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Top 10 Unreleased Consoles

7.  Panasonic M2

Designed as the successor to the failed 3DO Interactive Multiplayer, Panasonic’s M2 was already under development long before the 3DO had officially become extinct.  In fact, it boasted some impressive attributes for a gaming console in 1996 – 1997, though some of these claims are now thought to be highly exaggerated.  Despite the inaccurate reporting about its performance, today it is generally accepted that the machine was roughly 2 to 3 times more powerful than the Nintendo 64.  The 3DO Company had developed and designed the new console before selling it to Panasonic, and Panasonic remained fully poised for a release.

Panasonic M2

The M2 was exceedingly close to becoming a reality, and developer kits as well as prototypes were distributed.  Many marketing flyers had already been distributed and retailers everywhere were readying themselves for the launch.  Screenshots of the game D2 were widely circulated, however the developers began anew from scratch and later released D2 for Sega’s Dreamcast.  Due to the near-legendary failure of the 3DO and the uneasy prospect of facing off against other competitors (namely Sony’s PlayStation), progress and development of the M2 was abruptly halted by Panasonic midway through 1997.

D2 for the M2

As a gaming device, the M2 saw some short lived use in Konami arcade machines.  It was soon deemed too inferior to be used for more than a handful of titles, owing to games being run directly from the CD-ROM drive resulting in long load times and frequent crashes.  Panasonic later found some use for the M2’s hardware in multimedia devices designed for professionals in specialized fields such as medicine.  Today, the M2’s hardware lives on in a few antiquated machines and strangely enough, in some ATM’s around the world.  Since its inception, it has also been used in interactive kiosks up through the present.

Word ’round the playground is that some of the M2 prototypes are indeed floating around out there…be sure to get your hands on one if you can!  Hell, I’d definitely buy one!

Written by The Cubist

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One Comment

  1. I WANT AN M2! The Jungle looked pretty damn cool too but I don’t play MMOs, so it’s not for me.


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