Comparing the Panasonic 3DO Interactive Multiplayer (1993) to Nintendo DS (2004) - More than 10 years apart but more in common than you would imagine!
The Panasonic 3DO Interactive Multiplayer and Nintendo DS were two different consoles released during different generations, respectively, in 1993 for the fifth generation and 2004 for the seventh.
Different 3DO Models: Brother from another mother.
The 3DO Company licensed its specifications to third-party manufacturers such as Panasonic, Sanyo, GoldStar, Creative Technology and Samsung Electronics for manufacturing competing hardware models. Each 3DO console featured a 32-bit custom ARM CPU (ARM60) running at 12.5 MHz with 2MB RAM, 1MB VRAM and 32KB SRAM; also featuring 16-bit palettized colour (from 24-bit) or 24-bit true-color displays at 60Hz or 50Hz frequency and Panasonic FZ-1 "Madam" graphics accelerator and "Clio" DSP 16-Bit stereo @ 44kHz 4-Channel Dolby Surround sound technology was present as well.
Panasonic 3DO had a limited game library, including notable titles like "Need for Speed: Road Rash", Wing Commander III & IV", and Gex; however, it suffered from low console sales due to a lack of exclusive titles and exclusivity issues. Aiming at more mature audiences with multimedia capabilities, 3DO sought to position itself as an expensive home entertainment item for this target market.
One of the main drawbacks of the 3DO was its prohibitively expensive launch price, which limited market penetration and sales significantly.
NDS: Loved by caring parents and older siblings!
The Nintendo DS was an ingenious dual-screen design developed and produced by The Nintendo. Featuring an innovative dual-screen design featuring the bottom screen as a touch screen, and equipped with powerful processors including 67MHz ARM9 and 33MHz ARM7s along with 4MB RAM and 256KB WRAM + 18bit color depth resolution displays it was an amazing commercial success, selling over 154 Million units worldwide.
The Nintendo DS featured an expansive game library, from backward compatibility with GAMEBOY Advance games to exclusive titles such as New Super Mario Bros., Phantom Hourglass and Pokemon Diamond and Pearl - as well as strong third-party support and genre diversity. Priced competitively, the DS quickly became one of the best-selling handheld consoles ever; unfortunately 3DO was not commercially successful enough and was discontinued by 1996.
Hardware specifications suggest the Nintendo DS was more advanced than its rival, the 3DO; however, you must keep in mind that it was released over a decade earlier and was one of the first consoles to utilize CD-ROM storage media as its primary media for playback. A significant advantage of DS over 3DO is its unique touchscreen user interface and wireless connectivity that simply became available back when 3DO came out.
Both NDS and 3DO were innovative in their own ways. But DS was far more successful commercially. Appealing to a broad demographic ranging from children to adults alike and offering casual and more dedicated gamers access to its vast library of games; celebrated for popularizing touchscreen gaming trends on mobile gaming trends alike - its impact can still be felt today.
Panasonic 3DO Interactive Multiplayer
|Developer||The 3DO Company||Nintendo|
Sanyo, GoldStar, Creative Technology
|Type||Home video game console||Handheld game console|
|Generation||Fifth generation era||Seventh|
|Release date in North America||
October 4, 1993
November 21, 2004
equivalent in purchasing power to about $1,491.00 in 2023
equivalent in purchasing power to about $244.39 in 2023
|Units sold||Approx. 2 million or more (worldwide)||154.02 + million units (worldwide)|
|Game Storage Media||Unencrypted CD-ROM||Nintendo DS Game Card Game Boy Advance Game Pak|
|CPU||ARM60, 32-bit 12.5 MHz RISC CPU, manufactured by ARM Holdings.
* ARMv3 first to support 32-bit memory address space (previously 26-bit). ARMv3M first added long multiply instructions (32x32=64).
10 MIPS @ 12 MHz
|67 MHz ARM946E-S
Thumb, enhanced DSP instructions, caches Variable, tightly coupled memories, MPU
33 MHz ARM7TDMI
|Memory||2 MB RAM, 1 MB VRAM||4 MB RAM|
|Storage||32 KB SRAM||256 KB flash memory
|Display||320×240 @ 60 Hz,
384×288 @ 50 Hz; 16-bit palettized color (from 24-bit) or 24-bit true color.
|256 × 192 pixels
Dual-Screen - 2 x TFT LCDs,
|Graphics||Panasonic FZ-1 "Madam" graphics accelerator||ARM Geometry and Rendering Engine|
|Sound||Panasonic FZ-1 "Clio" DSP: 16-bit stereo @ 44.1 kHz, 4-Channel Dolby Surround;||Mitsumi MM3205B: Stereo with 16 PCM/ADPCM channels|
|Online services||Planned but canceled||
Built-in 802.11 wireless network connection (WEP encryption support only)
Nintendo Wi-Fi Connection service, for Wii, Nintendo DS, and DSi software titles, was discontinued on May 20, 2014
|Best-selling game||Gex, over 1 million||New Super Mario Bros., over 30.80 million|
Alternative NDS Emulators can be found at NDS Emulator.com
If you have a slower older computer I would suggest using No$GBA DS emulator as it is by far the lest resource intensive software of all NDS emus.
