortunately it was one that the people at 3DO
* couldn't not answer. Said one 3DO representative: "We wish knew. If we
* would tell you."
While Next Generation Online had a pretty good idea of what should be
expected from the M2 in terms of graphics, the editors were somewhat
surprised when the system actually delivered something near what was
Based upon the demo of 3DO's IMSA Racing the M2 hardware graphically
eclipses any currently available consoles and even manages to do a slightly
more impressive job than even 3Dfx powered PCs. Textures were
extraordinarily clean, there was no discernible pop-in but this wasn't by
virtue of fogging. There simply was no discernible horizon on the game.
partially due to track design (with turns) but even on straight-aways one
any pop-in. Framerate of the game was consistently high and was claimed to be
locked at 30 fps by the game's director. The entire game runs at 640x480 which
even made the menu screens look better than typical console games through
of anti-aliased text.
The unit itself was hidden under a sheet (MEI wouldn't allow the unit to
but it was clear to see that it was console sized and that there were only
running out to the controller. The game itself was CD based but loaded
Load times even for complete tracks were less than about six or seven seconds.
Transitions from menu to menu and from MPEG sequences was almost
The game itself was a fairly straight forward racing game, distinguished
its incredibly clean graphics. All shadows were cast in real-time and
there was a
dynamic soundtrack. Doppler shifts in audio as cars pass or the grandstand
are all done in real-time. All textures were filtered and tri-linear
providing extremely beautiful visuals. In comparison to typical Nintendo
there was none of the tell-tale blurring usually associated with
filtering. Specular highlights on chromed textures and even glossy cars
At one point in the game (albeit a load screen) there are four colored dynamic
spotlights moving over a 7,000 polygon model of one of the race cars as
spins around. While it doesn't add anything to the gameplay, it does give some
insight into the system's capabilities.
IMSA Racing was connected to a PC steering array which was constructed for the
game. Analog support seems to be most definitely in the cards for the
course) but a real controller was no where to be seen.
The game currently had four tracks including Laguna Seca, Suzuka Raceway, a
New Orleans city course and a skid pad. Other secret tracks are to be
included at a
later time. The folks at 3DO seemed especially proud of the MPEG sequences
opened the game and were between tracks. The quality of the video was much
sharper than that on the PlayStation.
All in all, the system was impressive, but the editors couldn't help but
want to see
more. The showing was a little disappointing in that 3DO only showed one title
despite the fact it is well known that there are more games in development
This particular title has been in development for nearly two years, but
due to changes
in the hardware specification, the game was almost started from scratch
a year and a half ago.
The biggest question that remained unanswered was when consumers were going to
be able to buy the system and unfortunately it was one that the people at 3DO
couldn't not answer. Said one 3DO representative: "We wish knew. If we knew we
would tell you."
Next Generation Online's coverage of 3DO's gamers day will continue on Monday
with coverage of Uprising, Third Domain, Army Men, Heroes of Might and
Magic 6, Requiem, Meridian 59 Revelation and More.
There is no off position on the genius switch. ...David Letterman
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