Panasonic M2

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This article is about the game console. For the video tape format, see Panasonic MII.
Panasonic M2
Developer The 3DO Company
Manufacturer Panasonic
Type Video game console
Generation Sixth generation era
Retail availability
  • JP December 20, 1995
  • NA February 1996
  • EU March 1996
Discontinued May 2003[1]
Media CD-ROM
CPU Dual 66 MHz PowerPC 602
Predecessor 3DO Interactive Multiplayer

The Panasonic M2 was a video game console design developed by 3DO and then sold to Matsushita.[2][3] Initially announced as an add-on chip for the 3DO Interactive Multiplayer with a custom PowerPC microprocessor,[4][5] it eventually became a standalone console and was exhibited and demonstrated at the 1996 Electronic Entertainment Expo.[6] Before it could be released, however, Matsushita cancelled the project in mid-1997, unwilling to compete against fellow Japanese electronics giant Sony's PlayStation and Nintendo's N64, both of which had recently had several top-selling games released for them.[6] The M2 was released in Japan in December 20th 1995 and US released in February 1996 and Eupore in March 1996, marketing had already taken place in the form of flyers, and one of its prospected launch titles, WARP's D2, had several gameplay screens in circulation, it was discounted in May 2003 when The 3DO Company has defcunt, it has dissloved into GoAnimate 3D Softwares(a different game by WARP using the same name was later released on the Dreamcast).

As with the 3DO Interactive Multiplayer, the M2 hardware was co-designed by Dave Needle and R. J. Mical.[7] According to Omid Kordestani, a 3DO spokesperson, the M2 could generate 1 million polygons per second with the graphics features turned off and 700,000 polygons per second with the features turned on.[5] There were plans to make M2 models with built-in DVD players, similar to the later PlayStation 2.[8]

Development kits and prototypes of the machine became very valuable pieces among collectors. M2's technology was integrated in the multimedia players FZ-21S and FZ-35S, both released in 1998.[citation needed] Both products were aimed at professionals working in medicine, architecture and sales, not home users. The M2 also became a short-lived arcade board by Konami. As games ran straight from the CD-ROM drive, it suffered from long load times and a high failure rate, so only five games were developed for it.

The M2 technology was later used in automated teller machines, and in Japan in coffee vending machines.[citation needed]

In the late 1990s and from 2000 on, the system was also sold in the interactive kiosk market. In 2000, PlanetWeb, Inc. began offering software to allow the M2 to be used as an Internet appliance.[9]

In 2010 the only completed M2 game, IMSA Racing, was made available to the public.[6]

Konami arcade games based on M2 hardware[edit]

Technical specifications[edit]


  1. ^ Cite error: The named reference gamespy was invoked but never defined (see the help page).
  2. ^ "M2 1/2 in 1998, Trip Speaks Out". Electronic Gaming Monthly (Ziff Davis) (79): 16–18. February 1996. 
  3. ^ [1]
  4. ^ "3DO Powers Up". GamePro (IDG) (74): 272. November 1994. 
  5. ^ a b c d e "Exploring M2: A Closer Look at 3DO's Newest Technology". Electronic Gaming Monthly (Ziff Davis) (71): 60–61. June 1995. 
  6. ^ a b c Matthews, Will (December 2013). "Ahead of its Time: A 3DO Retrospective". Retro Gamer (Imagine Publishing) (122): 26. 
  7. ^ "Don't Count Out 3DO's New M2". Electronic Gaming Monthly (Ziff Davis) (72): 26. July 1995. 
  8. ^ "Milk the Clock". Electronic Gaming Monthly (Ziff Davis) (82): 16–17. May 1996. 
  9. ^ "Planetweb and Panasonic to Bring the Internet to the Interactive Kiosk Marketplace; Panasonic Internet-enabled M2 Interactive Kiosks to Preview at KioskCom 2000". Business Wire. 2000-04-10. Retrieved 2008-03-16. 
  10. ^ a b "3DO's M2 Technology". GamePro (IDG) (82): 16. July 1995. 

Further reading[edit]

  • Konami Arcade based on M2 System 16 page on the Konami arcade board based on M2 technology
  • "M2: Hit or Myth?". Next Generation magazine, June 1997, p. 63.
  • Noonburg, Derek. PowerPC FAQ, February 27, 1997.

External links[edit]