Panasonic 3DO M2
Type Console Developer Matsushita / Panasonic
Release Date 1998 Region(s) Japan
Initial Price Unknown Games Released 13 (applications)
     by Dark Watcher with added content from Marriott_Guy
Two years after the release of their moderately successful system, The 3DO Company began working on it's successor.  At first, the system began as 64-bit add-on for the 3DO console.  Initially codenamed Bull Dog, the name would be changed to the Mark 2 Accelerator, or simply the M2.

In late 1995, 3DO sold the technology to Matsushita (Panasonic) and left the hardware market.  The Japanese electronics giant worked on the base system through 1997, but as the console neared its completion Matsushita felt the market was not ready for another videogame console.  Having already invested significant capital into the M2, they quickly shifted gears and decided to utilize this new technology within an  interactive multimedia player designed for corporate use.

The Panasonic M2 Interactive Media player was released by Matsushita in 1998.  The device was used as an interactive hub for consumers in various consumer public Information and display terminals, sales promotions, exhibit presentations  and educational (training) kiosks.  The system was released in three commercial versions.

The FZ-21S was the more sleek and compact version that featured a 4X CD-ROM (Plays M2-CDs, as well as VideoCD 2.0) and a PCMCIA Type III slot for use with modem, Ethernet, memory, hard drive or other compatible PC card devices.  The FZ-35S is the more high end featured model that features a DVD-ROM drive for increased content storage capability, as well as expanded input/output device connectivity, expanded SRAM, a built-in Infrared Receiver, LS-120 SuperDisk, Flash Memory, Modem, or LAN card.

(Unofficial M2 logo designed by Brilliant2meNu)

     Officially licensed releases
Panasonic DR-21

Panasonic FZ-21S1

Panasonic FZ-35S
Panasonic FZ-35s Panasonic FZ-35s Panasonic FZ-35s
Panasonic FZ-35s Panasonic FZ-35s Panasonic FZ-35s
Panasonic FZ-35s Panasonic FZ-35s Panasonic FZ-35s

Panasonic FZ-55

Panasonic M2 Gaming Console

A special thanks to bitrate, Zappenduster and RPA of ASSEMblers for sharing some of the excellent pictures of the M2 hardware featured above.
     Non-licensed hardware releases
No clones were released for this system.
     by Marriott_Guy
Consoles are rated based upon the available technology at the time of its release.  A 10 point scale is utilized, with 10 being excellent.  The following is based upon my experience with the Panasonic FZ-35S.
Console Design 08 Though I only have the FZ-35S, I am basing this rating on the prototype Gaming Console that was proposed.  In my opinion, it is sleek and sexy as opposed to the utilitatian design of the FZ-35S.
Console Durability 07 I have never experienced any problems with my system, but have heard that some of the disc drives can become faulty and require cleaning.
Controllers N\A Since I never acquired one of the prototype controllers for the M2, I really can't comment on this aspect of the system.
Graphics 08 From the few protos that are out there, it seems that the M2 would have really given the PlayStation 2 a run for its money.
Audio N\A I never experienced this aspect of the system due to the limited software choices that were available to me.
Media 08 Panasonic intended to utilize the CD\DVD format to its maximum.
Game Library 01 There is no game library to speak of outside of a few protos.
Gamer Value 01 Definitely not recommended for the standard gamer, unless you want to spend a few evenings scrolling through Chevy adverts.
Collector Value 09 Though this technology was never released as a pure gaming system, there are quite a few models floating around out in the wild.  The most obtainable would be the FZ-35S, but that will still set you back a few bucks.

     Interesting facts on software for this system
Software for the Panasonic 3DO M2 was primarily distributed on CD-ROM, with plans to expand the content to DVD-ROM.  Unfortunately, the system never realized its full potential (at least in the gaming market).  Videos from the M2 Demo CD (courtesy of bitrate), the officially released Chevy Kiosk software (courtesy of ASSEMbler) and prototype game play (courtesy of Tekknorg) are displayed below.

     Captured in-game images
IMSA World Championship Racing Beta
Panasonic M2 Tech Demo CD
General Motors Kiosk Application

Konami M2 Arcade Games
Battle Tryst
Evil Night / Hell Night

     First and third party system emulators
No emulators have been released for this system.
     For the hardware enthusiasts out there - all the detail you\we love.
Processor Type  Processor Speed  Other Processor Information RAM \ Video RAM
Dual PowerPC 602 66.7 MHz (each) Custom ASICs (10 co-processors)  16 MB (SDRAM)
Screen Resolution Color Palette Polygons \ Sprites Audio
320x240 to 720x480 16.7 million 700K @ 1 Mil per sec 16-bit 32-channel DSP, 44.1 kHz sampling frequency
Media Format Media Capacity Games Released Other Supported Formats
CD (4x) \ DVD (1x) 650 MB \ 4.7 GB 13 (multimedia apps) &
many game protos
Audio CD, VCD, Photo CD
Internal Storage External \ Removable Storage Game Controllers Other Game \ Peripheral Devices
SuperDisk or LS-120 HDD Optional Memory Card (FZ-21S only) D-Pad, 6 action buttons, two shoulder Mouse, Keyboard
Controller Ports Network Ports Other Ports Audio \ Video
One (1) Available as an upgrade Serial (D-sub 9 pin) x 2, Parallel (D-sub 25 pin), Keyboard (mini-DIN 6 pin), Mouse (mini-DIN 6 pin) Composite, S-Video, RGB
Power Supply - Internal Other Outputs  Other Details \ Notes
AC 100\120V, 50\60 Hz None Expansion Port available on some models.  The FZ-35S 1H1M comes with a hard drive; the FZ-35S 5-J does not.
Panasonic FZ-21S Owners Manual (PDF) - 0.50 MB
Panasonic FZ-35S Owners Manual (PDF) - 0.62 MB

     Peripherals, Promotions, Commercials, Brochures, Etc.
1995 E3 Presentation for the Panasonic 3DO M2

Part 1

Part 2
     Visitor insights and feedback
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