In gaming history, two iconic consoles emerged, each with unique specifications and impact on the gaming industry: the Panasonic 3DO Interactive Multiplayer (3DO) and the Nintendo DS (NDS). Both of them were pioneering and brought new features, but ultimately, only one was successful in the market. Let's delve into a detailed comparison of these gaming giants, exploring each specification's meaning and demystifying the acronyms.
- 3DO: Developed by newly created corporation : "The 3DO Company," this console was the brainchild of a collaborative effort to create a cutting-edge gaming platform produced by multiple manufacturers who would license the architecture and specs.
- NDS: The Nintendo DS was the brainchild of The Nintendo. Legendary video game hardware and game maker, giant of the gaming industry known for crafting beloved franchises an characters.
- 3DO: Manufactured primarily by Panasonic, with additional less popular versions produced by Sanyo, GoldStar, and Creative Technology.
- NDS: Manufactured by Foxconn (the OEM makers of iPhone and other Apple hardware), representing Nintendo's dedication to precision engineering.
- 3DO: Positioned as a "Home video game console," it aimed to redefine home entertainment, bringing unseen before 3D 32bit arcade graphics, Video and Audio playback from CDs to home users
- NDS: A Dual-Screen "Handheld game console" designed for gaming on the go with backward compatibility with Gameboy Advance games.
3DO: Part of the Fifth generation era of gaming consoles, signifying a significant technological leap. The main competitors of 3DO consoles in North America were: Atari Jaguar November 23, 1993, SEGA Saturn November 22, 1994, SONY PlayStation September 9, 1995 Nintendo 64 September 29, 1996
NDS: Representing the Seventh generation, it continued to push boundaries in portable gaming.
Release Date in North America:
- 3DO: Debuted on October 4, 1993, as a pioneer in the gaming industry.
- NDS: Arrived on November 21, 2004, bringing a new era of handheld gaming.
- 3DO: Thrived from 1993 to 1997, a relatively short but impactful existence.
- NDS: Spanned from 2004 to 2014, solidifying its status as a long-lasting gaming companion.
- 3DO: Boasted a hefty price tag of US$699.99 in 1993, equivalent to approximately $1,491.00 in 2023, making it a luxury item.
- NDS: More budget-friendly at US$149.99, which is roughly $244.39 in 2023, making gaming accessible to a wider audience.
- 3DO: Garnered approximately 2 million or more units sold worldwide.
- NDS: Achieved a staggering 154.02+ million units sold globally, highlighting its mass appeal.
Game Storage Media:
- 3DO: Utilized unencrypted CD-ROMs, a pioneering choice at the time.
- NDS: Employed Nintendo DS Game Cards and Game Boy Advance Game Paks for game storage.
- 3DO: Powered by an ARM60, 32-bit 12.5 MHz RISC CPU, featuring advanced ARMv3 architecture.
- NDS: Equipped with a 67 MHz ARM946E-S CPU, offering enhanced DSP instructions and caches.
- 3DO: Possessed 2 MB of RAM and 1 MB of VRAM.
- NDS: Featured 4 MB of RAM, doubling the memory capacity.
- 3DO: Housed 32 KB of SRAM for saving game progress.
- NDS: Enhanced storage with 256 KB of flash memory and cartridge save functionality.
- 3DO: Delivered resolutions of 320×240 @ 60 Hz and 384×288 @ 50 Hz, showcasing 16-bit palettized color or 24-bit actual color.
- NDS: Featured dual 256×192 pixel TFT LCD screens for a unique gaming experience.
- 3DO: Powered by the Panasonic FZ-1 "Madam" graphics accelerator.
- NDS: Utilized an ARM Geometry and Rendering Engine for impressive graphics.
- 3DO: Featured the Panasonic FZ-1 "Clio" DSP, offering 16-bit stereo sound at 44.1 kHz and 4-channel Dolby Surround.
- NDS: Boasted stereo sound with 16 PCM/ADPCM channels, enhancing the audio experience.
- 3DO: Planned online services but unfortunately canceled before fruition.
- NDS: Supported built-in 802.11 wireless network connection with WEP encryption, fostering online multiplayer experiences.
- 3DO: Gex, with over 1 million copies sold.
- NDS: New Super Mario Bros., a monumental success with over 30.80 million copies sold.
- 3DO: Planned successor Panasonic M2, but the project was eventually canceled.
- NDS: Gave rise to the Nintendo 3DS, continuing Nintendo's tradition of innovation in portable gaming.
In the end, both the Panasonic 3DO and the Nintendo DS left unforgettable marks on the gaming landscape, each offering a unique gaming experience and pushing the boundaries of technology in their respective eras. As the first actual 32-bit CD-ROM-based console, it is dearly remembered by those who had the chance to play its games when no other home console in the early 90s could offer the same.
3DO was too early to the market and could not secure royalties from game sales big enough to sell the consoles at cost or discount. Its high price prevented wide adoption of the 3DO console, and that, in turn, kept developers from producing enough games to keep the console attractive to gamers.
On the other hand, With the NDS - Nintendo leveraged the enormous GBA legacy and created one of the best-selling consoles of all time...
- NDSEmulator.com/nintendo-ds/ensata - DS Ensata emulator by Nintendo!
- 3DOEmulator.com - Home of the 3DO emu scene with links to all 3DO projects