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Thursday, October 6, 2011

M2 Spotted in the Wild

Even if you've heard its name, chances are good you've never actually seen one.

In brief, the M2 was to be the successor to the failing 3DO. Boasting more hardware capabilities than any other console at the time (to include the Nintendo 64), it looked like the hardware race was about to heat up, and the 3DO name would be salvaged. 

When 3DO found itself with both feet in the grave however, they sold the console to the Japanese company Matsushita, known globally as Panasonic. After 2 years of further developing the device, Panasonic decided it couldn't compete with the likes of Sony's Playstation, and pulled the plug on their consumer games market strategy. The M2 eventually WAS released, but only as a commercial multi-media device to fuel public presentations, ATMs, and vending machines. A somewhat brisk end to what was a hyped and eagerly anticipated console, but not the end of the story completely...

Just last month, a member of the Digital Press Forums answering to the alias, "Bitrate," managed to find a consumer-model M2 used in trade shows and conventions to promote the console. Even better, he also managed to snag a few demos AND the final control pad! All in the wild! It's seldom you hear about a retro-gaming haul of this magnitude or historical significance. This lot goes beyond rare. An excellent find, but don't take my word for it. Check out these pictures from Bitrate's thread on Digital Press.

Did you ever think you'd see a running M2 in 2011?
One that wasn't reminding you to retrieve your card or take your cash that is.

The steering wheel on the left is an interesting touch, but this sucker
looks like either an amputee-N64 pad, or a Saturn pad with a boner.
To see the rest of his pics and to learn more about this white elephant (and no, I don't mean that controller), then head over to Bitrate's thread on the Digital Press Forums. If you remember ANYTHING about the M2 you'll find it interesting.


  1. Nick,

    as I can recall from my teenage days, when I was actively interested in HiFi/Audio stuff, Matsushita was a (consumer) electronic's giant.

    Quite astonshing that they never really got more than a toe into the door of the video game industry (even more surprising that they never tried themselves as a game software developer -- or did they?). Even later, when they tried sort of *piggybacking* on well-established game systems (Panasonic Q), they kept on failing.

    I would like that M2 in action, though design-wise it's going nowhere:
    It looks more like some device for clinical use in a patient's hospital room rather than something you could actually have a lot of fun with ... -- ouch!

    Thanks for posting this and keep on keeping on w/ this great website of yours!

  2. I will, and thank you!

    We're in luck! Bitrate is big into collecting for 3DO consoles and will be recording some video of the M2 in action when he gets some free time.

    You're absolutely right about its appearance. I feel like it should be connected to a dialysis machine.