REDWOOD CITY, Calif.--August 24, 1994 -- The 3DO Company today unveiled its plans to introduce the M2 Accelerator, an add-on upgrade designed to provide current owners of the 3DO(TM) Interactive Multiplayer(TM) system with the power and punch of true 64-bit performance.
"Our product evolution strategy is similar to that of the personal computer," said Trip Hawkins, 3DO's president and CEO. "We designed 3DO so that it could be expanded and upgraded to the next generation, just like a PC. This has never been done with traditional video game systems. We don't think the consumer should have to start over just because there are new technical breakthroughs every few years.
"We want 3DO customers to always be one step ahead," Hawkins added. "We're in the lead now and we're committed to staying there."
As part of this strategy, the company announced that it is working with IBM, Motorola and Matsushita Electric Industrial, Co., Ltd., to develop a new, state-of-the-art, 64-bit multiprocessor that will include a PowerPC(TM) microprocessor specifically designed for this kind of application, and multiple custom graphics and sound processors designed by 3DO. IBM and Motorola plan to engineer and manufacture the PowerPC microprocessor for 3DO.
"Motorola and IBM's world class manufacturing process will allow us to achieve the best price-performance through higher integration," said Hugh Martin, 3DO's chief operating officer. "With the PowerPC microprocessor and the strong backing of Matsushita, IBM and Motorola and their major customers, we have a processor family that offers truly next-generation performance with production volume commitments that will rapidly drive down the cost for consumers."
"Customers will benefit from the new level of home entertainment capabilities that PowerPC microprocessors will enable," said Les Crudele, vice president and general manager of the Motorola RISC Microprocessor division. "Continued demand from 3DO customers for high performance features encouraged the move to the PowerPC microprocessor. Motorola is pleased to offer a crucial component to the successful 3DO Interactive Multiplayer system."
"The PowerPC architecture is truly unique in its versatility," said Jim Picciano, general manager of IBM Microelectronics Applications and Solutions Development.
"The PowerPC's scalability allows IBM to offer a broad base of highly efficient solutions from cost-sensitive embedded controllers to high-end computer processors. IBM is pleased to provide the 3DO system with unmatched technology leadership."
3DO will initially offer the new 64-bit accelerator as an upgrade for current 3DO owners. The new microprocessor will use the same operating system and development tools as the current 3DO system, ensuring compatibility with today's library of 3DO software.
"By using the same operating system development tools, we can offer customers both upgradeability and compatibility, and eliminate much of the learning curve for developers," Martin said.
"3DO customers already have the best home interactive entertainment system available, with over 70 software titles available and more than 100 expected by year-end," Hawkins said. "We want our customers to know that when they buy a 3DO system today, they are buying a piece of the future--a system that can grow with them whenever they are ready, and without fear of obsolescence.
"We launched the original 3DO product with the versatility to handle audio CDs, photo CDs, and software-based motion video, as well as being the best home gaming system," Hawkins added. "We've also developed the MPEG-1 upgrade for video CDs, and we're already working on a complete peripherals strategy, including modem, mouse, and keyboard. We're now planning to enable our customers to upgrade to the next several generations of performance."
3DO and its hardware partners expect to ship the first products using the new PowerPC microprocessor in late 1995.
Based in Redwood City, Calif., The 3DO Company (NASDAQ:THDO) develops and licenses advanced interactive technology to hardware and software companies worldwide. The company's initial product design, the 3DO(TM) Interactive Multiplayer(TM) system, was created to deliver a breakthrough in interactive entertainment at an affordable price. 3DO also develops, publishes, and distributes CD-ROM software for the 3DO system.